FENLAND: Police unveil smarter way of tackling crime

POLICE UNVEIL SMARTER WAY OF TACKLING THIEVES WISBECH: A crime-fighting substance invisible to the naked eye has been spread around homes in Wisbech – leaving no hiding place for thieves. Smartwater is only visible under ultra-violet light and stai


WISBECH: A crime-fighting substance invisible to the naked eye has been spread around homes in Wisbech - leaving no hiding place for thieves.

Smartwater is only visible under ultra-violet light and stains thieves who come into contact with the substance.

Each kit is unique and sticks to skin, hair and clothes - and lasts for 150 years.

A two-week roll out of home kits, funded by police, started in Wisbech on Monday. Residents who have recently been burglary victims will receive a free kit, with police telling other residents where the kits can be purchased for £15.

Wisbech inspector Robin Sissons said he was "really excited" about the introduction of Smartwater across Fenland.

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"It has the double effect of enabling us to place offenders at the scene of a crime, and reassure the public that their property is safer with the deterrent that this UV substance creates," he said.

Smartwater can be applied to almost any property, or be triggered to spray on a burglar. Because every kit is unique - like DNA is to every person - any recovered property can be traced back to the place from where it was stolen.

Patrol cars now contain a Smartwater hand-held UV light and will be used to detect traces on property including jewellery, but also on potential thieves who may have come into contact with the substance.

Custody suites have also been kitted out with UV arches, which anyone arrested will be made to walk through.

Anglian Water, BT and Countryside Watch have also got in on the SmartWater act. Both BT and Anglian Water are using the tool to combat metal thefts, while Countryside Watch is working with the force's Rural Crime Action Team to property-mark machinery and equipment.

Det Insp Andy Gipp said: "There is no hiding place for thieves. Police and partner agencies will relentlessly pursue the offenders that cost the county so much in time and money."

• A police spokesman said it is hoped the kits will soon be available at Wisbech Police Station and on the police website.


WIMBLINGTON: School pupils have pleaded with highways bosses to build a footbridge over one of Fenland's busiest roads, to make it safer to get to March.

The pupils at Thomas Eaton Primary School, Wimblington, have each written a letter to Cambridgeshire County Council in their bid for a footbridge over the A141 near Mill Hill Roundabout.

Their letters tell council officials that a footbridge would make it safer to walk or cycle into March and will mean traffic using the A141 will not have to stop for people crossing the road.

The pupils, in Year 3, wrote the letters as part of a literacy project in which they also created an information booklet about road safety in Wimblington.

The project was led by Sue Mayern, who is currently studying a graduate teaching programme at Thomas Eaton.

Miss Mayern said: "Pupils came up with reasons for why a crossing is needed over the A141 while they looked at road safety near Mill Hill Roundabout.

"All the pupils said there would be less pollution because more people would walk or cycle to March, and that crossing the road would become safer because the cars are travelling fast and will not have to stop.

"They also said in their letters they would hold events to raise money for any project, because they knew building a footbridge would be expensive."

Pupils are hoping for a response from the county council within the next couple of weeks.

For the school's information booklet, each child researched road safety in one part of the village and created one page. The finished pages are currently on display in their classroom.


WISBECH: About 20 metal shelves, two cast iron baths and various bits of scrap metal were stolen from a building plot in Old Lynn Road, Wisbech.

Thieves cut the padlock off the front gates to the site to gain access, between 4pm on Sunday and 2.10pm yesterday.

Police said a vehicle would have been parked outside the site and the items would have been loaded into it from the site.

CONTACT: Police on 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


CHATTERIS: Safety concerns were among the reasons that a new changing room block in Chatteris was refused permission by councillors.

Footballers using the new facilities proposed for the Fairway site would have to cross a busy road before their matches to get to the pitch.

Councillor Roger Green said: "When small children are changed ready for a football match they're excited about the game ahead of them.

"They aren't going to look properly before crossing the road and there could be a serious accident."

Councillors at Fenland's last planning committee meeting agreed, and went against officers advice to grant the application.

Councillor Sandra Rigby, from Chatteris Town Council voiced her objections about the proposal including safety issues and the loss of green space.

"There is a serious chance an accident will happen," she said.

The proposed changing rooms were due to replace the currently run down block attached to The Sportsman club.

Councillor Pam Potts added: "I don't think there are any merits to this plan.

"In fact, I can't see why the changing rooms already there cannot be revamped.

"There in a bad state at the moment and doing them up would solve the problem and there would be no loss of space."


SUTTON BRIDGE: Police are appealing for witnesses after a 47-year-old woman was attacked as she walked down a passageway beside Sutton Bridge Medical Centre in Railway Lane, Sutton Bridge, just before 4pm on Tuesday June 17.

A male approached her and tried to pull off her necklace and watch. He was unsuccessful and ran off.

The victim is extremely distressed and was left with scratches to her wrist where the suspect attempted to yank her watch off. The suspect is described as about 5ft 8in tall with tanned skin. He spoke with a "foreign accent" and "smelt of cigarette smoke". Anyone with any information can call Spalding Police Station: 01775 722233, quoting incident 230 of June 17.


WISBECH: A man has denied committing six sexual offences while running a fish and chip shop in Norwich Road, Wisbech.

Rashpal Sohi, 47, faces five charges of sexual touching, and one of attempted sexual touching, alleged to have been committed on various dates between May 2007 and January 2008.

One alleged victim was aged 15, while others were 16 or over, Fenland magistrates were told on Tuesday.

After the court declined jurisdiction, the case was adjourned for a committal hearing on July 29, and Sohi was given unconditional bail.


FENLAND: A forklift driver with Fenmarc Produce in March was caught driving while disqualified twice within two days.

It was less than two weeks after the ban was imposed on Stephen Taaffe when an off-duty police man spotted him driving a Ford Mondeo at Westry at 6.30am on June 1.

And the next morning the same officer stopped Taaffe as he drove through Whittlesey on his way to work.

Taaffe, 49, of Roseholme, Orton Goldhay, admitted two offences of driving while disqualified and without insurance when he appeared before Fenland magistrates. Sentencing was adjourned until July 9.