Yesterday N-E Derbsyhire Lib Dem Leader, Cllr David Hancock, and Parliamentary Spokesperson, Ross Shipman, along with Wingerworth Parish Councillors, Diana Ruff and Nick Knyhynyckyj met with Derbyshire Constabulary in a very informative and frank meeting.
On the positive side, Tupton & Wingerworth will be getting an additional PCSO in the coming months – which will result in a more visible police presence in the future.
One issue that became very apparent is that there is a big failing in communication – both in terms of the police keeping the public updated on what’s happening and in terms of crimes being reported to the police in the first place.
Inspector Rob Bowns brought records of the reported crimes in #Tupton and #Wingerworth which are significantly lower than those being reported on social media and to councillors.
Needless to say, if crimes aren’t reported to the police they target their resources to those areas where crimes are being reported. So please report ALL incidents to 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (if an emergency).
In coming months, across North Derbyshire, the police will also be introducing a new triage system to ensure more speedy responses to reported crimes.
For people who wish to report incidents but remain anonymous, the Crimestoppers initiative is once again being promoted to encourage those who may be afraid of intimidation to safely report matters.
Naturally, the police were unable to comment on ongoing investigations; but assured us that, where evidence exists, all crimes are followed up (and where there isn’t, additional officers are deployed to prevent recurrences) – however, sometimes these take longer to achieve a prosecution than anyone would like in terms of (a) gathering sufficient evidence to secure a conviction and (b) to allow someone “further up the pecking order” to be identified and therefore take the bigger criminals out of the picture.
The police accepted that communicating this to residents and victims of crime does fall short of reasonable expectations and that work needs to be done to improve that.
One point they were keen to make is that the nature of crime is changing and that people are far more likely to be the victim of “less visible” financial and/or online crime (as much as 4:1) and that their allocation of resources reflects this.
Sadly, the Police & Crime Commissioner’s office was more resistant to proactive communication; however, the police are more positive and happy to work with councils and councillors to get their updates across. In the short term they suggest that residents may like to sign-up to the Derbyshire Alerts updates, which they are relaunching after a period of inactivity.
Parking problems outside schools is entirely the responsibility of the County Council (unless there is an obstruction being caused) and we will be looking at pushing for a more proactive response (and less buck-passing) from their Traffic Enforcement teams.
In terms of speeding, the police are keen to encourage Parish Council to participate in the Speedwatch programme, as this frees up their resources to deal with other crimes.
There is also agreement that switching off street lights at night may be a contributing factor to increasing crime and no-one is clear as to whether there is a legitimate cost saving involved either. So this will also be taken up with Derbyshire County Council.
In summary: in the very near future, we will have an increased PCSO presence in our area. The police are looking to improve communication to residents through various channels (including through Parish magazines and local Councillors news letters) – as not everyone has computer access; and additional officers will be allocated based on the number of reported incidents.
Parliamentary Spokesperson Ross Shipman and District Councillor David Hancock, working with Wingerworth and Tupton Parish Councillors) will push for the County Council to be much more proactive in dealing with problem parking outside schools and to look at increasing the number of people participating in the Speedwatch.
I think we all felt that there were steps forward. There are still more to be made – which need Derbyshire Constabulary to increase their staffing numbers, once funding is available, and for other agencies to take ownership of their own responsibilities – something which we, as elected representatives, will be pushing for. However, we have identified further areas where improvements can be made and look forward to seeing these introduced.
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