2008 - 2009 news
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27 April 2009
By Joanne Mead
WEST Yorkshire's Chief Constable has said a call for Calderdale PCSOs to be put behind desks as part of a pilot would be "the last thing in the world" he would do.
Sir Norman Bettison was responding to a request from Calderdale's Conservative candidate Philip Allott about police reforms if they were elected.
In a letter to Sir Norman he said: "This includes reducing paperwork and changing the role of PCSOs to put them in a more administrative role to increase the number of hours (currently around just one hour per shift) that each officer spends on patrol duties.
"I am writing to ask whether you would be willing to let Calderdale police implement this policy as a testing ground?
"Halifax suffers a higher than expected level of crime and putting more officers on the streets would help to reassure a nervous public and help reduce what feels like a crime epidemic."
Mr Allott said PCSOs had limited powers and it would be better to have more police officers on the streets for longer.
But Sir Norman said PCSOs played an essential role in providing a visible, accessible street presence while regular officers investigated, arrested and produced court files.
He said: "PCSOs sometimes get a raw deal in the press because they do not have all the powers of a police officer. But that is the whole point, they do not exercise the powers that take them away from the streets in the way that police officers do.
"We have pledged that 80 per cent of the time these officers will be on foot patrol in your neighbourhood.
"With the positive feedback about this uniformed presence, the last thing in the world that I intend to do is take those men and women in uniform off the streets and put them behind a desk."
And Sir Norman rubbished Mr Allot's claim that police officers spend only an hour a day on patrol, saying they "spent significantly more hours than that".
Calderdale Superintendent Stan Bates said any claim that crime had increased was wrong.
Figures show there were 130 fewer victims of crime in Halifax town centre between April 2008 and January this year compared with the same period last time.
Supt Bates said PCSOs have powers to deal with minor offences, support front-line officers, conduct house-to-house inquiries, guard crime scenes and provide advice and reassurance to communities.
He said: "Taking them off the streets would undermine public confidence. What the public want to see is more officers in uniform out on patrol."
The day the Sheriff Came To Town
Monday 12 January 2009
The High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Roger Bowers paid a visit to the Dewsbury Neighbourhood Policing Team on Friday (9/01) to see how they provide a quality service to the public.
He joined PCSO John Benson in a tour of the Town, speaking to local people about issues which affect them the most whilst discovering how the NPT are focusing their efforts on issues such anti social behaviour.
As part of his walk around the area, the High Sheriff visited the new Police shop on the Princess of Wales Precinct and also parts of Dewsbury Moor.
Inspector Dave Barnett of the Dewsbury Neighbourhood Policing Team said:
“We were very pleased and honoured to welcome the High Sheriff to see how the Neighbourhood Policing Team works.
“The essence of neighbourhood policing is connecting with people in their communities whilst working closely alongside our partners. It is central to our role that we are able to meet representatives such as the High Sheriff to tackle issues which affect people's quality of life.
"I think the visit by the High Sheriff was successful and that he learnt more about the positive work being undertaken here."
The High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Roger Bowers said:
"I have been doing the rounds of West Yorkshire, just getting to know the area and working alongside the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams. I am very interested in Neighbourhood Policing and share the Chief Constable's vision which is why I am providing my support.
"Alongside the Chief Constable, we run a charity called 'Quest'. The Quest initiative is for youth projects in the community and is intended to build links between young people and Neighbourhood Policing Teams in their areas.
"It runs throughout West Yorkshire for young people aged between five and 25 and those taking part can apply for grants of up to £100 available to help with some of the schemes.
ASBO drug addict swore at police
2:39pm Sunday 11th January 2009
By Jack Royston
A DRUG addict who swore at police has been given an eight month prison sentence.
Frazer Stent insulted a PCSO and swore at her and another officer after she tried to stop him in High Street, Wealdstone, on October 31.
The 22-year-old's behaviour breached the terms of an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) stopping him from causing “harassment and alarm” to other people.
He was also given an additional six months for a fraud committed just over two weeks earlier, when he was found with a stolen freedom pass, which had the owner's name crossed out and his own name written on top.
The pass was stolen from the pensioner on a bus and his Natwest debit card was then used to take out £250 at a cash point in Waitrose.
Harrow Crown Court heard on Friday how Stent, who was known to police from a plethora of past convictions for crimes like burglary and theft, started taking drugs aged just 14.
Despite having been through drug rehabilitation programmes, he still had a £10 a day habit for both crack and Heroin, although he is said to have made efforts to deal with the problem since.
Judge Graham Arran said: “It seems to me that you are out of control when you are outside and what seems to have happened when you are out of custody is that you have taken your drug problem to heart.”
Mary Lawrenson, counsel for the defence, said: “While he's been in prison he's had a very difficult time. He's been on suicide watch, he's been self harming and his family have been very concerned about that.
“He's very sorry for what happened, not only for the harassment of the community police officer but also for the distress that must have been caused to the old gentlemen about the wallet.”
North Essex: town PCSO wins top award
7:00am Friday 26th September 2008
By Emily Parsons
TWO north Essex police officers have been named top in the county.
Essex Police officers and staff were recognised for their commitment, dedication, enthusiasm and leadership within the force at a special awards ceremony PC Rob Diss took the accolade of Community Police Officer of the Year 2008, awarded in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to the quality of life of residents in Frinton and Walton.
The officer liaised with other agencies in a bid to tackle local issues and establish better lines of communication between the police and the public.
CREATION The strategy was a huge success, leading to a reduction in antisocial behaviour.
PC Diss’ commitment and dedication to the towns and communities has also led to strong relationships with schools, shopkeepers and residents, strengthening his work.
The title of Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) of the Year went to Colchester-based Jacqueline Tyrrell.
PCSO Tyrrell has been involved in the creation of numerous community initiatives across Colchester, including encouraging youngsters in the region to design “theft-proof” bags, warning shoppers about con-artists and taking part in a crackdown on graffiti.
The ceremony heard how her “outstanding interpersonal skills and enthusiasm for the role” have helped solve other neighbourhood issues such as thefts and antisocial behaviour.
PCSO Jamie is simply the best
view the thread
A TORBAY police community support officer is heading for the Best in Britain competition after scooping the Best PCSO in the West trophy from Chief Constable Stephen Otter.
Former Westlands School pupil Jamie Cree from Torquay, 27, has now qualified for a shot at the national police title in London in November. The Brixham-based officer took the prestigious Devon and Cornwall Force title at a big presentation day at St Mellion Golf Club in Cornwall. Mr Otter and Cornwall's High Sheriff, Sir Ferrers Vyvyan said Jamie's citation marked his valuable ambassador role in the port and his close engagement with youth groups.
Former RAF policeman Jamie, a qualified fitness instructor who worked for TLH Leisure at the Aztec Centre in Torquay, won the Devon title six weeks ago.
Sgt Dave Casley of Brixham, who nominated him, said: “We're very proud of him. To get best in Devon was fantastic and to get the best in the whole force area is really terrific. We can only wish him luck in London.
“He's done amazingly well especially with young people in the town by initiating sporting projects for every age group from six to 18.
“Jamie has built up a good rapport with the community and has certainly helped to dramatically reduce anti-social behaviour.
“The award is a compliment to the whole neighbourhood policing team in Brixham.” Paying tribute to the training and support of his colleagues, Jamie said today he was delighted by the regional award but saw it as a team effort. “The credit belongs to them all,” he said.
“I don't think I'll have much chance in the nationals. The other regional winners will be from high crime areas and inner city neighbourhoods and will be seeing more action on the streets than me.
“However, Brixham is a great place — good community spirit and lots of support from organisations and clubs. I really missed Torbay when I was stationed away in the RAF,” he said. Not one to rest on his laurels, he's already planning a new Brixham boxing club with fellow PCSO Olly Hall-Green. “There's a lot of interest from young people and we're hoping to get it off the ground soon,” he explained.
The citation at the Cornish ceremony read: “This award was established in 2007 as a national event, as a mechanism to highlight the important and evolving contribution that police community support officers are making to neighbourhood policing, as they provide reassurance to communities.
“PCSO Jamie Cree has established himself not only as an excellent officer, but also as an ambassador for the Devon policing area in the best spirit of neighbourhood policing.
Clare narrowly missed out on a nomination last year but has maintained her enthusiasm and commitment to serving her neighbourhood making her a worthy nomination this year, the force said.
Bishop's Stortford inspector Andy Piper said: "Clare is one of the most motivated, committed and high performing PCSOs in East Herts, providing reassurance and high visibility support to her neighbourhood residents."
Clare took on a lead role in reducing neighbourhood tensions following the triple killings in Plaw Hatch Close, in Bishop's Stortford, last August, and has led intelligence gathering and put together evidence to secure an alcohol ban in one of her neighbourhoods for anti-social behaviour and underage drinking.
May 22 2008 By Catherine Lillington
Jingles feature the theme tunes of 70s cop shows The Sweeney and Z Cars.
And the playlist includes Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law and I Fought the Law by The Clash.
The cyber jocks said they have had a good reaction from listeners after the first show went out on community podcast radio.
"I took to it quite naturally," said 46-year-old Rob, from Stourbridge.
"It’s probably because I’d done public speaking in the past after spending four years as a councillor in Hampshire. But I’d never even considered becoming a DJ before.
"We play a lot of music and one of my favourites is Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law."
Karen, aged 47, from Stirchley, said if she could invite anyone on to the show it would be literary great Oscar Wilde.
She added: "The reaction from people has been really good. It’s surprising how many people have listened to it. People don’t expect police to do something like this."
Rob became a PCSO after serving as a police officer so he could spend more time on the beat.
He said: "I enjoy my job very much. People absolutely love to see us on the street. They stop and talk to us and have so much respect for us.
"Any way we can communicate with the public, whether it’s on the radio or walking down the street, is to be welcomed."
As well as playing music, the pair also give out advice on crime prevention and information about community groups and upcoming events.
* To listen in on the broadcasts go online to http://www.communitypodcastradio.co.uk THREAD
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2008 - 2009 news