Public’s role in tackling crime
ANTI-social behaviour, drug dealers and the illegal use of mini motorbikes have all been targeted by Wisbech Neighbourhood Policing Teams. It is just a year since two teams of officers dedicated to Wisbech and the surrounding area were set up, and both ha
ANTI-social behaviour, drug dealers and the illegal use of mini motorbikes have all been targeted by Wisbech Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
It is just a year since two teams of officers dedicated to Wisbech and the surrounding area were set up, and both have played huge roles in cracking down on crime.
Neighbourhood policing is about giving the public the chance to influence the service provided by police and partner agencies by getting involved in setting local priorities.
The Wisbech and district team, led by Sergeant Sharon Burrell, is made up of three police constables and five police community support officers. The Waterlees and Clarkson team, led by Sergeant Dave Bax, is made up of two police constables and three PCSOs.
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Sgt Burrell said: "The two teams regularly combine forces to tackle crime in and around the town, carrying out speeding, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime operations.
"These operations are part of work to tackle the issues concerning the public and this is what neighbourhood policing is all about. Both teams have had their first panel meetings at which the public decided the three priorities they wanted to see the teams focus on."
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In recent months while targeting the town's drug problem, the teams have played a part in a number of drugs raids and a closure order.
Both teams have had lots of help from residents who have generated a large amount of intelligence.
Involvement with the public includes door-to-door briefing, questionnaires, police surgeries and hundreds signing up to the E-cops scheme.
Sgt Bax said: "The eyes and ears of the community are vital crime fighting tools. Since expanding the ways in which we engage with the community we have had a surge in the amount of intelligence coming in."
The teams also work closely with local schools and the young community in Wisbech, with PCSOs attending the youth club at the Oasis Centre and the lunch club at Queen's School.
Sgt Burrell added: "Young people do not tend to go to public meetings or regularly communicate with officers and we therefore thought it was important to establish other ways of finding out what issues and concerns they had about crime. As part of this work we regularly attend the local schools and youth clubs.
n The Wisbech and district neighbourhood team's priorities are anti-social behaviour, speeding and anti-social driving. The Waterlees and Clarkson team's priorities are anti-social behaviour, speeding and criminal damage.
The E-cops scheme means residents can keep up to date with the latest crime related information for their area and on-going work with their neighbourhood policing teams via e-mail.