It has been without doubt the strangest time for everyone in 2020 to 2021, including Policing.
We have seen many people ill with Covid symptoms, and thankfully recover, and sadly those who have passed from this dreadful disease. We have survived lockdowns, and tiers and are now free to begin to start returning to some sort of normality.
As far as Safer Neighbourhood Policing goes it has had its peaks and troughs of work flow last year and this, with a different type of work to actually police that being Covid concerns and enforcement. Many times it has been a case of explaining the Government Guidelines, sometimes sterner words of advice have been issued to those who have breached guidelines, and last case resort to issue fines.
We have worked with our community partners to provide reassurance and signpost people to services such as food banks, or food deliveries; dropping in on those who are isolated, and need more robust support.
As a result of the first lockdown, many of our highways were virtually empty, and Parishes eerily quiet. The criminal fraternity were scarce, never venturing out it seemed. When life resumed we did see a take up of crime, with criminal damage, and thefts. Also criminal types who tried to scam the elderly into paying for Covid tests.
Due to the lockdown and time spent at home many people have bought puppies/ dogs /cats / kittens into their homes. The cost of purchasing dogs has rocketed. As a result of the uptake, the criminal fraternity, never one to miss an opportunity, have taken to stealing dogs. This may be from gardens, outside shops, or actually snatching the dog leads from the owner. This is a very distressing type of Crime. People have reported wire wrapped around bars or iron work on their gates, or marks left to identify their address. We all need to be vigilant, and remove these items. Let your community know what is going on and tell the Police, otherwise we are unaware.
Crime in general has been low in our area, but we have seen a surge in catalytic convertor thefts recently. This is due to the Palladium metals inside the convertor. There is information on West Mercia Police Website on best practice on how to keep your vehicles safer from this type of theft.
There are also many more items of interest on the site in connection with security, internet safety, and lots more.
Astley and Dunley have received the following reports over the last 12 months. Racing drivers in Dunley, approx. 4 boy racers on a circuit. Speeding on the main road through Dunley, 2 calls re dangerous drivers, and a stables was broken into and an attempted break in at a business premise. Also reports of Quad bikes racing around The Snipes and onto the highway, and suspicious and concerning behaviour of an enterprise van and males within and The Quarry.
To look at the items raised above I will elaborate on what I know is or has happened;
Boy Racers. We have a motorbike team who are able to drive along these roads, and have been asked to allocate to their patrol routes, with a view to catching these individuals.
Speeding. Parish Council, Worcestershire CC, Safer Road Partnership, and other partner agencies are all involved in the dialogue re speed. As I write I do not have the definitive answer, but will make further enquiries. The Motor Bike team have been in the area conducting speed enforcement as well
Quads. Patrols of the area by The Snipes area are conducted. We attended the location earlier this year and moved on a dad and two sons, who were practicing their skills on the common land. They were actually riding proper scrambler bikes. They left with suitable words of advice.
Last year in November we were called to some mini motos. We managed to apprehend one bike and lad in a lane in Astley. The bike was seized and the individual dealt with by Police.
Odd Behaviour– we were informed of an enterprise van and males acting in a suspicious manner. One enquiry is still outstanding on one point, but due to the information given by the members of Astley and Dunley Parish, we had already identified one of the males!
Because calls were made to Police, we had the grounds to stop the van, which occurred in another Parish. A great result! However without the details and registration, Police would not a) have known about the van or the males and B) most certainly would not have been able to just ‘stop’ them – brilliant work!!
So we now know who was in the van. It is always good to know who is out and about. I would strongly suspect that they were poaching, but some of their methodology left a lot to be desired. Also due to the stop check conducted we are now able to share information with another local Policing Team, from where these individuals are based, so all in all a great job. Very unsettling at the time for all concerned though I have to say; but team work is definitely the way forward, so thanks again.
Quarry. There was also the unfortunate death at Shavers End Quarry last year.
Police, Local Authorities, Worcestershire County Councils and both Dunley & Astley and Abberley Parish Councils have all met to see what can be done, to try and find a way forward for the parking issues, rubbish etc. Highways have placed double yellow lines on one side of the lane at this point in time, and we await the other side of the lane to follow. We are noting every vehicle parked there, and each registered keeper will receive a letter from Police (this is something we have always done). Malvern Hills DC will send their enforcement team to impose fines for those parked on double yellows, and police will patrol to move on with verbal negotiation those who persist in staying at the location. Twitter, face book and local newspapers have been utilised by Police to send corporate messages to those young people who frequent the Quarry, most of which are from Birmingham or The Black Country. They point out the dangers of Quarry swimming and the two unfortunate deaths which have occurred there, and the fact that it is in fact private land. Police are working with the land owner to erect some more robust signage at the entrance to the site.
Lastly the team here is PC Jack Sykes & PCSO Ness Snape. We cover approx. 200 plus square miles, and more than 27 Parish’s. With that in mind if you need to contact us, many calls can now be made by online reporting on the West Mercia Website. If you want to contact us directly, you can call, text, email, the details are below.
If you do need an officer to attend however you do need to call 101.
Ness Snape 07814040307