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North West Leicestershire Police Winter/Spring update

Welcome to my first update for 2017. It would be fair to say that a lot has happened since my last update was published in November last year.

Getting muddy for Caitlin
For those who know me, running and getting muddy is not something I particularly like to do, however I volunteered to take part in a Scorpion Run to help raise funds for the daughter of PC Craig Turner from our Coalville neighbourhood team.

Craig’s daughter Caitlin, was born prematurely at 27 weeks and suffered viral meningitis which led to hydrocephalus.

She is now 11 years old and at an age where despite those challenges she wants to be more independent. To help Craig’s colleagues wanted to raise some money to help purchase a specialist trike for Caitlin.

It was with this aim in mind that I took part in a Scorpion Run. This took place on a wet and cold Saturday in December in Staffordshire.


The event was a 10k (6.2 mile) off-road run with obstacles and lots and lots of deep mud and bogs. It took me 2 ¾ hours to complete, including the swim section where they had to break the ice, it was so cold it took my breath away. The photographs you can see from the event were taken near to the start. Unfortunately the camera battery died shortly after these were taken.

Suffice to say I was exhausted, wet through and filthy by the time I finished. Would I do it again? Bizarre as it sounds the answer would be, probably, yes.


However it was all worth it when we were able to total up all of the money that we raised. Colleagues from not only Coalville, but across the force including the Police Federation donated money and we were able to buy the trike for Caitlin, and a new laptop. Here is a picture of Caitlin riding her new trike.




Update from Christmas
In the last update I mentioned our licensee workshop and the start of our Safer Christmas campaign across North West Leicestershire.

During December we carried a vehicle crime awareness campaign, highlighting the need to remove valuables from unattended cars and vans, and to make sure they are locked. We combined this with personal safety awareness for shoppers in Coalville and Ashby.

Also in December we carried out an alcohol test purchase operation. We visited eight premises in Coalville, Ashby and Measham.

Three premises sold alcohol to a person who was under age. We have issued warning notices to those involved and we will be running further test operations in the future.  My experience tells me that we need to ensure that all of our licensees operate to the highest standards, as this does have a positive effect on crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

We will continue to work closely with the Pubwatch schemes in Ashby and Coalville, and North West Leicestershire District Council.

Elite Vehicle in Ashby
One of the important elements of our Celebrate Safely campaign is the provision of an Elite Medical Vehicle in Ashby on the weekends leading up to Christmas. We have done this for a number of years and is funded by the North West Leicestershire Community Safety Partnership. In the main this has helped people who are on a night out in Ashby with first aid and assistance and has proved to reduce demand not only for the police but the ambulance service.

On New Year’s Eve there was an incident in Ashby town centre in which a young man was assaulted. A paramedic from the Elite Medical vehicle was on the scene very quickly and was able to provide excellent first aid on a night when the ambulance service are under huge pressure and may not have been able to get there as quickly.

A 34 year old man has been arrested and charged in connection with this incident, and as the matter progresses through court I will keep you updated.

Tackling concerns about speeding
I know from the meetings me and my teams attend that speeding is a concern to many communities across North West Leicestershire. At the end of January the Forest neighbourhood team which covers the Measham area, carried out four speeding operations in Measham and Moira. During the course of the operations just over 200 vehicles were checked with only two travelling at a speed where enforcement action could be taken.

Although this indicates that speeding in those areas might not be as big a problem as we first thought, we will continue to carry out periodic speed checks not only in Measham and Moira, but right across North West Leicestershire.

Kayleigh’s Love Story
I mentioned in the last blog that the film Leicestershire Police have made about Kayleigh Haywood would be available publicly at the beginning of 2017.

On the 3rd January the film was made available across a range of channels including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

In the days that followed the film went viral and very quickly had been seen over 2 million times. At the time of writing the film has had 8 million views.

Despite seeing the film a number of times, I still find it very hard-hitting, and if you have not seen it then please take a few minutes to do so.

The film is part of our CEASE campaign, the Commitment to Eradicate Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of children and young people. Since we launched this campaign in February last year over 21,000 people have signed a pledge to look out for the signs that a child or young person may be in danger of abuse and exploitation. Please visit this link to sign our online pledge.


Find out more information about CEASE.

Kayleigh was from North West Leicestershire and we will continue to do all we can to make sure our children are safe.

Coalville police on the move
On a final note, I have mentioned in previous editions of this update the move to a new police station in Coalville. We will be jointly located with the Fire Service and in March work will commence to extend the fire station in Coalville. This should take seven months, so hopefully we will be moving in around October or November.

We will still continue to have enquiry facilities located at the reception desk at North West Leicestershire District Council, in Whitwick Road, Coalville.

That is all for now, enjoy the longer days, look out for my next update in May

Helena Bhakta
Commander – North West Leicestershire Neighbourhood Policing Area

You can follow me on Twitter NW Leics twitter

We also have a Facebook page NW Leics facebook


North West Leicestershire Police Autumn/Winter update

Welcome to the latest North West Leicestershire Police update

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, it would be an ideal time to remind everybody to take a few simple steps to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.

  • make sure your home looks occupied by using automatic timer switches to turn on a light when it goes dark, even if you are just out for a couple of hours
  • keep doors and windows locked at all times – even if you pop outside to the garden or go upstairs
  • always lock doors behind you and remove the key from the lock
  • keep valuables, bags, cash and keys out of sight and keep them in a safe place
  • don’t leave packaging from expensive items outside your house – take it to be recycled or put them in the bin
  • install a visible alarm system and security lighting to act as a deterrent
  • prevent easy access to the back and sides of your home with locked gates or fencing
  • if you’re going away, don’t advertise it on social media

It’s that time again, Christmas is coming!
On Tuesday 8 November together with North West Leicestershire District Council we held our third licensee workshop.


This is an opportunity for the police, North West Leicestershire District Council and local licensees to meet and discuss our plans for the festive period and help achieve our aim of ensuring that everybody can go out and have a great night and be safe.

The workshop marks the start of our planned activities throughout November and December. We are fortunate to have a close working relationship not only with North West Leicestershire District Council, but also the pubwatch schemes in Ashby and Coalville.

Among the topics covered during the workshop were, child sexual exploitation, drugs awareness and drug seizure.

We also took the opportunity to show ‘Kayleigh’s love story’, which was made by Leicestershire Police and highlights the dangers or online grooming. The story of Kayleigh Haywood is well known to many local people and it is hard to believe that we are approaching  twelve months since she was murdered.
The film has been shown to over 10,000 children in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland and CEASE (Campaign for the Eradication of Abuse and Sexual Exploitation) has now received over 10,000 pledges. Kayleigh was a local girl and we will continue to do all we can to ensure that the children and young people of North West Leicester are safe. The film will be available publicly in January 2017.

On Saturday 3rd December 2016 at the Coalville & Ashby Light Switch-on, we will be launching our Christmas Celebrate Safely Campaign. We have support from Turning Point Drugs & Alcohol rehabilitation project,  North West Leicestershire District Council, Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service, the Road Safety Partnership and our Street Pastors.

Our key messages are:

  • Personal Safety
    • Look after yourself
    • Enjoy alcohol sensibly and know your limits,
    • Drugs are illegal – don’t put licensees in a position where they have to refuse you entry.
      Plan ahead
    • After a night out, how are you getting home?
    • Who are you going home with?
    • Book a cab at the start of the night
    • Property
    • Vehicles
    • Don’t leave valuables on display
    •  Homes
    • If you are using candles ensure you put them out or use an electric candle
    • Invest in a light timer.

During the festive period we will be visiting licensed premises and we will be on the streets to educate local people, giving them the opportunity to take a non-evidential breath test which will indicate the amount of alcohol they have drunk. This will be accompanied with advice about calorie intake, safe limits, the ability to drive and to ask them to consider safe ways to get home having consumed alcohol.

To move or not to move?
Some time ago we announced our intention to move from the current police station on London Road.  The intention was that we would build an extension to the Fire Station in  Coalville and move into there.

I am delighted to say that construction of the new building at the Fire Station will start in the New Year. I do not have any dates for likely completion, I will keep you updated with progress.

North West Leicestershire volunteer cadets
At a recent ceremony held at Leicestershire Police headquarters,  our volunteer police cadet team won the Saville Shield. This is an award for teams who volunteer for Leicestershire Police and this group of young people are an important part of the team at North West Leicestershire and are a credit to themselves.


Prince’s Trust attachment
PCSO Jason Harriman from the Ashby neighbourhood team recently returned from a twelve week attachment to the Prince’s Trust. This gave Jason an opportunity to share his skills as a neighbourhood PCSO and learn more about engagement with young people. Jason has a highly successful attachment and we have seen the benefit of this since his return.


Leavers and Joiners
We have had a number of changes to our staff.
Sergeant Audrey King who was the team leader for the Ashby and Forest Neighbourhood teams, has moved to Braunstone as a team leader on the Patrol and Resolution team. I would like to thank Audrey for her hard work and enthusiasm particularly her work on licensing.


Audrey’s replacement is Sergeant Colin Gardner who will be well known to many of you having worked at Coalville previously as a neighbourhood PC and Sgt.

PCSO Suzie Hunt from the Bardon Hill neighbourhood team has recently moved to Hinckley and Blaby Neighbourhood Policing Area where she will be part of the team policing Bosworth.


PCSO Jennie May from the Forest neighbourhood team has left Leicestershire police and is moving to Cheshire where she will become a police officer. Both Jennie and Suzie have been tremendous assets to the team here at North West Leicester police, and everybody here wishes them every success for the future.

As replacements for Jennie and Suzie I am delighted to welcome PCSOs Bekki Hales and Elena Chambers. If you see them out and about please take the time to stop them and say hello. I am sure they will be great assets to the team.


That is all for the time being, I am now in my fourth year as the police commander for North West Leicestershire and I continue to be proud of the work your police team do on your behalf to keep you safe.
If you see any members of my team whilst they are out and about, take the time to stop and say hello, I am sure they will appreciate it.

Wishing you all an early Happy Christmas and safe and prosperous New Year.

Helena Bhakta
Commander – North West Leicestershire Neighbourhood Policing Area

You can follow me on twitter NW Leics twitter

We also have a facebook page NW Leics facebook