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20 January 2010

A Police Community Support Officer from Greater Manchester Police (Salford) has helped reduce domestic burglary in his neighbourhood thanks to his dedication to crime prevention advice and keeping the area safe.

PCSO Mark Fitzgerald from Salford South Neighbourhood Policing Team has helped set up Homewatch schemes in irlam, delivered hundreds of letters containing tips on how to keep property safe to residents as well as talking to them on a personal level and included messages on the electronic public display board.

Thanks's to Mark's efforts and the resident's taking on board his advice, the number of domestic Burglaries between October 2009 and January 2010 has reduced compared to the same period the year before.

PCSO Fitzgerald recently picked up the PCSO of the year award at the Salford Division Excellence Awards.

Inspector Jill Gorse from Salford South Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "Mark is dedicated to the area he serves and has developed a strong working relationship with the local community. I believe Mark's work and residents' following advice and taking simple steps in securing their property has helped reduce the number of domestic burglaries.

"By ensuring all doors and windows are locked, setting a timer alongside a light to give the impression that someone is home should you go out and setting an alarm can all help keep your home safe from burglars. A third of burglaries are down to insecurities."

Thursday 4th February 2010

A burglar who stole cash from three churches in Worcestershire has been jailed for nine years.

Christopher Coulthard was sentenced after admitting burgling three churches, and stealing and going equipped to commit burglary from another.
Coulthard – described as a one-man crimewave – was brought to justice thanks to the quick thinking of two community support officers (CSOs) from Pershore who tracked him down to one of the town’s hotel.

Quick-thinking CSO Alex Fogwill
CSO Andrew Russell tracked burglar
CSOs Alex Fogwill and Andrew Russell were at Pershore police station when information was received that Coulthard, a known criminal, was in the area.

Using the shop-watch radio system they discovered he had checked into the Angel hotel and kept him there until police officers arrived to arrest him.

At Hereford Crown Court, on Friday, January 29, he admitted burgling St Bartholomew’s Church, Arley Kings, Stourport; St James’ Church, Birlingham, Pershore, and St Leonard’s Church, Bretforton, Evesham as well as stealing from St James’s Church, Badsey, and going equipped to commit burglary between June 11 and September 29 – the day he was arrested.

Coulthard, who is from Peterlee, County Durham, lived in bed-and-breakfast and hotel accommodation around the country while committing the church cash burglaries. When previously prosecuted for similar crimes, he had asked for 500 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

select for full story 12/02/2010 10:09

A Filton neighbourhood Police Community Support Officer has been recognised for her efforts in the community at a reception hosted by the Prime Minister.

Sheryl Drewitt met Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street in January.

She said: "I was proud and honoured to join people from around the country who had been nominated as community heroes by local MPs. Mr Brown made time for us all and said we do a 'marvellous' job."

PCSO Drewitt was named last year's South Gloucestershire's PCSO of the Year after being nominated by Filton residents.

She was nominated again this year by residents whose comments included:

"She will help anybody in the community "

"I can't thank Sheryl enough for her support … we all feel much safer in our homes"

"Sheryl was a great help and comfort to me when my garage was broken into and I was trying to cope with fear and worry"

select for full story Man fined £300 for second dog fouling conviction
January 26th, 2010

Stepping in dog mess is never pleasant for anyone, and thankfully most dog owners are responsible enough to clean up after their pets when taking them for walks.

Not so Jeffrey Griggs, from Hodge Lea in Buckinghamshire, who has been convicted of letting his dogs foul in an open place for the second time in three months.

His dogs were spotted defecating on a grassy area by a Police Community Support Officer (PSCO), who slapped a £50 fixed penalty on the repeat offender when he made no attempt to clean it up.

Griggs, 44, never paid the fine and was brought before Milton Keynes magistrates instead, where he admitted the offence and was fined £100. Magistrates also ordered him to pay £200 costs to the council.

But this was not the first time magistrates punished him for leaving dog mess behind – in November last year he was convicted in his absence under the Dogs (fouling of land) Act 1996 for a similar incident in April.

Milton Keynes Council took the opportunity to warn other would-be negligent dogwalkers that anyone found to not have cleaned up after their dog answers the call of nature would face similar punishment.

select for full story
Wednesday 27th January 2010

By Mark Tallentire

A CITY police team is embracing modern detective techniques by setting up its own Facebook page.
The Durham City neighbourhood policing team’s group on the popular social networking site will feature news stories, events, appeals for information, updates on neighbourhood issues and the results of police operations.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and community volunteers will contribute to the page, which it is hoped will also produce potentially key information on crime in city communities.

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Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Anderson said: "All members of our communities now use social networking sites. Therefore this is an ideal opportunity for the police to increase accessibility and engage with more people.

"The information provided will be local to the Durham City area. Hopefully everyone will find it interesting and provide some feedback on what’s happening in their neighbourhood.

"As a result of a request for volunteers, we now have someone who manages the site on behalf of our police teams, which saves officers having to sit at the computer inputting information, allowing them to be on patrol.

"I would invite anyone interested in Facebook to sign up as members to the Durham City neighbourhood police team - ask your family and friends to join and please let us know what you think."

The Facebook page currently features information on an under-18s disco, a video from raids carried out under Operation Nimrod and a news story about dog handler PC Dave Robinson, who was praised for his bravery and quick thinking after he stopped a man jumping from a bridge over the A1(M) at Carrville, near Durham.

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Details of community meetings and ways to contact the police are also included.

The group has already won 114 "Facebook fans".

Insp Anderson said he would be monitoring the success of the page with a view to using other social media, such as MySpace and Twitter.

To view the page, visit and search for Durham City Neighbourhood Police Team.

Police in Bishop Auckland and Spennymoor have already created their own pages on the website.

select for full story Star's stolen £40,000 Jaguar found
27 January 2010 at 10:50

Television host Andrew Castle's luxury car is back outside his home two weeks after it was stolen.

Police returned the £40,000 Jaguar XF after it was taken away from his street in Balham, south London.

Community support officer Graham Brown was on his beat in Norbiton, south-west London, when he saw it abandoned and undamaged.

He said he realised the vehicle was out of place immediately and found it had been stolen after further checks.

Mr Castle, 46, said he did expect to ever see his car again. It had been stolen early on January 6, and found in Waters Square, Norbiton, on January 21.

"I was a bit shocked by the phone call from police as I never expected the car would be found," the former British number one tennis player said.

"I was quickly told that it had been found and it had not been damaged at all. My day just got brighter."

Police are trying to find the thief and Sergeant Andrew Rice, who heads the Norbiton Safer Neighbourhood team, said they had several clues about the identity.

It is believed the thief may have towed the car away or used a low-loader as its keys were not taken.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

select for full story Children given alcohol lesson
29 January 2010

POLICE community support officers visited pupils at Eastwood Junior School to talk about drugs and alcohol.

PCSOs Derek Kershaw and Chris Cupit spoke to the children about different drugs and different types of alcohol and the effects they have on behaviour.

The officers contacted the school and asked if they could hold the classes, for years four, five and six, as part of their forging links with the community programme.

Teacher Nicola Davis said: "I think they really wanted to get the message across about how drugs and alcohol change the way you behave.

"It was very helpful. I think the children were surprised by some of the effects but I think they learned some interesting facts."

A lout whose gang threatened to strip a police worker and set fire to her has been banned for five years from the Lancashire area he terrorised.
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27 January 2010
By Stef Hall, Crime Reporter

The young Police Community Support Officer was cornered by a group of hooded teens while patrolling the Broadgate area of Preston on the lookout for firework nuisance.

Lyndon Paul Baird, (pictured right>) 18, of Christchurch Street, Preston, said he would burn her after another gang member had threatened to strip her naked.

Baird was fined £50 with £15 costs and a £15 victims' surcharge after pleading guilty to a public order offence at Preston Magistrates' Court. The magistrates bench then slapped a Criminal Anti-social Behaviour Order on Baird, who is a known member of a group of young criminals who call themselves the Broadgate Riot Squad.

select for full story January 14, 2010
Long service award for Burnham police officer after 22 years
A Burnham-On-Sea police officer has been presented with a long service award this week after 22 years on the beat.

Inspector Roger Tolley presented PCSO Andy Dancy with his Police Long Service Ribband.

Andy has been a dedicated servant to the public in Sedgemoor for the past 22 years and will be personally presented with his long service medal by the Chief Constable later this year.

Andy served as a traffic warden in Bridgwater for many years before being promoted to senior traffic warden there.

"For the last five years Andy has been a committed Police Community Support Officer on the Burnham South beat where he has made a really positive contribution to reducing crime and tackling offenders," Inspector Tolley told

"His keen observation and quickness of thought have led directly to the arrest of at least 12 rogue traders in the Burnham area during the past 18 months."

"This is exceptional performance and Andy was rightly given a Chief Superintendent's Commendation for his continuous good work in helping to keep the residents of Burnham-On-Sea safe."

"Andy is well thought of by his community and has worked closely with the Rosewood Action Team to successfully tackle anti-social behaviour in that area."

Sergeant Ian Kennett added: "It has been a pleasure to have Andy working on my team. His willingness to do anything to help and his dedication to making Burnham and Highbridge safer make him an outstanding public servant and I would like to publicly thank him for his hard work. I am sure that those in the community

select for full story Jan 14 2010 by Christina Savvas, Birmingham Mail
BIRMINGHAM Airport is to remove frontline PCSOs and replace them with council traffic wardens.

PCSOs, which have powers to cordon off and stop and search authorised areas under the Terrorism Act 2000, will no longer patrol the area around the passenger terminals.

Twelve PCSOs will be replaced with civil enforcement officers – also known as traffic wardens.

The removal of police presence has raised questions over security in relation to terrorism and public order – a riot broke out at the airport two years ago leaving passengers and staff frightened. Air security is also a hot topic after failed bomb attacks on planes, including one on Christmas Day in America.

Khalid Mahmood, MP for Perry Barr, said any cutback of front-line officers poses a risk to security.

He said: “I am very disappointed by Birmingham Airport’s decision. Although they don’t have a full range of police powers, PCSOs do have powers in relation to the Terrorism Act that traffic wardens don’t. They offer a police presence and are able to provide back-up to police in the event of terrorist or public order incidents. They are able to operate inside as well as outside the airport terminal where traffic wardens can’t. PCSOs will be more vigilant and able to assist police officers.

select for full story Monday 11th January 2010
POLICE community support officers who cover Halesowen have eight new bicycles – all paid for by part of more than £21k taken from local criminals during 2009.

The bikes – which will enable PCSOs in Halesowen, Kingswinford, Lye and Stourbridge to be more responsive to the needs of their communities – were bought by West Midlands Police.

The force paid for the bikes with money from court prosecutions and asset seizures.

More than £21,000 was fed back into the communities of Halesowen, Kingswinford, Lye and Stourbridge in 2009.

PCSO Nick Woods (front) and PCSO Robert Wragg

Other local initiatives funded by cash received through the Proceeds of Crime Act include Christmas hampers for the elderly and vulnerable, support packs for victims of burglary, a community awareness project at Himley Hall, entertainment for residents of two Stourbridge homes for the elderly and new sports equipment for a Halesowen church youth club.

Activities to engage young people have also included a youth disco and BMX competition in Kingswinford, football training in Halesowen, skateboarding and climbing.

DC Nigel Williams is the financial investigator who monitors and drives POCA seizures in the area.

He said: “We rely on the public to keep us informed about what’s going on in the area so it is only right they should get something back.

"A lot of this money has been seized as a result of drugs prosecutions and we want people to know that crime really doesn’t pay.”

PCSOs Nick Woods and Robert Wragg took delivery of bikes which will be used to patrol Quarry Bank and Cradley.

select for full story 10th January 2010
By Marc Meneaud
A police chief has praised a quick-thinking Police Community Support Officer who helped to save a man after he suffered a potentially life-threatening diabetic attack.

Rachel Doyle, who has worked as a PCSO for two years, braved thick snow in Bingley to help revive the man whom she had found collapsed on the pavement.

She was with colleagues PCSO Dan Cole and PC Mark Somerville when four Bingley residents alerted her to a man who had collapsed in Myrtle Court.

Realising his condition was deteriorating rapidly, the PCSO rushed to two chemists in Bingley town centre for life-saving treatment.

If he had not been treated at the scene so quickly he could have become seriously ill, particularly because of the sub zero temperatures in Bingley, a police spokesman said.

Chief Inspector Steve Thomas, of Airedale and North Bradford Police, today praised PCSO Doyle’s “tenacity and dedication” in her actions.

He said: “The tenacious actions of PCSO Doyle and her colleagues do real credit to them.

“Our primary role as a police service is to preserve life and their dedication in trying to aid this man is a real example of the kinds of lengths which officers will go to and of the value of our PCSOs to serve their communities.”

The man, who has not been named, collapsed at noon on Thursday. PCSO Doyle answered the man’s mobile phone when his wife rang and confirmed he was diabetic.

Leaving the man in the care of her colleagues, PCSO Doyle ran to the two chemists for a glucose injection for the victim.

He was treated at the scene by paramedics until he recovered.

PCSO Doyle said: “My first thought was that he was drunk but then we saw blood coming from his mouth.

select for full story 4th January 2010
By Alicia Kelly
SECURITY advice is being handed out to people across south Worcestershire in a bid to foil potential burglars.

Community support officers have been trained to give guidance on how to best protect property with state-of-the-art locks and latches, lighting and fencing and even the type of hedges that could help keep prowlers out.
The move marks an extension of the CSOs’ role and has been launched to coincide with a burglary awareness week – Operation Protect 3, which started yesterday.

The CSOs were given first-hand instruction from South Worcestershire division's crime risk manager Mike Stephenson. He said: “The CSOs’ busy role has now been further enhanced to cover all elements of residential security – and they are taking on their extended capability with great enthusiasm.

“As well as offering reassurance during follow-up visits, CSOs now provide the latest advice and guidance on what type of locks to buy as well as offering accurate guidance on CCTV and other security issues.” He told householders that most burglaries were carried out by opportunistic thieves so people should always ensure that their homes were safe and secure by leaving lights on, using timer switches and keeping doors and windows locked.

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