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Inspector Nick Butler's blog: November 2017

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Night time economy

October and the start of  November is always a very busy time for us.  The Halloween weekend is actually one of the busiest times for our night time economy in Mansfield Town Centre.  The number of people that visit the venues often exceeds that of any other night of the year.  I thought it would be worth explaining that each weekend we have a Sergeant and a number of Police Constables and Special Constables that support the night time economy and keep everyone safe. 

99% of people who come into the town of an evening are out to have a good time and are respectful of each other. 

There are a small percentage who don’t want to behave themselves and this is what the team are trained to deal with and where possible provide advice and intervention at a very early stage to prevent things getting out of hand. We use a number of tools and powers to achieve this. One aspect of the law allows us to direct a person to leave the town centre and not return for a specified period if we believe they are causing or are going to cause anti social behaviour or disorder. This power is very carefully used and is only a last resort. 

However, we do use it each weekend and you would be surprised how many people ignore our written instruction and simply carry on with their behaviour and return. 

Once they return, we arrest them and they usually receive a fine but they can in fact be imprisoned. 

We also work closely with all the venues and security officers and speak with them regularly during the evening as part of our patrols.  It’s really important that we intervene when somebody has had enough to drink and the venues actually use drink drive breathalysers to help people understand when they need to stop and switch to soft drinks.

A watchful eye

Throughout the night the high quality CCTV system also acts as our eyes within the town and lets us know if anyone needs our advice or assistance.  I am sure you have all watched the Police television series and what we have to deal with. It can be very challenging but the officers are highly trained and I am very proud of the work they do. Most people realise we are only trying to keep them safe and will take our advice. 

Long days, longer nights

The team that looks after the town usually come on duty during the early evening and it is very rare they will go off duty before 6am.  Please spare a thought for them if you see them on patrol as nightshifts are tiring at the best of times and there are only so many times you can laugh along when somebody asks you , “Does your head go to the top of your helmet!”. I recently worked a night shift in the town centre and I was really surprised how many people wanted to take a ‘selfie’ with me in my helmet!

Vehicle crime

I spoke last time about the increase in vehicle crime we had experienced and the operation we had put in place to catch the thieves.  I’m pleased to say we did catch a number of them and the crimes almost completely stopped. I’m not so pleased to say that this week those offences have started again in the Berry Hill area in particular. The offences have been happening between midnight and 6am and they have been trying car door handles as they walk along the street. 

I’ve read a number of reports of cars being searched and nothing actually taken.  Please remember to do that final check before you go to bed and make sure you have removed anything that could be stolen.  Also remember that if a thief gets a couple of pounds in loose change they feel they have hit the jackpot as it is hard cash and doesn’t need converting.  Also think about mobile phones, laptops and handbags which are the other most common things that get stolen. 

The most important and worrying fact is at least 1in 10 cars are not locked at night and this makes it incredibly easy for the thief and they can remain undetected and steal from lots of vehicles in one night.  Lock up your vehicle, remove valuable items and ring us if you seeanyone prowling in the early hours and we can check them out.

Facebook Live

I’m going to do another Facebook Live event in two weeks time so could you drop me an email with any questions you would like me to answer or anything you wish me to explain. Please email on nick.butler@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk and I will do my best to include them.

Remembrance Parade and Service

The Remembrance Parade and Service is one of the highlights of my Policing calendar. The turn out in Mansfield and the surrounding areas was incredible.  It was fabulous to see so many people and all the young people that also came along from schools, organisations and with families to show their appreciation and respect. 

I joined the Police Service 27 years ago and we spent many hours learning how to march and having our uniforms inspected.  The uniforms on Sunday were something to be very proud of.  We laid our wreaths at the Civic Centre War Memorial, marched to St Peter and St Paul's Church for a very well attended service and then marched back, taking the salute from our Mayor, Kate Allsop and Member of Parliament, Ben Bradley outside the town hall which was adorned with 8400 poppies knitted and crocheted by residents. 

During the month I also visited the Mansfield Palace Theatre and Museum and met with the people that work there.  I visited during the day to discuss local issues and how we could support them. Both the theatre and the museum are truly wonderful places capturing local history and providing wonderful entertainment. We are very fortunate to have such amazing facilities but we should also be even more grateful for the people that work there.  They are inspiring and both the theatre and the museum deserve our appreciation.  I must admit to being a huge fan of the theatre and I will be ensuring we go to the pantomime (Jack & the Beanstalk) this year – at least once! 

Christmas is coming

The festive period is soon upon us and it’s a time of year I particularly look forward to.  I need to be serious for a moment though and just ask you to think about a few simple safety steps when you are planning a night out.

  • Charge your mobile and remember to take it with you. If you plan to use it to arrange transport, make sure that you have enough power left at the end of the night.
  • Think about how you’ll get home, ensure you have money to get home if you need to get a taxi, bus or train. Always book taxis from a reputable company or arrange for a family member or friend to pick you up.
  • Stay safe on your journey home - never take isolated short cuts. Keep to busy areas and on public transport, sit where there are lots of other people.
  • If drinking alcohol, be sensible about how much you consume and don't accept drinks from strangers or people you have just met.
  • Don’t leave drinks unattended; be sensible and pace yourself. A drunk person is a far easier target for a criminal. I know peer pressure can be strong but try and drink a soft drink between every alcoholic drink.
  • Don’t use drugs or New Psychoactive Substances, sometimes misleadingly called ‘legal highs’. Legal doesn’t mean safe – they can contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Why risk your life?
  • Stick with friends – don’t leave nights out on your own or with strangers. Take care of each other and make sure you all get home safely. Drivers should be mindful that partygoers, particularly those under the influence of alcohol can step out / stagger onto the road without warning. Slow down when in crowded areas.

Once again, thank you for your support and if you have any information or suggestions please drop me an email or if its about crime or drug dealing you could call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  They also have an online reporting section too.

Mansfield Police on social media

Also make sure you follow Mansfield Police on Facebook and @MansfieldCops on Twitter for regular updates and safety information.