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Inspector Neil Bellamy's Blog: December 2020 and January 2021

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You will once again see that I have combined a couple of months of activity into one.Primarily because I have been on leave, but also because the activity has reduced from a proactive perspective due to the continuing Health Emergency.

Bassetlaw continues to present the Neighbourhood Team with challenges, and the Team itself continues to evolve with staff joining and leaving as the organisation goes through a process of consolidation with regard to all the relevant departments being staffed up as new starters bolster the Response and Neighbourhood Policing roles and those desirous of career development move into their chosen areas of progression.

As I had alluded to on a previous Stakeholder Update – Operation Reacher is now live in Bassetlaw, and I am going to incorporate updates from the Sergeant on that Team within this document where I can fit it, but for now – I will fit it here.

Operation Reacher – Sergeant Tom Morgan

I started as the Sgt on the Op Reacher team in October. Our role is to work proactively within the Bassetlaw area, albeit some of our work will be in the wider force area too. We hope to actively engage with our communities as we do so, and to that end, we would encourage people to follow us on our Facebook page.

We tried to hit the ground running by executing three Misuse of Drugs act warrants in Worksop in our first week, resulting in the recovery of several thousand pounds in cash.Over the past few months it has been reported to the Police that there are certain areas where groups have been congregating and causing nuisance and ASB. To that end we have been spending time on Gladstone Street and Pepper’s Walk. This has resulted in arrests for FTA warrants, possession of controlled drugs and public order offences. One of these, Steven COUPLAND, has been charged and remanded. In addition, we worked together with the Worksop NPT earlier this week and executed a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant at a premises on Gladstone Street which appears to have been the hub of some of this activity.

We have also spent time across on East Bassetlaw, executing a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant on Rose Bowl Gardens in response to reports of drug dealing there. We have also spent several days assisting CID with enquiries into a very serious assault which occurred on Tunnel Road. Thanks to some excellent work by Response officers, the suspect was apprehended on the night. The victim remains in a very serious condition.Prior to the latest lockdown conditions, we also have a responsibility to police the Night Time Economy in Mansfield. On our last shift there prior to lockdown a burglary was reported at a town centre mobile phone shop. Later that evening the Reacher team stopped and searched a man acting suspiciously some distance away from the attacked premises, but he was found to be in possession of the owner’s manual of a Fit Bit stolen in that burglary. The individual was charged and remanded with shop burglary.

Finally, the local hospital got in touch with us saying that due to Covid 19, several of the patients at Bassetlaw hospital weren’t getting toiletries delivered from families as hospital visits were restricted. We put an appeal out via social media and had a brilliant response from the public in donating products, which we then delivered to the hospital.  

The North Team

Our Officers have been busy with several arrests for driving offences, including two for drug driving, one for disqualified driving and one for drink driving.  All have been processed by our own team and are awaiting Court appearances.  In addition we have also seized several vehicles for document offences of no driving license and no insurance.

PC Smallman recently located a vehicle used in cross border crime where parts had been stolen from vehicles in Lincolnshire.  One male was arrested and searches were conducted at his address where further parts were discovered. Lincolnshire Officers assisted by conducting interviews and the male remains under investigation at this time.

A joint effort by the North and South team led to the location and arrest of a suspect who was wanted for an offence of Rape within the South Yorkshire area.  The suspect was driving a vehicle which he had taken without the owner’s consent; this was spotted by PCSO Parker who then passed on the information to Officers nearby.  The vehicle failed to stop for PC Smallman and it was then abandoned a short time later.  The vehicle was seized and then PC’s Stanford and Turner located the male the following day within the Town Centre.  The male is now being dealt with by Officers over the Force border.

Our team have also been involved in assisting with Missing persons, in particular a vulnerable lady with Dementia who went missing in freezing conditions.  Fortunately she was swiftly located and returned home to her family.

We have recently increased patrols in the Carlton in Lindrick and Langold area due to reports of ASB and theft of catalytic converters.  No recent thefts have been reported however we will maintain these patrols in relation to the ongoing ASB.

PC McGhee has recently been out with local Gamekeepers in relation to ASB and Rural Crime; he intends to meet regularly with our farming community in order to help prevent offences in these areas. 

The South Team

December started quickly for the south team with the town Centre Beat manager PC Glenn Turner arresting local male for assault and theft offences (enquiries are on-going) on the 1st Dec and on the 3rd Dec the team assisted in a Misuse of Drugs Warrant at 47 Gladstone Street.

News that Anne Marie Fitzpatrick received 32 weeks custodial sentence from her arrest in Nov also raised our spirits.

On the 5th Dec Sgt Holmes stopped and seized a Suzuki Vitara with off road tyres but without insurance which was suspected of damaging farm land in the local area. The driver was reported for No Insurance and faced a hefty recovery bill. On the 6th Dec local males were arrested for offences of multiple thefts, vehicle crime and drug possession. Enquiries are on-going with all three presently on bail, and on the 12th Dec PC Glenn Turner seized stolen items from a local female following reports from local ‘Shop Watch’. PC Scott Lane also arrested local female for ‘failing to attend’ her court trial.  

The 14th Dec saw PC Karl Pettitt arrested a male for stalking offences. The offender later received a 2 year suspended sentence at court. On the 19th Dec PC Lane arrested a male for the possession of a large knife in the Town Centre; he was charged with the offence and is pending a court appearance in March.   Christmas came and went for my team who were mostly at work. We continued our efforts to encourage and enforce the Covid19 restrictions.

January was a relatively slow month given the Lockdown restrictions but saw my Worksop South team continue in all weathers to assist the community on snow covered roads and deal with minor floods, whilst maintaining the stance on ‘Lockdown.’

We also began assisting local GP Surgeries when they commenced issuing the Covid19 vaccinations offering reassurance and security just in case the usual naysayer’s made their presence known. Several off the team were off work sick or tested positive with Covid19 but have now bounced back ready for work after isolation.

On the 16th Jan following a report of a disturbance on Kingston Road Manton. PC Pettitt arrested a male for affray; however, no further action was taken due to a lack of formal complaints.My team are now beginning to re concentrate their efforts in the Town Centre and shop thieves, who despite all the issues shops having at this time continue to blight society and ruin livelihoods.

The East Team

Although it would have usually been the month of partying leading up to Christmas, it was a very different December.

Our focus was to provide that visibility within our community and continue being proactive.

A closure which we had been planning for some months together with the local council came to fruition.An address on Springfield Road in Retford had been causing issues for some months, with ASB and drug activity, causing a great deal amount of annoyance.  After a lot of hard work by my team the closure was granted and the tenant was evicted.

We have been challenging those who are not adhering to the COVID regulations.

The East Bassetlaw residents have and continue to follow the rules during this very difficult time, however we did still have the minority who flaunt the law.  COVID tickets have been issued to those who had no regard for the virus over the Christmas period.

Several vehicles were also seized at both Harworth and Retford areas for being used in crime, stolen or by disqualified drivers.  We also spent time up at Harworth due to complaints regarding off road bikes and quads which is a regular issue and disrupted the activity in the area and will continue to do so as we know this is an on-going issue.

On the run up to Christmas my teams were conducting some plain clothes patrols in the town centre due to the potential for an increase in shoplifting.  We made several arrests, one of which was recalled back to prison for the festive period.

Lockdown has not prevented the team from pursuing those who continue to flaunt the law. 

A search warrant was executed by our Specialist ‘TSG’ team at Ranskill in relation to firearms.  The occupant had breached his prison licence conditions and was subsequently recalled to prison. 

An air rifle that we believe to be illegal was also seized from the address.

The Retford team responded to an urgent call whereby a male was in stealing plant machinery.  A male from Doncaster was arrested in relation to the theft and bailed pending further enquiries.

The team are working tirelessly on a further closure order which we are hoping to get through court this week.  If successful, then this will be a fantastic result, and disrupt the continual ASB through drug dealing at an address in Retford.

Lockdown has also not stopped those involved in hare coursing, with several incidents being reported to the Police.  The rural team have issued several COVID fines and section 59 notices in relation to vehicle nuisance.  We are increasing our efforts to patrol the rural areas that have been identified as ‘hotspots’ for rural crime and are planning in dates to work with neighbouring forces in relation to Operation Bifocal.