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Inspector Neil Bellamy's Blog: May 2020

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I hope this Blog finds you and your families well while hopefully not being too affected by the slowly releasing Lockdown, and perhaps looking forward to the continued easing in the not too distant future.

May has continued to present unique challenges as we deal with the issues generated by the Pandemic of Coronavirus and the Covid-19 results.

The Police Service continues to provide the underpinning normal service to the public at large as well as taking on rather different responsibilities created by the Governments enacting into Law the responses to the Pandemic.

We aim to continue to Engage, Explain, Encourage, and if required - Enforce.

With regard to Policing in general across the Bassetlaw area it has been a time of reduced demand in some respects, particularly relating to crime, and the offences recorded have been in the region of 40-50% lower, however, the incidences of Anti-Social Behaviour in the form of the general population ignoring or contravening the Government guidelines, and so the Law, have increased significantly. Additionally the ever present nuisance generated by off-roading in the rural areas has also been noticeable not only on Bassetlaw, but across the more rural areas of the entire force.

As I have made clear in the text above - locally we have taken the opportunity presented by those breaches to Engage, Encourage and Explain, and on rare occasions Enforce as there is understanding from our perspective that this is a highly unusual situation that has not been experienced before, and being unable to have simple human interactions has proved very difficult for some people to comprehend and comply with.

That is not to say that there have been the few that simply think the rules do not apply to them and that this pandemic is some sort of mammoth hoax and these offenders are generally the ones who have been dealt with by enforcement.

As we ease out of the restrictive nature of the last few months and return to whatever the new normal now is, I have seen an increase in the calls for the services of the Police, and we will continue to respond as well as we are able to those calls.

So some updates from Bassetlaw - The Worksop North Beat Team have been helping the Worksop Community Volunteer Service deliver food to vulnerable people.  The WCVS do a great job and it’s been a pleasure to assist them from to time to time helping those most in need.  Our PCSO’s have been able to pick up and fit in deliveries around their high-visibility patrols. 

PC Storor has made two further arrests for drug driving and during his patrols he has also come across a very threatening individual who is well known to us.  This male gave PC Storor a barrage of abuse and made several threats to harm him, this was all whist trying to conduct the drug drive road side procedure.  Fortunately this was all captured on Body Worn Video and whilst the driver passed the drugs test he has now been reported for Public order offences against the Officer.

The North and South Beat team came together last week in order to combat Anti-social behaviour and drug dealing on the Sandy Lane estate under ‘Operation Watermelon’.  Those that reside in the area will have noticed an increase in police activity with vehicles and individuals being stopped.  One arrest was made during the operation along with several Traffic Offence Reports for various offences.  We will continue to run this operation over the coming months to disrupt on-going issues in the area.

The South Team have throughout May been active in supporting the Government’s stance on ‘Social distancing’ using the 3Es of Engage, Explain, and Encouraging people to be sensible and respect the guidance given.

The Worksop South Team policed the Bank Holiday VE day event. Officers chatted with people across the town in high spirits holding street parties whilst maintaining social distancing. (not the easiest task) and interacted with those enjoying outdoor activities around parkland near Clumber and Welbeck estates ensuring people remained sensible during these testing times.

Despite the lockdown our team maintained our stance ensuring crime is punished.

On the 14th a man was arrested for breaching bail conditions and on the 15th a well-known local nominal was again arrested for breaching his Community Behaviour Order and has been remanded in prison.

Also on the 15th a local thief stole from Sainsbury’s on Newcastle road and whilst being chased by security was hit by a passing car. No lasting injury but he was later charged with six offences and placed before the courts – receiving a suspended sentence, hopefully deterring him from further criminality.

On the 16th May officers attended an address in Cheapside, Worksop and found a gathering of local drug users and seized a box of cannabis. Two men have been reported for possession offences and as a bonus , a man was found to be wanted and arrested for affray.

Beyond arrests we have continued to try to educate the community with Police Community Support Officers giving a talk to youngsters at the 3iii Priory Young Persons training centre and have arranged with Morrison’s to commence a local surgery starting on the 9th June.

Our battle to reduce drug offending also continued, assisting colleagues with patrols in the Sandy Lane, Godfrey’s pond area of Worksop and conducting ‘Drone Patrols’ looking for Cannabis Grows and unusual heat sources. So if you’re growing cannabis, expect a door knock very soon.

Rural patrols continued with a view to deter breaching of social gatherings and illegal use of off road motorcycles.

East Bassetlaw officers have had a busy month with some excellent results.

Some good Court news:Michael Scholey, 44, of Station Road in Stainforth, Doncaster, had been sentenced to 5 years for a dwelling burglary at Misterton last October whereby a number of items were taken. However, Mr Scholey left his blood at the scene which led to his arrest and subsequent charges.

Connor Woodcock, 28, of Beehive Street, Retford has pleaded guilty to GBH assault and given a 20 month custodial sentence.

Ben Hodge, 27, of Victoria Close in Gainsborough who was arrested in March by the Neighbourhood Policing team led to a custodial sentence of 3 years and 3 months.  Hodge had pleaded guilty to 17 charges and he was given a further ban from driving that will last 6 years.

Two females from the Retford area have both been recalled to prison due to them committing other offences whilst on licence and a further male from Retford was arrested for breaching his Crown Court bail conditions and subsequently remanded back to prison.

The Pryor sisters; Sarah, 33, and Danielle, 34, both of Lords Court in Retford, were arrested for assaulting Police Officers and breach of Covid-19 regulations.  Due to the nature of the offences both were given custodial sentences.

The Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been out conducting proactive patrols which have also provided some great results.

Neighbourhood officers located a Retford male wanted for multiple knife offences.  A great joint effort between Response and the Neighbourhood Teams.

We have also been very busy focusing on those who continue to flaunt the lockdown rules and have issued Covid-19 regulation fines to several individuals who have had to be reminded that going to friend’s houses to socialise is not acceptable.

Officers have recovered a stolen vehicle from Retford, with another vehicle recovered due to the driver being disqualified.

Many people are currently busy tending to their plants in their gardens during lockdown.  However, we discovered one male who had been happily tending to his plants in his loft.  This male was dealt with for growing cannabis in Ordsall, and he was so very disappointed to see all of his hard work put into bags and his expensive growing kit loaded into our Police van.

My officers are seeing an increase in the anti-social use of off road bikes and quad bikes, especially in the rural areas over the last couple of weeks.  Sgt Pearson, Pc Mitchell and Pc Martin have all been out in the rural areas with the Police quad to locate and deal with these individuals, responding to calls from the public.  The team issued Section 34 notices and also removed people who were not adhering to the current Covid-19 guidelines.

And finally, a male who had been evading Police for some time was arrested by officers at Harworth. On arrival at the address Officers found the male hiding in a fireplace, the male was wanted by Police for various offences including Assault, Harassment, Burglary, Criminal Damage and Fail to appear at court.  The Male has now been charged with multiple offences and was sentenced to 8 weeks imprisonment.  The male is also potentially facing other charges of Stalking, Threatening Behaviour and Criminal Damage where investigation and enquiries are continuing in relation to these whilst the male is on remand.  A great result.