INSPECTOR SIMON RILEY’S BLOG: JULY / AUGUST
Since I wrote my last blog, it would appear that we now have proof that wonders really do never cease.
Firstly – the weather! With the exception of last weekend it hasn’t let up and everyone is walking around looking tanned and healthy and full of the joys of Summer – which is great to see. We now have the ‘Beach at Beeston’ up and running and I am sure many of you will be taking advantage of an afternoon ‘by the seaside’ without the long drive and the inevitable traffic queues.
Secondly, in keeping with my mention of the world cup last month, the England team surpassed all expectations and whilst they ultimately didn’t bring ‘it’ home, they nevertheless brought people together in a way that hasn’t been seen for some time in our nation. Friends, relatives, neighbours, all coming together with one common cause was brilliant to see and there was a real feel good factor across the borough for those few, short, weeks. And whilst the England challenge ultimately fell slightly short of the ultimate goal, the power of sport to unify and change lives for the good should never be underestimated. This is a view which I have articulated to a number of elected members and partners in recent weeks as I have gotten around to meeting them for the first time. Sporting opportunities for young people can often be the difference between a rewarding teenage period, where good foundations are laid for adulthood, or a downward slope into criminality. As we are now into the summer holiday period, this is never more pertinent, as without outlets to relieve boredom this is often where youngsters take their first forays into unacceptable behaviour, ASB and ultimately criminality.
If anyone has ever thought of, or is thinking of, or has just set up some sporting activities for children, or getting involved in provision of sport for young people then I would be interested in hearing from you. Clearly, work with young people can only be undertaken by people with a clean and current DBS certificate, but subject to that clearance, I would encourage anyone who feels they have something to offer to have a go. I speak from personal experience when I say that it can often be frustrating and at times you may feel like you are trying to herd cats, but ultimately it is hugely rewarding and from a community perspective can often make a difference to the quality of life in that area. One super local example of this is the Basil Russell Youth Club which is running throughout the Summer holiday period on Thursday and Friday evenings, from 5:30pm to 8:30 pm,at Basil Russell Playing Field in Nuthall. Open to anyone between the ages of 11 and 18, this represents a super opportunity for young people to go and interact and join in activities in a safe and controlled outdoor environment (shelter is available should the British Summer revert to type!).
And on the note of bored youngsters, ASB and associated crime – I am fully aware of the issues being experienced by the residents of Chilwell West at present. We are currently gathering as much evidence as we can against the young people perpetrating these offences and making life a misery for the law-abiding people of the Inham Nook, Eskdale Road area and the users of the recreation ground. We are also looking to take action against the parents of those involved wherever and whenever we can. If you are reading this and you know your child(ren) are involved in this completely unacceptable behaviour, then yes, that means you – and we will take the appropriate action against you and your children. We have a large range of powers available to us and our partners, such as the Borough Housing Department, have many of their own. We will not be afraid to use them and will seek to do so at every opportunity we can. As a warning to those involved – I can’t spell it out any clearer than that.
As a positive note to end upon, crime has continued to fall across the borough as a whole during July and the past 2 weeks have recorded excellent reductions in many offence types (a 36% reduction in shop theft for example). Nothing as spectacular as the reduction in Burglary in June (which by the time the whole month’s figures were taken into account was a staggering 52% and not the 48% I reported in my blog last month, which was written with 5 days of the month left), which has remained at the June levels through July.
One area of crime does stand out though, as it completely bucks the usual seasonal trend – we recorded only 4 shed/garage burglaries in the whole of July across the whole of the borough. I’d like to publically thank my Neighbourhood Policing Teams, led by Sgt Deb Regan (South) and Sgt Andy Browning( North) for this, as they have worked tirelessly in pro-actively targetting addresses at risk of this type of crime and giving out crime prevention measures and advice provided by our partners on the borough Community Safety team. I’d also like to thank those of you who have engaged with this activity – you have undoubtedly prevented yourself from becoming a victim and have assisted us in keeping those crimes low in number. In addition, ASB in general is also down by comparison to where we would expect it to be at this time of year – again, this is down to proactive patrols and the right messages being given out, alongside support from the people of the borough. My challenge is now to keep Crime and ASB at the lower figure through the summer holiday period. Autocrime is still high in all areas of the borough and its reduction is one of my priorities over the coming weeks. If you see anyone acting suspiciously around motor vehicles, especially during the hours of darkness, then please, please call it in, either by 101, or if it’s a crime in action, by dialling 999.
And with that, I bid you farewell. If you are holidaying over the school holiday period, please have a great – but ultimately safe, time. Ensure your home security is preserved and don’t publicise the fact you are away on social media – particularly if you have an open profile. Happy Holidays!