£630 for fly-tipping furniture in car park

A York woman has been ordered to pay £630 for repeatedly fly-tipping, despite receiving waste disposal advice from City of York Council.

York Magistrates heard on Tuesday (3 December 2019) that Sharn Ogden (aged 27 of Martins Court, York) was seen disposing of a table and chairs in the car park of Martins Court on 29 July 2019.

City of York Council enforcement officers made multiple attempts to contact Ms Ogden, which she failed to respond to. On 13 August 2019, Ms Ogden admitted to leaving the waste and said she would take the items to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre. However when officers returned to Martins Court on 13 October 2019, the items had not been removed.

Since 2016, Ms Ogden has received several home visits from enforcement officers regarding waste issues in the area, six letters advising her how to present her waste correctly and two fly-tipping warnings.

Ms Ogden continued to present her waste unlawfully, has been charged for the removal of items and had now been prosecuted.

She attended court and pleaded guilty to one offence of fly-tipping. She was fined £312 by York Magistrates (3 December 2019) and ordered to pay costs of £286 and a surcharge of £32.

Tom Brittain Assistant Director for Housing and Community Safety at City of York Council, said: “We offer plentiful advice to residents on how to dispose of waste lawfully and safely and, as this and other cases show, we will take action when people fly-tip.

“It is important that rubbish is put out for collection as directed by the council. If you are unsure of your collection days, you can check at www.york.gov.uk/RefuseLookup or by calling us on 01904 551550.

“Residents can also take waste to our household waste recycling centres – see www.york.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling – or arrange for the council to collect it via www.york.gov.uk/BulkyWaste.”

Theft from vehicles exploiting key-less entry loop hole

The media are reporting today that a York Councillor’s car has fallen victim to a crime which may have exploited the vulnerabilities of “keyless” entry.

The incident, which took place “on street” in the Albemarle Road area of York, resulted in theft from the boot of the car.

Faraday pouch

You can find some advice on avoiding this type of theft via this link with more here

Essentially car owners are being recommended to store their car keys in a “Faraday Bag” which effectively blocks radio signals. One example is the “Defender” which can be found by clicking here

No doubt North Yorkshire police will be issuing more advice on what may be a growing issue.

Crime victims offered help in North Yorkshire

More victims of crime in North Yorkshire will have the opportunity to play a role in the criminal justice system with the launch of a new service to help victims receive answers and rehabilitate offenders by helping them to understand the hurt and fear they have caused.

The aim is to bring victim and offender together outside – but alongside – the criminal justice system to reduce reoffending and give victims answers and the ability to move on by making the crime, and the fear it causes, more personal and harder to ignore.

Emma, who has used the restorative justice service, said:

“Restorative justice has changed my life.

“It gave me an opportunity to talk about what happened using emotional words.

“For two and a half years it felt like the only words I heard were facts and evidence.

“What about me and my family and what he had done to us?

“It finally felt like my emotions had a voice that was being heard and acknowledged.

“My life kick started the minute I walked back to my car after the conference.

“I felt free of so many frustrations.”

If you have been the victim of crime and need help to cope and recover:

For the full story and a video that explains why restorative justice is important and how it works, visit: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/news/rjlaunch/

Burglaries in Woodthorpe yesterday

The police are reporting that they have received the following two reports of burglaries in Woodthorpe in York.

Between 13.15pm and 18.15pm on Wednesday 20th November a property has been broken into on Deepdale and items taken.

If you have any information that could assist officers with their enquiries can you please call 101 and quote incident number 12190213779

Between 10.20am and 14.20pm on Wednesday 20th November a property on Ryecroft Avenue has been broken into and items taken.

If you have any information that could assist officers with their enquiries can you please call 101 and quote incident number 12190213583

New graffiti policy can’t come soon enough

The York Council is set to adopt a new policy on graffiti removal today. It can’t come soon enough with several neighbourhoods reporting an increase in incidents.

We hope that the meeting will decide to make renewed efforts to identify those responsible. As it stands taxpayers could face a bill of £90,000 a year to remove spray point from buildings, boundaries and street furniture.

Nor has the Council been particularly prompt in meeting existing graffiti removal targets. A couple of cases in Foxwood have exceeded the 5 day removal target.

Graffiti incidents can be reported “on line” by clicking this link

Graffiti on the Grange Lane snicket has been outstanding for several weeks.
Tagging of a junction box on Almsford Road
Boundary fences can be a target
The Council will, with the owners agreement, clear graffiti form boundary walls in future.

Council installs national standard security in run up to Christmas

City of York Council is working with North Yorkshire Police, Make It York and partners across York to make the city centre over the festive season the safest it’s ever been.

Work is beginning to install extra security measures to protect all who enjoy the centre of York. This nationally-approved infrastructure includes traffic-slowing measures as used in Edinburgh and more locally, in Harrogate, and adds to and further strengthens existing measures to protect our city centre. 

Last year, York’s footstreets trialled a first phase of measures. Now, with these additional temporary safety features in place, everyone is encouraged to carry on and enjoy their plans to attend or take part in events as normal. With increased security checks at some events and venues, please arrive in good time to allow for this.

Traffic to the city centre is already limited at busy times, and with chicanes and the additional measures, pedestrians will be kept even safer. Meanwhile delivery vehicles will have controlled entry at the usual permitted times.

In the rare event of getting caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice:

  • to a place of safety, rather than to surrender or negotiate.
  • If there’s nowhere to run to, hide and don’t confront.
  • Only when it is safe to do so, tell the police by calling 999.

Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, Neighbourhood Policing Commander for York and Selby, added: “Although the terrorist threat level has now been lowered to substantial, we still need to remain vigilant and do everything possible to keep people safe.

“These latest measures are a welcome addition to our existing security plans designed to help keep York safe and secure during the festive season and the weeks leading up to it.

“Our Project Servator teams will also be out and about and could appear anywhere, anytime, so if you see them, please stop for a chat and find out how your support can help prevent crime and terrorism.”

As ever we urge everyone to remain vigilant and alert but not alarmed. Please report anything suspicious to the police. You can pass information in confidence via the Action Counters Terrorism website at gov.uk/ACT where you can find out what to look out for. You can also report information on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, always call 999.

Tom Brittain, assistant director of housing and community safety at City of York Council, said: “While very rare, terror attacks in the UK can create a lot of concern. With our partners in the police, we are making the city centre more secure than it has ever been, and want to reassure everyone who uses it that we are prepared, alert and ready to help protect them.

“It’s essential that we all maintain a high level of vigilance and continue to invest in strong protective security measures such as those we’ve installed to deter future attacks.”

Homes closed in Dale Street & Wensley House to stop drug-related anti-social behaviour

To tackle anti-social behaviour blighting the lives of neighbours, the courts have allowed the council has to close two council homes.

This action has been part of recent activity to curb drug trafficking from large cities to smaller towns, known as County Lines. This can involve criminal activity around a home which council and police officers have worked together to stop.

On 9 October, York Magistrates’ court issued a Premises Closure Order to the council for a home in Dale Street, off Nunnery Lane. This follows a number of criminal incidents, some of which involved drugs and violence. The police supported the council to secure the order which prohibits anyone except the tenant from entering or remaining the property. The tenant has since ended the tenancy and the flat will be re-let as soon as possible.

On Tuesday 5 November, the council secured the full closure of a flat at Wensley House, Holgate. This follows drug-related incidents involving offensive weapons which were attended by North Yorkshire Police, and who have backed the council’s action to close this home. The order will be in force for three months from the date of issue.

Premises Closure Orders are often used to break a cycle of anti-social and sometimes illegal and violent behaviour at the property. This may be caused or aggravated by visitors and can sometimes be out of the control of the tenant or encouraged by them.

It is a criminal offence to enter or remain in a property in breach of the terms of the closure order. Doing so can lead to penalties of up to a year’s imprisonment, fines or both.

Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, Neighbourhood Policing Commander for York and Selby, added: “Tackling County Lines and the violence and antisocial behaviour associated with it is a major priority for North Yorkshire Police. It involves the exploitation of the young and the vulnerable and requires a response from not just the police, but many partner agencies too – we can’t do it alone.

“This action by City of York Council is a great example of true joint working and will help to disrupt the misery caused by out-of-town drug dealers in the neighbourhood.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “Criminal behaviour is unacceptable and these orders are very effective ways of ensuring that it stops.

“Premises closure orders, along with routine policing, can help breaking the cycle of criminality and repeat offending, with which a very small minority of people can blight the lives of neighbours and the immediate community. The closure comes at a cost of a much-needed council home which we hope to re-let as soon as possible.

“The courage of the local community in supporting us to stand up to this anti-social and criminal behaviour should not be underestimated.”

Six men sentenced for urinating in public to pay £1,800

York Magistrates have ordered six men to pay costs of £1,868 for urinating in public, following joint action by City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police to tackle anti-social behaviour in York.

On Tuesday 22 October 2019, York Magistrates heard that Shaun Doswell (aged 27 of Langholme Drive, York) was seen by a police officer, urinating against a wall on Albermarle Road, York, at around 7:40pm on Saturday 29 June 2019.

Mr Doswell, who had urinated in a residential area just a short distance from nearby toilet facilities, apologised for his actions during the incident.

He pleaded guilty at York Magistrates and was fined £80, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a surcharge of £32.

Alexander Andrysewski (aged 20 of Grasmere Avenue, Wetherby) was found by a police officer, urinating against a wall on Knavesmire, York, at 6:05pm on Friday 12 July 2019, while near a large crowd.  Mr Andrysewski apologised and pleaded guilty by post. He was fined £40, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a surcharge of £32.

James Alexander Todd (aged 28 of Guillemot Close, Blyth, Northumberland) was seen by a police officer, urinating against the Hamilton Panthers Football Club House on Knavesmire Road, York, at 1:15pm on Saturday 13 July 2019. Mr Todd apologised and pleaded guilty by post. He was fined £183, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a surcharge of £32.

Russell Robert Weir (aged 30 of Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway) was seen by a BID Ranger, urinating against a bin on Three Cranes Lane, York, at 6:50pm on Saturday 27 July 2019. Mr Weir apologised and pleaded guilty by post. He was fined £143, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a surcharge of £32.

York Magistrates heard that the previous month, on Tuesday 10 September 2019, Haneesh Guila (aged 27 of Bad Bargain Lane, York) was seen by a police officer and CCTV, urinating against a wall on Clifford Street, York, at 4:45am on Sunday 23 June 2019. Mr Guila apologised during the incident and pleaded guilty by post. He was fined £203, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a surcharge of £30.

Jack Parker (aged 21 of Darwin Drive, Driffield) was also seen by a police officer urinating against the wall of private residence on Mill Mount Court, York, at 7:50pm on Saturday 29 June 2019. Mr Parker pleaded guilty by post and was fined £176, ordered to pay costs of £144 and a surcharge of £32.

Council action plan on graffiti

The York Council has published a report indicating how it will respond to reports of graffiti in future.

Domestic properties, hit by graffiti, will be offered a free removal service. Householders will have to give written permission for the Council to undertake the work. We think this initiative  is right. Simply living next to a public footpath should not involve the inconvenience and cost of having to remove unwanted graffiti from house walls.  

Owners of commercial premises will be offered the same service but will have to pay for it (£52 per sq. meter).

For the first time for over 5 years the Council has republished the current service level agreement for dealing with issues on Council estates. These were sometime called “customer contracts” in the past and were last reviewed in May 2013.  It confirms that target times for the removal of graffiti.  The Council will remove racist or offensive graffiti on council property within 24 hours. They will remove all other graffiti from council property within 5 working days.

The Council report is weak in two respects.

Money spent – almost £90,000 in a full year on removing graffiti – is a cost of failure. It simply shouldn’t happen. Yet the report fails to review what enforcement measures are being taken. There are no details given of prosecutions over the last few years.

Subjectively it does seem that the authorities have given criminal damage cases in general, and graffiti in particular, a low enforcement priority. Given the damage given to the City’s image by this crime, that approach needs to change in the future.

Secondly the new process doesn’t provide for preventative measures to be taken when graffiti is removed. There are anti-graffiti coatings available which repel paint and allows graffiti to be removed more easily.

This is a welcome step forward by a Council which has been severely criticised for failings in street level public service standards over the summer period.

Hopefully other issues will now get similar attention.

Police move to fill vacancies

Graduates, non-graduates, ‘career movers’ and ‘career starters’ – North Yorkshire Police announces latest drive for police officers

North Yorkshire Police has announced its latest recruitment drive for police officers as it reaches out to graduates, non-graduates, career movers and career starters to apply.

The latest campaign, which is live until 9am on 25 November, comes hot on the heels of a campaign to recruit more PCSOs. 

As announced by the force last month, there are now three new entry routes for new police recruits to get into policing. They are:

  • Apprenticeship: A three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) leading to a nationally recognised BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing Practice. New recruits will be employed by North Yorkshire Police and spend 80% of their time serving and protecting the community while ‘learning on the job’ and 20% of their work time studying towards their qualification through The Open University’s world-leading flexible distance learning programme.
  • Degree-holder entry programme (DHEP): A two-year accelerated route for those entering with a degree in any subject, enabling recruits employed by North Yorkshire Police to train as a police constable and gain a Graduate Diploma in Policing through The Open University at the same time.
  • Pre-join degree: For those who want to get a degree before they join, new recruits can then apply to the force as their degree is coming to an end and then complete a considerably reduced initial training route with their new police employer in recognition of their policing degree.

Deputy Chief Constable Phil Cain of North Yorkshire Police is keen for this recruitment campaign to reach out to all parts of the community in North Yorkshire.  She said:

“It is an exciting time to join policing and becoming a police officer really will give you some of the best and proudest days of your life. Whether you are a graduate or non-graduate, just starting out in your career or are a more experienced and mature individual looking for your next challenge there are various ways to join us, depending on your work, life and educational experience .

“The three new entry routes, and our recently announced collaboration with The Open University, signifies an exciting change in the way our officers are trained and developed throughout their careers – gaining a degree and learning and earning on the job at the same time.

“We’re also continuing to work hard on increasing diversity in our recruitment to ensure our workforce is representative of the communities that we serve. The last couple of recruitment drives has seen us attract the most diverse group of trainees that North Yorkshire has ever had and we’re proud of the progress we’ve made to date.

You can apply to join North Yorkshire Police as a police officer at northyorkshire.police.uk/policeofficer. Applications close at 9am on Monday 25 November.

The Positive Action team can be contacted on positiveaction@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk