Norfolk Constabulary (Agenda Item 9)
Inspector Paul Wheatley will be in attendance representing the Chief Constable.
Inspector Wheatley gave a brief update on his role particularly concentrating on the rural crime aspect of his work. He said that they concentrated on evidence based policing as there was a significant problem with burglaries from sheds, etc and with the theft of diesel. There were numerous arrests and he assured Members that the police were ‘out there’.
They had started a distribution list system where they sent out advisory e-mails. He was happy to include other people on that list. It was working well and proving to be a good tool in raising awareness of potential problems in specific areas.
The police had also started using quad bikes and they had had a positive impact in tackling ASB problems and hare coursing among other things. They were also very useful in searching for missing persons and could be used for patrolling hard to reach areas.
Members were encouraged to let the police know if they had an issue and to notify them if they saw anything about which they were suspicious. The police had alarms which could be put into places when intelligence was received.
Councillor Rogers raised two issues about crimes being notified to the police and no action being taken for a number of days. Inspector Wheatley asked him to provide details of the incidents as he could not understand why there had not been an immediate response.
Councillor R Richmond was concerned about speeding motorbikes and Inspector Wheatley said it was a difficult issue and the good summer had increased the problem. However, they had the technology to capture evidence and they used it to concentrate on known hot-spots.
He noted that there was a lot more migrant criminality with people coming from other Counties. There had been a spate of catalytic converter thefts by people from Essex and another group from Staffordshire had been hitting industrial areas. The key offenders had recently been identified.
Councillor Joel was concerned about the increased number of children at his local high school which meant increased cars and coaches and risk from traffic as NCC would not employ a lollipop person. Inspector Wheatley said that he would speak to the Safer Neighbourhood Team to see what could be done.
Councillor Bambridge was concerned about the misuse of PCSOs and said that he would rather see one constable than two PCSOs.
Inspector Wheatley advised that PCSOs were there for reassurance. They did not investigate crime but they did a tremendous job. Some went on to be trained as PCs which was very cost effective as the training was shorter.
Councillor Gilbert asked about the rise in organised shop lifting and how restorative justice was working. Inspector Wheatley acknowledged that shop lifting did increase at this time of year and said that Shop Watch was to be encouraged. With regard to restorative justice, he didn’t have any figures but he thought it was excellent and its use was encouraged. Mrs Baxter said she was a big advocate of it as it could dispel tension in communities and gave the victim some control.
Sgt Crown noted that seven out of ten first time offenders did not re-offend after going through the restorative justice process.
The Chairman thanked Inspector Wheatley for attending.