Autumn is now well underway, with the usual myriad of different coloured trees all shedding their leaves and leaving the ubiquitous annual carpet of dead leaves across the floor everywhere. The final fling of the warm, summer weather now definitely appears to be over and with the clocks going back an hour this coming weekend, we are now definitely into the countdown to the big festival whose name I steadfastly refuse to mention in October, but which begins with ‘C!’
The last week of October means Halloween is upon us once more, so is the time of ‘Trick or Treat.’. Whilst I love seeing the carved pumpkins and people dressed up & enjoying good-natured ‘trick or treating,’ this time of year can often be one of fear and upset for many people, particularly the elderly, the infirm and the vulnerable. Halloween and Trick or Treat should never be an excuse to try and legitimise anti-social behaviour and the concept of ‘mischief night’ is not one which I support, as in my experience it seems to empower people into thinking they can break the law and get away with it. In a similar vein, we are now in the run-up to Bonfire Night and traditionally this often sees an increase in anti-social behaviour around the use, or more accurately – the misuse, of fireworks. Again, this can leave people feeling vulnerable and isolated in their homes. If you are letting off fireworks, do this responsibly, in the confines of your own garden and not in the street or in an anti-social manner.
Parents – please, if your kids are out trick-or-treating, make sure that you know where they are, with whom and what they are doing. You also have a role to play and responsibility for, i) keeping your kids away from the dangers of fireworks and ii) making sure they are not committing crime or ASB with them. As I have said before on other matters – I will have no problem in holding parents to account for any anti-social or criminal behaviour committed by their children and that includes during this period. Halloween and Bonfire Night should be a fun time for everyone – so, please lets keep it that way. And if you do know of anyone who is particularly vulnerable or scared of the potential consequences of Halloween, Trick or Treat and/or Bonfire Night then please be community minded – reach out to them and offer your support.
Priority Crime Update
The past month has seen some fluctuations in our priority crime areas (please see below for more detail on how the priorities are set and how you will be updated in future on these). Whilst there has been an increase in crime across the board over the past 12 months, as reported this week in the national media, we are now beginning to see stabilisation and a return to more normal patterns in many crime areas. We have had a number of successes in the fight against criminals burgling peoples’ homes this past month. these include a male at Eastwood who was arrested whilst burgling a house within hours of having to be released from custody whilst being investigated for a commercial burglary. He is, fortunately, now on remand awaiting trial.
Also remanded are 2 males who conned their way into a disabled, elderly couple’s home in Eastwood and stole a large quantity of cash. This was a particularly despicable crime and one for which I hope they receive a lengthy custodial sentence. Some excellent work was done here by our colleagues in CID to get an early arrest on the 2 males.
Two local criminals who went on a county-wide burgling spree, including one at Chilwell were given significant jail sentences this month. Ashley SIMPSON was jailed for 7 years, with Timothy Wilson receiving a sentence of 5 years and 4 months for his part in the spree. Again, these convictions and sentences came about as the result of some excellent work by the County Burglary Team and their local CID colleagues and is worthy of special mention and thanks for a job well done.
We have also recently had some successes with arrests of some of our more prolific local shoplifters. This is currently a priority crime area for us on Broxtowe and my team is currently trying to re-invigorate the Shop Watch Scheme in our town centres. If you are a local shop owner / shopkeeper / manager, then we want to hear from you. There are a number of things we can do in partnership to try and reduce this type of offending and ensure that those responsible are a) brought to justice and b) have control measures applied to try and reduce their re-offending rates. The greater bulk of our shoplifting offences are committed by what I would describe as ‘professional, recidivist shoplifters’ – not kids nicking Mars bars – and its these offenders that we really need to be tackling. As with all crime types though, enforcement is rarely the only part of the solution, so I would welcome some more involved engagement with our shop businesses so we can try and tackle this problem together.
Finally, last week was national hate crime awareness week. Thank you to everyone who engaged with my team and I on this and helped us to get the important message out there that there is no place for hate in Broxtowe.
Modern Slavery Convictions
Very worthy of mention this month is the sentencing of a gang of modern day slave traffickers who had been running a brothel in Chilwell. The gang received a total of 37 years in jail, with the ringleaders receiving jail sentences of 13 and 8 years. A comprehensive piece of work by our colleagues in the East Midlands Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Team has meant that this cruel operation is now at an end. I know a lot of local people were concerned by this case and I just want to assure people that this is still a rare crime type. However, if you have any concerns that vulnerable people may be being trafficked, or are being kept as modern-day slaves, then please, please call 101 and report your concerns to us.
It will give me great pleasure to represent Nottinghamshire Police at the Civic Remembrance Service in Beeston on November 11th. Remembrance Sunday is always an important part of my calendar and I think it’s hugely important that we, as a society, continue to remember the sacrifices made by so many over the years in several different conflicts and theatres of operation, including many, many police officers. You may have seen a number of our Operational Support Vehicles driving around the county, each decorated with a single poppy on their bonnet to mark this year’s Remembrance period.
This year’s remembrance is especially poignant, as it marks 100 years since both the end of the 1st World War and the formation of the Royal Air Force. Once again, Remembrance Sunday falls on the 11th of November this year, giving the 2 minutes silence at 11:00am even more significance. There are a total of 5 Remembrance parades across Broxtowe (Beeston, Stapleford, Eastwood, Kimberley, Nuthall) on November the 11th and I will have members of my team at each of these events. Additionally, there are a number of parade-free Remembrance services across the borough. We would love to see as many you in attendance as possible as we honour the fallen.
Schools and Early Intervention Officer Appointment
We recently welcomed another new member to the team. Pc Dave Blundell is the new Schools and Early Intervention Officer (SEIO) for Broxtowe Borough. The SEIO role is a key one in identifying at an early stage, those young people who are at risk of being drawn into a criminal lifestyle and is extra pertinent at a time when many youngsters are being lured into gang culture and its associated risks, such as knife crime and drug dealing. Chief Constable Guildford has provided funding for each Borough in the county to have an SEIO. Dave will work closely with the neighbourhoods teams at Beeston and Eastwood, along with the schools and our other partners to ensure that we divert as many young people as we can away from destructive lifestyles.
I made a slight error in my communication in last month’s blog regarding the re-allocation of beat Managers and PCSOs to dedicated areas. Pc 3302 Jo Sakkal-Appleby will be the resident beat manager for Eastwood North, with Pc 2645 Rich Reynolds keeping the helm at Eastwood. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused by this error. All other allocations are as communicated and each neighbourhood page on the website is now reflective of this.
You will also notice a few changes to the Broxtowe neighbourhoods pages on the Nottinghamshire Police website. The priorities for each area have been updated to reflect the priorities set at a strategic level by the South Nottinghamshire Community Safety Partnership, which comprises the boroughs of Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe. These priorities are set in line with priorities identified by;
– Police Control Strategy Priorities
– Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) Community Priorities
– Youth Commission Priorities and
– The Nottingham CDP Respect Survey (2018)
The priorities will be refreshed every 12 weeks and I will be providing an update each month as to progress made and headline activities for each identified priority.
During the early part of 2019, the force website and the neighbourhoods pages will be changing to a nationally-agreed model, which should hopefully make it easier for communities to access information relevant to them. As I get more news on this, I will of course, keep you updated.
That’s all for this month. Stay safe during the Halloween and Bonfire festivities and enjoy the extra hour in bed – see you in November!