City North inspector makes crime pledge after first year in role
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An inspector has vowed to continue cracking down on the crimes residents have told his policing team are important to them following his first year in the role.
The City North area has seen reports of antisocial behaviour (ASB), commercial burglary and vehicle theft all reduce to different extents over the last 12 months.
Meanwhile, there has been a big increase in positive action being taken following reports of drug activity, whether that be through making arrests, carrying out warrants or identifying suspects.
Drug offending, ASB and acquisitive crimes – offences like burglary that are based on acquiring property – are all priorities that were chosen for the City North neighbourhood policing area, which covers Bulwell, Sherwood, and Bestwood.
Inspector Paul Ferguson introduced these priorities after starting the role in September last year – reviewing them with key partners every three months since – and is pleased with the progress made by his team so far in cracking down on these issues.
One area where there has been a noticeable change in City North is drug crime, with Insp Ferguson’s team seeing a 75% rise in action being taken around drugs supply offences, when comparing the financial year to date with the period between April and September 2022.
“The fact these numbers are high is undoubtedly a good thing because it shows the ongoing work we’re doing as a policing team to tackle this issue and pick these suspects up.
“Our Operation Reacher and Neighbourhood Policing teams do a fantastic job in carrying out regular warrants on properties intelligence suggests could be linked to drug activity, while the Road Crime team has also assisted us through intelligence-led car stops that have uncovered some significant quantities of drugs.
“A lot of the intelligence that helps identify these suspects – both low-level suppliers and those involved in organised crime – comes from the public, which shows the importance of the engagement work we do to build the community’s trust in reporting information to us.
“We’ve also done a lot of engagement in the community, with our partners, to identify offenders and divert them from negative behaviours, while supporting youth outreach in areas like Top Valley which has led to a reduction in ASB in certain areas.
“Our officers have also carried out extra patrols in areas like Bulwell that have had a real impact in helping reduce ASB in the local town centre, however it is accepted there is still a lot of work to do.
“We’ve chosen these areas of policing to prioritise because the public have told us these are the issues that impact them the most, so it’s been great to see how hard my team have worked and how invested they are to reducing this offending for the community.”
The City North area has seen a 39% reduction in commercial burglaries and a 9% drop in vehicle thefts, when comparing the financial year to date with the period between April and September 2022, while there has also been a 15% drop in ASB reports in Bulwell during this time.
By comparison, there has been an 8% increase in ASB reports in Sherwood over the same period, while reports of retail crime have risen across the neighbourhood policing area by 37%, which mirrors the national trend.
A number of initiatives are being considered to tackle this issue, including introducing a Shopwatch scheme in Sherwood, which would allow for greater engagement between businesses and the police and enable the sharing of images of shoplifters known to the police to help put a face to the name of a suspect when an offence is reported.
Maintaining this ongoing dialogue with the community is one of the ways Insp Ferguson hopes to continue cracking down on crime across the City North area.
“Most of our work relies on community intelligence, so it is so important that we continue to build that trust with the public, so that they have that confidence to keep reporting information to us,” added Insp Ferguson.
“We’re committed to making the local area a safer place for people to live, work and visit, and to helping people feel more comfortable in their own homes and communities.
“What might seem like a small or menial piece of information to a member of the public could be the last piece of the jigsaw we need to get a warrant to be able to go through somebody’s front door and disrupt criminal activity, so I’d ask the public to always contact us on 101, if they have any information for us to follow up.”