Police team make record number of arrests in Nottingham city centre
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A specialist police team dedicated to catching criminals and tackling antisocial behaviour in Nottingham city centre has made a record number of arrests this year.
The team of one sergeant and six PCs, which is part of the wider City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, have made 374 arrests in 2023 – the biggest number since the team was formed three years ago.
Made up of plain clothed and uniformed officers, the proactive team patrol the city centre daily, both in a police van and on foot.
They look out for signs of criminal or antisocial behaviour, such as drug or weapon-related crime and begging where it is causing a public nuisance.
Many of the arrests are in relation to drug-related offences, but they’ve also arrested people for possessing weapons, failing to appear in court, shoplifting and breaching licence conditions.
The team also work closely with partners to try to break the cycle of offending by signposting offenders to support agencies. Those who refuse to engage with the offer of support are subjected to a staged approach to enforcement, making best use of criminal behaviour orders, city centre PSPOs (Public Space Protection Orders) and dispersal powers.
Sergeant Jono Pothecary, who leads the team, said it had been a busy year for his officers.
“We deal with a number of issues in the city centre such as antisocial behaviour, drug crime, street drinking and begging.
“We’ve been going for three years and 2023 has been our most successful yet. We’ve made almost 400 arrests and I’m very proud of the results we’ve been able to achieve.
“The arrests are just one aspect of the job. We also work tirelessly with partners to offer individuals the support they need to steer them away from committing offences.
“We do everything we can to educate or support people and enforcement is only ever a last resort. It’s not something we do lightly and we’ll always do our utmost to support those in need as part of a partnership approach.
“But ultimately, we have a duty to ensure Nottingham is a safe place to be. As such, my message is simple: if you come to Nottingham to commit crime or to make the lives of law abiding citizens a misery, we will target you and bring you to justice.”
In recent weeks, the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire Veronica Pickering joined the team as they carried out patrols in the city centre.
“It was amazing. The team were absolutely brilliant. They were really careful in how they communicated with individuals and did so in a really calm and respectful way.
“It wasn’t just about arresting people. They were patrolling the streets ensuring vulnerable people were looked after if they needed support. The team made a number of referrals to partner agencies that could help them. I was super impressed.”