When I took over the beat at the beginning of this year I immediately found that Birstall was being targeted by neighbouring criminals as they saw the village as a soft touch.
I have worked hard developing good relations with our Police Neighbours at Beaumont Leys and as such Burglaries have reduced massively. Birstall used to suffer from 9-12 domestic burglaries every month but now we average 3-4 per month and these are now often attempts, where no entry has been gained.
Much of this is down to several arrests we made at the beginning of the year. One particular arrest was of a male in April who had been targeting Birstall for 4 years, he is now spending the same number of years in prison. This had the largest impact on reducing burglaries in Birstall for a long time.
I have built up a good intelligence picture of drug dealing activities around the village and, again, by working with other Police Stations I have co-ordinated search warrants and made arrests. This will continue and always will be an ongoing priority for us.
Reports of Anti-social Behaviour within Birstall increased when I took over the beat, this I believe was due to me asking you, the public, to speak out and trust in me, my team and my Police Partners to actively take on and deal with your long term issues, with the hope of reducing your anxiety around this very personal issue.
My team and I have dealt with 57 separate cases of ASB to date this year, that is the same number as for the whole of 2012! We have concentrated our efforts on the long-term issues that have had the greatest affect on people’s quality of life. We have used our powers under criminal law and by working with our partners to solve your ongoing issues. We have put into place Anti-social contracts, issuing warning letters and tried to empower you, the community to stand up against those that are causing you the most harm.
I am confident that the people we have managed to help will go on to enjoy a peaceful time and I hope this will encourage more of you to come forward and report problems you feel we maybe able to help you with. Of course we cannot solve every issue raised but I am sure, as some of you will now testify, we do not give up at the first hurdle and will support and enforce not just today but during the course of any problem raised.
I identified that our shops were being targeted and that shop thefts reports were quite high here, about 8-9 per month. I did a lot of work when I arrived in making the whole process of identifying those responsible and making them answer for their crimes a quicker process. When I took over I worked with the shop managers to address this issue as a result we made several arrests which resulted in the main offenders being given prison sentences. For months we have only suffered with 1-2 theft stores.
I returned from paternity leave 2 weeks ago and found that shop thefts had increased dramatically to 7-8 per month. As such I have again looked at the criminals and this week several good arrests were made.
On Tuesday 13th August a male from Beaumont Leys was arrested for stealing from the Coop Store over the past couple of months. I charged him with these offences and made sure he was given bail conditions not to enter any part Birstall village, so we may arrest him if he takes one step in our village.
On Thursday 15th another male from Beaumont Leys was arrested for stealing from the Birstall Co-Op Store. This male had been on the front page of the Leicester Mercury earlier in the week as other officers had been looking for him in relation to shop thefts within the city.
He was charged with several thefts including the ones in Birstall.
On Saturday 17th the Co-Op store staff spotted another male attempting to steal from their shop. Their new protocol was activated and all the staff surrounded the male who had no choice but to drop the items then leave the store. I arrested him a short time later carrying other stole items from the Tesco’s store. This male had also been on the front page of the Mercury wanted for other thefts in the city. As such he was later charged with several thefts from the Birstall shops and remanded in Police cells all weekend to appear at Court Monday morning. We have asked should he be released on bail for him to also have conditions preventing him from entering BirstallVillage.
As you can see there has been lots of good work going on over the past 7-8 months and this will continue. Birstall Police will do all we can to target, enforce and prevent crime from occurring but it is the community that really stops it. The staff in the shops are now being more vigilant and will work together with us to make sure the thieves find it almost impossible to come here and offend. The same can be said for burglaries and ASB, with the community working together and having more confidence in us – we are putting the criminals on their back foot.
I hope this pro-active behaviour from the people of Birstall continues.
Pc 688 Des Hearnshaw
L05 – Birstall Office
Tel: 0116 267 7355 OR 101