Category Archives: Melton

Update from Inspector Lou Cordiner Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Police Commander – May 2015

Welcome to my May’s blog update for the Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Police Area.

This is a “light touch” catch up with what we have been doing to make our communities safer. The last couple of months have been very busy for all of us on the Eastern Counties.

Ask Me Anything’ Public Meeting

Q and A 1

Inspector Cordiner chairing the ‘Ask Me Anything’ event

April saw the first of my ‘Ask Me Anything’ public meetings, which was held at Waltham Village Hall on Wednesday April 8. These meetings are chance for members of the community to ask me any question and raise any issue directly with me.

PCSO Oli Webb demonstrating the speed monitoring equipment

The meeting was well attended, with many issues raised. The main concerns for residents were speeding in villages, breaching of HGV weight restrictions and generally traffic related matters. We have already started working on all of the issues raised and are making real progress. I will update you in my next blog. We are already planning our next meeting for the Melton Rural South beat which will be held at Somerby Memorial Hall on Tuesday 26th May at 6.30pm. I plan to complete similar events on all of the beats on the Eastern Counties over the coming months.

Off Road Bikes

After receiving a number of complaints from members of the public regarding the use of ‘off road’ bikes, officers from Harborough Station have recently been out with Northamptonshire’s ‘off road’ bike crew to areas in Harborough that have been experiencing the problem. Officers visited Brampton Valley Way, Canal Town Path near Green acres caravan site, Robert Smyth School/Burnmill Road, Great Glen, Covert Lane in Scraptoft and Harborough Town Centre.

Using ‘off road’ bikes makes it much easier to reach the locations effected by this problem, so that we can speak to the offenders and young people in the area, to educate them on this type of vehicles off road capabilities and how to use them legally. We hope to repeat this initiative again in the future.

 Our Neighbourhood Priority Team

The Neighbourhood Priority team have made a number of significant arrests over the last couple of months for drugs, burglary, harassment and fraud, and shop theft. The team are committed to catching the offenders in our communities that cause the most harm and will continue to do so over the coming months. Sgt Thorley is doing an excellent job with his team focusing on the issues that our communities report to us.

Fatal 4 Operations

We have been completing a number of Fatal 4 Operations across the Neighbourhood Policing Area. Fatal 4 Operations consist of us stopping drivers who are spotted committing one of the four most common offences that result in death. The Fatal Four are driving whilst on a mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt, speeding and drink driving.

We held the first of these operations in Melton on March 10, in partnership with HM Customs and Excise. During the operation Traffic Offence reports were issues as follows; eighteen for driving without a seatbelt; one for defects on the vehicle ; one for unfit load; one for no MOT; and one for use of a mobile phone whilst driving. Vehicles were also stopped for using red diesel; having no insurance; and possession of drugs. In total we stopped 67 vehicles during the operation.

On April 27, we held a Fatal 4 Operation on Burton Street in Melton Mowbray. During the operation 22 drivers were stopped for not wearing a seat belt; five for driving whilst on a mobile phone; and two others for miscellaneous offences.

We also conducted another operation in Oakham on the 4 May, where x7 traffic offences were prosecuted using a mobile phone; four for driving without a seat belt; and one for not having valid tax. A Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme notice was issued for a cracked windscreen.

Further events are planned over the coming months.

Tackling drug use in schools

In May, officers from our local Neighbourhood Priority Team assisted Rutland based officer PC Joe Lloyd with a drugs and contraband search at a school in Oakham, on request of the school themselves. The school were delighted with the turnout of officers, and it’s hoped that this sends a clear message that drug use will not be tolerated.

Community Volunteers on Horseback Scheme

The police community volunteers on horseback scheme continues to go from strength to strength. The volunteers have put in a huge amount of time in patrolling the lanes and villages of Rutland. Between October 2014 and March 2015, my volunteers completed 8200 hours of patrol and I would publically like to thank each of them for their continued commitment to this innovative scheme which through their high visibility patrol has helped to prevent crime, reduce speeding in rural locations and has increased community confidence.

Neighbourhood Watch

We also have an excellent number of Neighbourhood Watch schemes across the Eastern Counties which provides vital feedback and communication with local communities. Officers across the area have recently completed their annual catch up with every Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator. Can I take a moment to thank all the co-ordinators across the area for all they have done over the last year.

That is it for now… and I shall speak to you all again in July 2015.

Insp Lou Cordiner

Inspector Lou Cordiner

NPA Commander for the Eastern Counties

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Update from Inspector Lou Cordiner Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Police Commander

Welcome to February’s blog update for the Eastern Counties Neighborhood Police Area.

Insp Lou Cordiner

As I am sure many of you are aware on the 9 February the new force structure was launched. This sees Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray and Rutland LPUs merging to become the Eastern Counties Neighborhood Policing Area.

There are still police stations in all of these locations from where your dedicated Neighborhood officers work from.

Crime investigations are now dealt with by another specialist department which has freed up the time of our dedicated neighborhood officers to focus on community engagement, patrol and anti-social behaviour. These are exciting changes for the force which we are already seeing the benefits from.

 

Campaign launched to discourage agricultural thefts

We have recently launched a new scheme within the Eastern Counties Neighbourhood Policing Area, with the aim of reducing thefts of agricultural trailers.

Plant sticker picture

Large reflective signs which display the message ‘Please stop if seen driven between 10.00pm – 5.00am’ are available to all owners of agricultural trailers. They are being distributed to members of ‘Farm Watch’ and the local farming communities.

The reflective signs aim to highlight vehicles to the police to help them recognise vehicles that should not normally be moved between the hours of 10.00pm and 5.00am. By stopping the vehicle and speaking with the driver, it can be identified as to whether or not the vehicle has been stolen.

It is hoped that this scheme will reduce the number of vehicles thefts from rural locations.

Farmwatch launched in Market Harborough

Farm Watch

After the successful launch of Farm Watch in the borough of Melton Mowbray and Rutland, we have now launched the scheme in the district of Market Harborough.

The Farm Watch initiative has been set up to provide a line of communication between local farmers, contractors, landowners and the police, in order to gather information that may be useful in catching criminals.

The scheme uses a Fast Text system where the police are able to share information with registered users with a single text message. For example, if a suspicious vehicle is reported to the police the details can be sent out by text to members, and if the vehicle is then seen its location can be reported by ringing 101 and reporting it to the police.

The scheme is free to join; all you need is a mobile phone capable of receiving text messages.

If you are interested in becoming part of the scheme please call 101 and follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer. When promoted key in the relevant officers identification number:

  • For Market Harborough – PC Lucy Cross 6671
  • For Melton Mowbray – PC Sharon Roscoe 4364
  • For Rutland – PC Steven Houghton 6127

Officers are on the buses!

Officers in Rutland and Market Harborough are “all aboard” their village Library Bus services within their local communities.

The scheme involves officers and PCSO’s jumping on board the local village library bus with the aim of being more accessible to local residents in the area.

Please come along and see us if you have a library bus that visits your village.

Fatal 4 Operations

Over the coming months there are a number of ‘Fatal 4’ operations planned for the Eastern Counties. These events are aimed at educating drivers caught committing the four main offenses that cause accidents. The offenses include speeding; driving whilst on a mobile phone; not wearing a seat belt; and drink driving.

I will let you know the results of the operations once they have taken place.

Spring is almost sprung!

I also wanted to take an opportunity to remind you all that any moment now we will all be opening the sheds after a long winter. If you are anything like me, the next stop will be off to the garden centre to buy new essential gardening tools. Please can I ask that you check the security of your sheds and check that the lock is fit for purpose? We spend £100s on good garden equipment, but then spend as little as possible keeping it safe.

Similarly as the weather turns better, we may choose to go out walking in our local beauty spots. Please do consider using the formal car parks as they afford you a higher level of safety for your cars and belongings than choosing the grass verges.

I will speak to you all in my next update, in the meantime – roll on the kinder weather
Inspector Lou Cordiner

Eastern Counties NPA Commander

Beware of the booze

This last week has been the ACPO alcohol awareness week where nationally each of the police forces concentrates on initiatives to tackle alcohol related crime and to raise awareness around the consequences of excessive drinking. Not only is there an implication around crime but also excessive drinking adds to health problems and is a ticking time bomb that may go off in years to come. When you are young you think of yourself as invincible and looking ahead to the effects in later life is not on people’s radars. The statistics are quite shocking with 50% of all violent crime being linked to alcohol; whilst not the sole cause it is very often a contributory factor. When I was a custody sergeant I remember on a regular basis detainees waking up and not being able to remember how they ended up on the receiving end of our hospitality. The most amusing story (although not at the time for the victims) involved a call from a family to report they’d found a drunken man asleep in their garage. Officers attended and moved him on to then receive a second call to say he had returned, had got into the house and had gone to sleep in one of their bedrooms. When police tried to help him out of the door he became violent and was arrested. The next morning it transpired he had got so drunk he had gone back to his old house rather than his current address leaving him very embarrassed Stories like this are funny to relate looking back but very often there are more serious consequences which play out on our televisions.

This week my staff have been into schools speaking to young people about the dangers of alcohol misuse. On Monday night staff conducted a test purchase operation targeting supermarkets and it was pleasing to see them all pass. The last 2 operations targeted smaller off licensed premises and also pubs and again we had no fails. This is the first time we have seen this across the board which is very encouraging and these operations will continue. I noted a comment on our Facebook page asking us why we are not concentrating on catching real criminals. I do understand this comment especially if you have had your house burgled but these operations to prevent crime are important as we have to respond to assaults and antisocial behaviour so if we can reduce the numbers of these and the damage done to victims who are assaulted both domestically and whilst out for a night then it will free us up to spend more time on other things.

Other activities will be using the alcoblow which is like a wand that indicates if what appears like a can of coke contains any additional ingredients to tackle youth drinking on parks as well as confiscating alcohol. Breathalysers are being trialled at some of the pubs to try to discourage pre-loading and to support the door staff in some of their discussions with customers. If this is successful then I would like to see the scheme broadened. The strength of Melton is that we enjoy a close relationship with Pubwatch who are all committed to making Melton a good night out.

Next month sees the start of Octsober which is a chance to raise money for charity by abstaining for a month. This is great for your health and for a good cause so why not sign up or sponsor someone who has.

Traffic Matters

Traffic issues are always a topic that everyone has a view on which is evident whenever I put anything on this subject out on Twitter or Facebook as it generates the most responses. Last week I was tweeting from my phone and managed to say we were deploying speed camera cans -what one letter can do to change the meaning of the sentence but it did make for some amusing comments.

Last month in the Melton Times there was a letter on the danger of using mobile phones when driving. The letter asked how many drivers had received a ticket in Melton and the number surprised me as being less than 20 in the last 8 months so staff at Melton will be on the lookout for offending drivers.

The seriousness of mobile phone use behind the wheel was very evident in a recent trial in Cambridgeshire where a woman was sentenced to six years after texting on two phones before a fatal crash. Judge Enright was very forthright in his summing up stating “Mobile phone use while driving is a plague on our society.” If you are involved in a serious accident police will look at your mobile so just don’t use it.

Using a mobile phone whilst driving may cost you your liberty and someone’s life but at the very least will cost you £100 and 3 points on your licence or there is an option to avoid the points by attending an education course designed to change driver behaviour.

The other big 3 factors in fatal or serious accidents are speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink drive; Leicester Police run regular clinics to target these and is termed the ‘fatal 4’. It still amazes me how many people do not wear a seat belt –over 30 in just 4 hours last time in Melton.

I often hear comments that tackling traffic offences is a revenue generator but this is a myth as the police do not get the revenue –it goes to the treasury. Some of the money is returned to us but only for promoting road safety so that is not the reason we deal with this –the reason is the majority of the public ask us and if you have ever lost a loved one on the roads then you will understand why.

I often get asked by the public if the speed camera vans can be parked on their street but these are deployed on the whole to main arteriole routes where there is either an accident black spot, community concern or where the data collected by the grey monitoring boxes show the problem of speeding to be serious in terms of numbers and the amount drivers are over the speed limit. If you want to get involved at a more local level i.e. to street then please engage with your beat team. Currently speeding is a priority on both rural beats as this is what the majority of people consulted have asked for. You can find a consultation form on the Force website at the bottom titled ‘Have Your Say’

If you take a look under the priorities for Melton Rural North in Local Policing you will see an update on the work so far tackling speeding –over 100 drivers found speeding in one village alone.

Clearly enforcement is one way to tackle this problem but the main weapon is you to impress on drivers you travel with not to use a mobile, not to put their foot down, belt up and don’t drink and drive.

Tackling Burglary and cross border crime in Melton Mowbray

The front page about the rise in burglaries a couple of weeks ago was not one I want to see but sadly for many victims this has been a reality here in Melton. If you watched the local news on Thursday night you will have seen the Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister talking about the rise in burglaries over Nottingham, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

My staff have been working hard to tackle these and we are slowly getting some success and I will be reporting on individuals who have been charged and remanded into custody to await trail once I am able which is after conviction.

At the start of April the Safer Melton Partnership which consists of a number of different agencies set about an ambitious project centred around burglary. The project is Communities Against Crime led by Paul Appleby who can be followed on twitter and face book @Melton_CCC and this is the same on Facebook. This will see police staff, volunteers, council staff and Neighbourhood Watch working together to visit as many people as possible on a street or a village that has suffered a burglary. We are looking to provide advice around a number of crime prevention strands and will be helping secure sheds, fit tamper proof number plate screws to cars, offer discounted items such as locks etc and provide an enhanced crime prevention input around the house; we are looking to help you register your valuables in the National Property register and look to raise the profile of the Neighbourhood Watch to list some of the aims.

This will hopefully lead to crime reductions but more importantly in a reduction in the number of victims of these crimes. One good example of a recent success is where a neighbour had the foresight to spot some males acting suspiciously and photographed their car registration. Their hunch was right as a break in followed but their foresight enabled us to make arrests of people from Leicester City.

I would still appeal to the public to secure their property, not leave downstairs windows open and to be vigilant about people operating in their neighbourhood and give us a call if you think people are engaged in crime on 101 or if happening at the time 999. Any community intelligence can be shared with local staff but if you are worried about doing this then please phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

 

On a separate but slightly related note we continue to tackle rural crime and target those criminals who travel from other areas to commit crime in Melton Borough. On Thursday 17th July we joined forces with Nottingham Police, British Transport Police, HMRC, Environment agency, Rushcliffe Council , Smartwater and VOSA in a day of action centred around metal theft. This saw everyone working together to achieve the best outcomes where a total of 17 vehicles were stopped and checked. One was seized for using red diesel and an expired vehicle excise licence. One had an immediate prohibition notice served as un-roadworthy and was collected via lorry and taken from the site for repairs. One male was reported for scrap collecting without the correct permits. Numerous vehicles were issued rectification notices for repairs and we gained some valuable intelligence on travelling criminals

Cross border Op

 

 

 

 

 

Reduce the chance of becoming another statistic

Over the last 5 years there has been a steady decrease in crime equating to about 30% in Melton or 1000 less victims. This is great news but there are still too many victims of crime and alarmingly we are now seeing a rise in the numbers in certain types particularly car crime and burglaries. You may be reading this as one of those victims and reductions will mean nothing to you. The theft of Stu Sparling’s wheelchair brought home to us the profound effect crime has even when we are so accustomed to dealing with it. I want to thank everyone who helped with that burglary and it reminded us that the majority of people are good law abiding decent members of our community and it was heartening to read some of the comments on Face Book. 

I wanted to use this month’s article to focus on what you can do to help reduce the chance of becoming a victim and what plans we have to bring those responsible to justice. Far too many crimes have happened through opportunism where doors have been left unlocked and cars left with valuables on show. Very often people do not mark their property or have the serial numbers. This week we made 2 arrests and executed a warrant in Old Dalby where a ‘shed’ load of property was recovered ranging from lawn mowers to bikes to generators and the like –we now have the mammoth task of proving this property is stolen to bring a case to court. There are some simple measures you can take. You can register your property for free on the National Property Register www.immobilise.com which is searched by the police when property is recovered. For a small charge they supply stickers to apply to your property indicating the items are recorded –whilst this may not stop the theft it may mean you get the items back and allows the police to bring successful prosecutions. Join the Neighbourhood Watch –we regularly supply info for members so you are better informed of the crime picture. My last article encourages people to phone us if they see people acting suspiciously and we would also encourage you to tell us about any intelligence about who is doing this. If you are not confident to contact the police you can use Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555111

 Sheds are now being targeted but again there are some simple steps you can take. Buy a decent padlock and battery powered shed alarm. You can contact the police station as we have small supply of locks. Mark your strimmers and lawn mowers with your house number and post code in permanent marker; chain expensive items to a fixed point again this may deter a would be thief. We are now seeing the hinges being unscrewed –coach bolts will stop this and we are offering free coach bolts at the police station and council offices which will be available in the next week to repeat victims of shed breaks where this has happened. These bolts can also be obtained from any hardware shop and are not that expensive

The majority of this type of crime is committed by a small number of criminals and we work with other agencies to manage these people who often have a drugs habit that drives them in their offending. A lot of multi-agency work goes on in this arena and if you are someone who is committing crime there is help available if you want it. The Safer Melton Partnership starts a project shortly where all the partners will be visiting victims of burglary and their neighbours to work with them around crime prevention measures. You will read in the paper last week a number of justice outcomes and we will continue to try and bring offenders before the courts. We recently charged 2 people with handling stolen goods from 2 of the recent burglaries and I will report more on this when I am able

Saying thank you

A number of National stories such as Hillsborough and Plebgate to name just two have appeared over recent weeks in the National Press that put the police service in a poor light. These are news worthy and quite rightly need addressing but they are not reflective of the wider police service. It sometimes feels that these stories make all police out to be corrupt –they are not. Men and women who join the police service which includes a number of civilians and uniform staff are drawn from the communities we all live in. As they reflect society inevitably some of these people will bring the police service into disrepute but it is not reflective of the vast majority of the rank and file.

Staff have to deal with some awful stuff:- telling family that a loved one has been killed in a road accident, going to suicides, dealing with victims of abuse both child and adult, having to deal with the drunk who wants to knock their heads off. Then there is the family impact of the job:- they don’t always make it home on time and often have to tell partners that they will be late off again and that they won’t be able to make that family function or planned night out. They can’t talk about some of what they have dealt with but still have to process it.

Police staff don’t set out to do a deliberately bad job quite the opposite but at times will get it wrong –not because they are corrupt but because they are human. Good news does not appear to be newsworthy but every day officers and staff do a fantastic job and make a difference to the communities they serve, in sometimes very difficult circumstances. This week I have received 3 thank you cards from people who have experienced this. I have added them to a thank you board we have to remind staff that they are making the difference they all signed up to make. I want to thank everyone who takes the time out to say thank you to staff.-it may seem quite a small gesture to send a card or letter but it makes a huge difference to those receiving them. This week we had a work experience student with us and she got to see that human side and quickly learned police officers do struggle at times but also their commitment to Melton to help make it a safe place to live. Satisfaction amongst people who use our service in Melton is high with 87% for crime and 93% for Anti Social Behaviour. Of course some are dissatisfied and it is my job to try to address this but the majority are very pleased with what my staff provide.

So next time you come across my staff and you do feel that you are pleased with what they do then it makes a huge difference if you tell them.

Inspector John Gray

Melton Police Commander