Amersham Chalfonts and Missenden newsletter June 2020
Alert message sent 25/06/2020 09:11:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
****CHESHAM TO FOLLOW SHORTLY****
Amersham, Chalfonts and Missendens Neighbourhood Policing Team
To say that the last few months have been unprecedented times is an understatement.
Policing during a pandemic has been a different experience, quickly getting to grips with new legislation whilst implementing social distancing in our police stations and continuing to respond to our ‘business as usual’ with the new addition of PPE.
As the Sergeant for the neighbourhood team, I believe my policing team adapted brilliantly to these changes and I would like to thank all of you, our local residents, for your continued co-operation and support throughout.
We received some fantastic cards and letters and some very generous gifts from our local communities and each one helped in boosting morale and reminded us of the excellent community spirit in Amersham, Chalfonts and the Missendens.
Across the Thames Valley, we received hundreds of reports each day about breaches of COVID-19 restrictions. Our policing style was to engage with those who were breaching, explain the restrictions and encourage them to comply and then only enforce as a last resort. All reports of breaches helped to inform our patrol patterns and the majority of those that we spoke to complied.
As the lockdown restrictions continue to ease, it certainly feels like things are starting to return to normal but be reassured that we remain ready to adapt to changes should we need to.
The priorities for your Neighbourhood Policing Team (NHPT) are decided by the Community Forum. This steering group is made up of local residents and representatives from organisations across the area. The forum is not run by the police, although we do attend as representatives. This allows us to speak to a wide cross-section of the community, find out what you most want improved in the area, and consider how we and others can accomplish these aims. The top three priorities are chosen by the forum every three months and are then assumed by your Neighbourhood Policing Team.
You asked us to concentrate on:
Priority 1; Burglary
We managed to reduce burglary by 1% in the last year. This is the first reduction that we’ve been able to achieve in 5 years. There were 525 burglaries 19/20 across the whole Chiltern & South Bucks policing area with a 37% reduction across the Chilterns from March to May.
Amersham - 65% reduction
Chalfonts – 69% reduction
Missendens + 47% (1 extra burglary) Burglars watch out as ANPR is coming to Prestwood! Operations organised by the Neighbourhood Team and Local CID played a huge part in obtaining this results whilst supported by patrol units and our intelligence department.
Head of Force crime, Ailsa Kent has stated:- "Just wanted to say a really well done to your team for the burglary reduction that you have delivered this year. I know that this is absolutely a whole team effort in Chiltern and South Bucks and after the increases that were experienced in the late autumn and winter of last year, the work that you have done to drive offending down to this level is tremendous – you have achieved something that has not been achieved for a number of years. You should be proud of this as it demonstrates that your plans, focus and drive are making a real difference".
Figures show that Chiltern & South Bucks is one of the most targeted areas in the force for burglaries. We use analysis to identify crime areas and times when organised criminals are likely to target addresses. Targeted houses will often be attacked by a gang of people rather than an individual.
Common Crime Trends
We’ve noticed an increase in gangs of burglars forcing open front doors which have not been double locked. Another common theme is offenders using bleach and cleaning products at crime scenes. If you see a stranger with a bottle of Flash (Or any other brand of cleaning fluid – I can’t be biased) loitering outside please call it in.
A group of burglars, using stolen motor vehicles, were targeting local businesses in the early hours. Enhanced patrols in our area to resulted in the arrest of 3 persons in South Bucks.
There has been several reported incidents where cars have been stolen without the offenders taking the keys to the actual car. Investigations have shown that criminals are going up to front doors and scanning keys through the front door. One piece of CCTV has a man waving a bag above his head in an attempt to get a signal. Please be careful with your car keys, at home and when out and about, and be aware of the risks when left next to the front door on the sideboard or a coat pocket. Metal tins can be used to block car keys signals or signal blocker pouches can be purchased for around £6.
Neighbourhood Policing has been involved in a number of cross border operations with other departments and forces in targeting criminals whilst they are travelling into our area from predicted locations. The following Operations took place in response to dealing with the threat of burglaries. A joint Op took place in March across Surrey, Thames Valley, Herts and the Met. This coincided with the increased guidance from the government regarding covid-19. TVP experienced 88 offences 3 weeks prior, which decreased to 68 during the week of action (22.7% reduction), and further decrease to 43 offences 3 weeks after (51.1% reduction).
Priority 2; Drug Dealing
Neighbourhood Teams have been working on and developing intelligence. With the lockdown conditions it has made it harder for drug dealers to ply their trade discretely. The use of stop and search powers are being used as a tool to target this. Year to date 57 people have been stopped and searched by the Amersham NHPT. The Neighbourhood Teams are constantly developing intelligence from reviewing cases to being out on patrol.
We are currently working on a new protocol with partners in dealing with Neighbourhood disputes where cannabis is being used by residents and I will aim to have an update for the next bulletin. The Operation Stronghold team is leading the response to County Drug Lines and working with NHPT in safeguarding potential victims of CDL. Your NHPT were involved in assisting CID with several arrests of a suspected gang who were targeting children in Chesham. This is an ongoing investigation
Priority 3; ASB
ASB was a big issue earlier in the year for the residents of Chalfont St Peter. Often this was low level ranging from groups of people loitering in an area to shouting and smoking drugs and being intimidating. This has a significant impact on the people who live nearby to where the behaviour is taking place. The Amersham Team have been working with parents and identified youths in challenging them on their behaviour and getting people to sign up to Acceptable Behaviour Contracts. I am pleased to say there has not been the need for any dispersal orders since January.
The COVID-19 lockdown has led to youths no longer hanging around which has led to a reduction in ASB.
COVID-19 patrols has introduced a new problem for the police to manage and this has been a particularly big area for us in day to day policing.
Additional Priority; School Parking
At the last meeting the common theme of parking complaints were discussed and in-particular l parking around schools. It was identified that school pupil sizes were increasing, with the increase in school age it was now not uncommon for some pupils to even drive to school and park on neighbouring roads. School drop off areas were often small in size, chaotic and resulted in misery for local residents and other road users.
The panel decided that this was something that we should look at and would approach the council and schools over what they were doing and what they could do. Due to the unique current situation this will be reviewed when schools are back to normal.
June to September Priorities
A Zoom conference was held to discuss the next quarter’s priorities and it was decided that they should remain the same. Which are:
Drug dealing: Led by the police and supported by the community.
Burglaries: Led by the police and supported by the community.
ASB: Led by the police and supported by the community.
The Forum will be looking at an Agency approach to dealing with the issues of school parking a common theme that upsets residents who live close to schools.
Date of next meeting - 6pm on Wednesday 23rd September 2020, venue: Library, Amersham School, Stanley Hill, Amersham, HP7 9HH – subject to restrictions.
CID stationed back at Amersham I am pleased to announce that we now have a fully operational CID department working out of Amersham following a number of years with them being based at Aylesbury. This will benefit the area greatly.
Buckinghamshire Council - The Chiltern Community Award 2020 Frontline Services Award. I was pleased to see that PCSO Jen Shraga was nominated and won this award. From working with Jen I have seen how dedicated and passionate she is to serving her area and getting support for the residents of Chalfont St Peter and in dealing with their problems. Jen has a knowledge of the area second to none and this award is thoroughly deserved for the work she has done around schools, ASB, speeding, safeguarding vulnerable people and victims of frauds and burglaries.
Theft from Motor vehicles
We are experiencing a rise in thefts of catalytic converters in Amersham and the Chalfonts. This crime trend is taking place at all hours of the day and at a variety of locations. Catalytic converters are designed to remove toxins from vehicle emissions. The devices contain small amounts of three precious metals: platinum, palladium and rhodium. In recent years, the price of these metals has soared to record levels, which means that catalytic converters can provide a substantial return to a thief for just a few minutes work.
Analysis from the start of this year in Chiltern & South Bucks shows that the following makes are particularly being targeted Honda, Toyota, Lexus and Mitsubishi. Transit/Sprinter vans and other vehicles with high clearance are especially vulnerable.
Advice for vehicle owners
• Where possible, park in your garage • Install a Cat Converter anti-theft bracket • Alternatively, park in a location that restricts access underneath your vehicle • Consider security lighting • If your catalytic converter is ‘bolt on,’ you can have the bolts welded shut • Consider the installation of CCTV to protect your vehicle • Identify/etch your converter with a unique serial number (see Retainagroup) and advertise that the vehicle has been protected (window stickers)
This is a continual problem across the LPA and would appear to have become worse following the Corona Virus and reduction of cars on the road. We will be recommencing Op Glare to target problem areas.
With the limited resources we have we do need to deal with speeding in a problem solving manner. NHP will assist the community in achieving this. In Amersham we will ask complainants if they would consider joining a Community Speedwatch Group in their community to make the difference. This will provide evidence that measures are required and also sends out a message to people in the community and those travelling through it. There should be an update on CSW in the coming weeks with some exciting updates.
The local councils can sometimes put in place a Speed Indication Device to measure if there is a speeding issue. Parish councils and Community Groups can request a speed survey from the Traffic Information Data Team at Transport for Buckinghamshire.
If there is evidence of speeding or speed related collisions Parishes may apply for a permanent or moveable vehicle activated sign (VAS).
‘Have Your Say’; Due to the current situation with Covid 19 these meeting have been put on hold.
Offenders Brought to Justice
Offences from the 1st April 2020. This does not include persons who are currently under investigation or have been released on bail.
Amersham Male cautioned for possession of cannabis Male given cannabis warning for possession of cannabis. Male charged with public order. Male given community resolution for theft. Male charged with breaching court order.
Chalfonts Female given cannabis warning for possession of cannabis. Female charged with 2 assaults. Male charged with criminal damage. Two males charged with theft of motor vehicle and driving offences. Male charged with assaulting police. Male given penalty notice for public order. Male charged with assault. Male charged with assaulting 3 police officers. Male given community resolution for criminal damage. Male charged with assault.
Missendens Male given penalty notice for possession of cannabis. Female cautioned for assault.
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