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Inspector Matthew Ward's February, March and April 2022 Blog

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Inspector Matthew Ward's blog February, March and April 2022

It is not necessarily the best way to start but I’d like to start with an apology for not having supplied you with a Blog for the previous 2 and a half months, but I hope that from the below updates you will note the changes that have occurred and how everyone has been busied tackling the issues at hand. Nonetheless, I must try harder.

To introduce myself I am Matthew Ward and have taken over from Insp Charlotte Allardice as the Newark and Sherwood District Commander while she is temporarily reassigned.

I have a close affinity with the Newark and Sherwood area having worked the area for the last 14 years of my 18 years with Nottinghamshire Police. For 15 of my first 16 years in Policing I worked on response initially on Bassetlaw at Retford and Harworth and then as stated moved to Ollerton before bouncing back and forth between Newark and Ollerton. For that one extra year I was the East Midlands Regional Lead for Metal Theft investigation and prevention. Two years ago I made the move over into Neighbourhood Policing working at Newark before taking up my present post at the beginning of February this year.

As is clear my career has been frontline uniform based and in addition to my Response and Neighbourhoods experience I have worked Public Order Policing including football and a variety of protests.

Prior to Policing I studied a combined degree in Chemistry and Law at Exeter University before staying on for a fourth year and completing my Law Degree. At that time I made the decision that the career of a Solicitor was not for me and found myself working various temp jobs including in the Curry’s Warehouse on Barnby Gate, Newark.

I though am not the only staffing change in the last few months on the Newark and Sherwood Neighbourhood Policing Team;

  • PC 2801 Dave Hodson has moved to Gedling NPT as a Sergeant and we wish him the best of luck
  • PC 2903 Simon Johnson has moved from the Bassetlaw Reacher Team bringing a wealth of experience with him to replace myself as the Sergeant on Team 1 at Newark
  • PC 1884 Richard Hodgman has joined our Reacher Team. Rich has come to us from Mansfield Response and in his previous role before joining the police was a PCSO on the original Reacher team
  • PC’s 1196 Archie Fogg and 1186 Eden Sisson have joined the Newark NPT on 5 week attachments from Response

It is encouraging that staff want to come to work on the Newark & Sherwood area.

There has been so much good work and activity on the area in the last few months that I will summarise what the teams, NPT, Reacher and Response have been doing with the support of colleagues from CID and Operational Support.

  • We are actively utilising the PSPO (Public Space Protect Order) for the town centre and Balderton which was obtained by Newark and Sherwood District Council to combat ASB
  • Staff continue to be out and about increasing visibility. Examples being increased patrols on the Sustrans Trail by PCSO 4510 Antia and our Reacher Team, this as a result of concerns raised about the ASB and Drugs use. Days of action in Southwell, Clipstone and Edwinstowe targeting drugs and ASB. A presence at Rufford Ford to challenge the antisocial and careless driving at the site
  • Continuing visits to the Primary and Secondary schools to increase short term engagement but also as part of a longer term plan to reduce youth ASB
  • Football Policing for myself and officers from Reacher, Response and Neighbourhoods
  • Great work by PC 1756 Lydia Day and PCSO 4804 Jo Groom on Op Sunlit which targeted youth ASB in Hawtonville, as a result a number of Community resolutions were issued as were 16 Antisocial Behaviour Contracts
  • Working on what is always an issue across the area, that is enforcement action and education of those driving at excess speed and / or recklessly
  • Op Magna targeting those involved in Fuel and Load theft from goods vehicles
  • Attending high profile incidents and searching for vulnerable missing people
  • Targeting those who commit crime to feed a drug habit with support and where that is not accepted with more focussed enforcement, be assured the dealers of those drugs are also part of the enforcement plan

We have also seen an increase in our static and mobile ANPR coverage on Newark and Sherwood which is already having a significant effect on restricting the activity of those who use our road to commit crime, more coverage is planned in.

We have bid for and are receiving support from our colleague on Roads Policing, the Knife Crime Team and the Off Road Bike Team.

Our Rural Beat Managers and staff from our Reacher Team have received additional training in pursuit and off road driving.

This leads us to the question of what are you the Police going to do over the next month and beyond and my answer is very simple, we will remain vigilant to changing risks and issues but otherwise much of the same because we are seeing real benefits.I will also be keeping the local priorities for the next three months the same, ASB, Drugs and Rural Crime, my rational being ASB and Drugs are precursors for other offences and if we grip these issues we will continue to have an effect on crime as a whole. Rural Crime as the financial and community impact of just one crime can be significant and causes significant concern.

Please keep feeding back to us your concerns.

Finally, this Saturday 16th April we held the Rural Showcase at The Newark Showground between 1000 and 1400 hours. The event was a great opportunity to come and meet the rural beat teams from across the county, see the resources Notts Police and the other agencies have at our disposal, we hope to hold a similar event next year.