To receive the annual update from Hertfordshire Constabulary on their work in the Baldock & District area.
Sergeant Lisa Perks, from Herts Police Safer Neighbourhood Team, gave a verbal update to Members on the work being done in the Baldock and district area.
Audio recording – 2 minutes 33 seconds
Sergeant Lisa Perks, from Herts Police Safer Neighbourhood Team, gave a verbal update to Members on the work being done in the Baldock and district area, including:
· Overall crime had reduced from 487 reported crimes last year to 467 this year.
· Reports of both residential and business burglary were down this year from last year, from 9 to 5 and 15 to 10 respectively. This is attributed to an increase in patrols in the area to make the area more hostile for criminals and crime.
· Theft from a motor vehicle had reduced from 30 to 16 and ongoing operations were in place to educate people around the importance of locking their vehicle.
· Violence against the person reports had reduced from 237 last year to 217 this year, shop lifting was down from 25 to 10 and personal robberies had remain static at 1 report.
· Due to the increase reports of graffiti in the town, the number of reports of criminal damage had risen from 38 last year to 90 this year.
· The three priorities identified for the Baldock and Letchworth areas were vehicle crime, anti-social behaviour and speeding. These were reviewed every 6 months.
· The Team were aware of an increase in reports of graffiti affecting Baldock and the local officer in Baldock, Jane Keating, had been working on dealing with this.
· There had been communication with schools from the PCSOs to try and identify the ‘tag’ involved. It was reported that one local school had a tagging demonstration in class and this may have encouraged people to do it for real. The police would investigate and work with the school if this was the case.
· The British Transport Police have a database of tags, but the ones identified in Baldock were not on their records.
· There had been communications made on social media and via OWL to try and encourage anyone in the community with information to come forward.
· There would be an increase of patrols in affected areas and a patrol plan was in place for the next 6 weeks, but without knowing a specific time of day, it can be difficult to target effectively.
· At this stage, no request for CCTV has been made, as it was unknown the exact time that the offence happened and it was not possible to go through all footage.
The following Members asked questions:
· Councillor Jim McNally
· Councillor Michael Weeks
· Councillor Michael Muir
In response to questions Sgt Perks advised:
· It was important to remain realistic when it came to dealing with graffiti and vandalism. It would be the Safer Neighbourhood Team who deal with this, not the 999 response team, but it would be possible to make night patrols aware so they can keep an eye out in the town when passing through.
· If people see this happening, they should call 999 or 101 to ensure the police can respond. It is difficult to respond if the report comes through the next day or later and it is easier to deal with this at the time, than try to retrospectively.
· If people find evidence relating to vandalism, they should alert the police immediately via 101 and the police will make appropriate enquiries and act on information collected.
· It would be worthwhile asking local shopkeepers who sell aerosols if they can identify any possible individuals involved, but this may not prove fruitful as the aerosol sprays are widely available online too.
· If members of the public feel worried reporting to the police, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously but any information given would be treated the same as if reported through a call to 999/101.
· If Councillors were given information by the public, who may have identified individuals involved, they could pass this onto the police on behalf of the member of the public. The police would then look to investigate the circumstances before approaching the accused.
· If a 20MPH limit was introduced the Safer Neighbourhood Team would support and enforce this, as long as incidents were reported to the Team or if specific areas were identified, then officers can be put in relevant locations.
· Intelligence collected regarding drug dealing would be passed onto officers, who can add locations or vehicles related to this activity to be tracked. The public should call Crimestoppers or 101 with any information, or 999 if it is happening at that time.