SelectaDNA tagging spray deployed

North Yorkshire Police aim to identify law-breaking moped and off-road riders

North Yorkshire Police is set to use SelectaDNA tagging spray to target those who ride mopeds and off-road motorcycles in an illegal or anti-social manner.

Already successfully deployed by 14 other police forces in the UK, officers will use the DNA spray to safely tag offenders who often have their faces covered while making off from the police.

It marks the bikes, clothing and skin of riders and passengers with a uniquely-coded but invisible DNA that will provide forensic evidence to link them to a specific crime.

PCSO Justin Piercy deploys DNA spray during the police demonstration

The spray shows up blue under special UV lights and it can still be detected after washing.

The roll-out in North Yorkshire is being funded from the Proceeds of Crime Act at a cost of £2,500.

PC Tom Ibbetson, who has led the DNA spray initiative at North Yorkshire Police with support from the force’s Roads Policing Group, said: “As we have seen in other parts of the country, the use of SelectaDNA tagging spray is a very effective and safe police tactic in evidentially linking people on mopeds and off-road motorcycles to criminality and anti-social behaviour.

“The beauty of the DNA tagging spray is that suspects and bikes can be identified many weeks after being tagged, meaning they will have to be constantly looking over their shoulder because the police will catch up with them sooner or later.

PC Tom Ibbetson who is leading the roll-out of the DNA spray tactic at North  Yorkshire Police

“Importantly, it sends out a clear message to both offenders and concerned residents that North Yorkshire Police will not tolerate this type of behaviour. We will go to great lengths to bring offenders to justice and end the misery they are causing in many of our communities.”

Anyone with information about crime or anti-social behaviour linked to mopeds and off-road motorcycles is urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room.

You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.

For more information about SelectaDNA tagging spray, please go to www.selectadna.co.uk/dna-tagging-spray/news.

Police warning as burglars hit Askham Lane

On the evening of 08/12/18 a house on Askham Lane,York has been entered and keys to a vehicle stolen, it is possible the 3 youths on cycles may have been involved, should anyone have any Info please call 101 or Crimestoppers.Quote incident No 12180228501.

There have been a number of attempted thefts of vehicles and 2 in 1 styled burglaries in York. A 2 in 1 burglary is where offenders commit a burglary with the aim of stealing car keys. Please keep property doors and windows locked, even if you are at home and ensure any unattended vehicles are kept locked (even if you are only leaving it momentarily). Additionally, please keep vehicle and house keys out of sight and away from windows and doors.

If you see something suspicious please contact us on 101. Alternatively, if you witness what you suspect to be a crime in action, please call 999 immediately.

Wetherby Road traffic speed petition handed to Council

Cllr Andrew Waller has today handed a petition to the City of York Council asking them to address speeding concerns on Wetherby Road.

The move comes only a few days before work at the nearby roundabout junction with the A1237 is due to reach its final stages. Residents are concerned that the easier access to and from the roundabout will result in higher speeds in the built-up area.

About twelve months ago a flashing speed warning sign was removed form the road. The petition calls for it to be reinstated and the Police mobile camera van to pay occasional visits to the street.

When the flashing sign was working around 39% of passing vehicles trigger it, suggesting that there was already a speeding issue on the road.

Some residents have suggested that any new sign should display the actual speed of the passing vehicle. This type of sign has proved to be effective in neighbouring counties in reinforcing the speeding message to motorist.

The petition will now be considered by the Council prior to a report and recommendations for action being published.

Vehicle speeds in York – Comprehensive stats released by police

The North Yorkshire Police have published updated statistics which reveal the speed of vehicles using roads in York. The figures have been derived from automatic equipment which has been deployed over the last 4 years. Usually the sites for the equipment have been selected following complaints raised by members of the public.

The stats are separate from those collected by the speed camera vans which are sometimes deployed in the area. The request for the data was partly prompted by a concern that the speed vans weren’t concentrating their time on roads with poor accident records.

250 roads have been checked in the York area during the last 4 years.

Information covering the results for the whole of North Yorkshire can be downloaded by clicking this link

The information for the monitoring equipment was routinely reported to a York Council meeting until 2015.  The process was centralised in North Yorkshire thereafter and largely fell out of the public gaze.

The published information shows the mean speed and the 85%tile speed recorded on each road. The latter figure is the speed that 85% of vehicles drive within. It is most commonly used by professionals to decide whether a road has a speeding problem. (Vehicles exceeding that limit could include emergency vehicles)

The stats also record the number of accidents – where speed is an issue – recorded on each road.

There are several conclusions which can be drawn from the data:

  1. A 30-mph speed limit is observed by most drivers using roads in the urban area
  2. 20 mph speed limits are not being observed although on those roads there have been no speed related accidents while mean speeds generally remain below 30 mph. The only monitored road with an 85% speed of less than a 20 mph limit was St Johns Walk
  3. The only roads where there have been speed related accidents, and where drivers were routinely exceeding the speed limit, were North Lane (Huntington), Jockey Lane (Huntington), Heworth Green, Intake Lane (Acaster Malbis) Osbaldwick link Road, York Road (Naburn) and Huntington Road (nr Cats Protection office). Accident prevention works have subsequently taken place at some of the these sites.
  4. Of the roads with speed issues in the York area, during the early autumn, the speed camera vans visited Millfield Lane (Poppleton), Strensall Road (Huntington), the Monks Cross link road,  Temple Lane (Copmanthorpe) and Tadcaster Road in Dringhouses. However, the vans  spent most of their time on the A64 and A59.

Overall the figures suggest that excessive speeding is not a problem on most monitored roads in the City.

Speed related accidents are also relatively low. In the City, since the beginning of 2017, there have been 5 serious injuries caused by speeding vehicles plus a further 13 accidents which were classified as “slight”.

The York Council would be wise to reintroduce a regular public monitor of the statistics and the action taken to reduce the possibility of accidents in the future.

They could usefully begin by reinstating the missing speed warning signs (VAS) on streets like Wetherby Road.

Trial changes to reduce the number of vehicles using footstreets in York

Following advice from North Yorkshire Police, City of York Council is putting measures in place to improve public safety across the city centre where there are a large number of pedestrians.

Following a decision by the Executive in February, the council commissioned independent security experts to develop a plan for long-term measures to combat the ongoing threat of ‘vehicle weapon attacks’ like those seen recently in Toronto, London and Nice.

A trial of the measures to reduce the number of vehicles in the city’s main footstreet area will take place before permanent measures are installed in the coming months.

The trial will include ending vehicle access to St Sampson’s Square during foot street hours (10.30am-5pm, seven days a week) by using an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO).

The current restrictions will also be enforced along Coney Street with the introduction of bollards at the northern end of the street, close to the Mansion House.

After this initial trial, a wider consultation on the city centre will be commissioned by the Council and will provide an opportunity for everyone in the city to share their views on access to the city centre. (more…)

Couple sentenced for Blue Badge fraud in York

6 caught short fined

An investigation carried out by City of York Council has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a case of disabled Blue Badge fraud.

On 23 October, York Magistrates sentenced a couple from Malton to a 12-month conditional discharge each and ordered each to pay £200 in costs and £20 in surcharges.

David Wade (age 54 of Howe Court, Norton, Malton) was found using a family member’s blue badge for his own benefit in York city centre in April 2018, and later provided false information to the council on the matter. Marie Wade, (aged 51 of Howe Court) was found to have provided false information to the council regarding her husband’s actions.

An investigation into the misuse was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service. A Blue Badge can only be used when the badge holder is present or being picked up or dropped off at the point where the car is parked displaying the badge.

In April 2018, a council Civil Enforcement Officer encountered Mr Wade using a blue badge in central York. Mr Wade claimed he was picking up the badge holder and his wife who were nearby. However, he drove away after he was issued with a Penalty Charge Notice.

Later that day Mrs Wade called the council to complain that her husband had been parked waiting to pick up her and the badge holder who were now both left behind in York. Several weeks later the husband and wife submitted paperwork which repeated this allegation in an attempt to cancel the parking fine.

During Veritau’s investigation Mr Wade admitted that his wife and the badge holder were not in York when he displayed the badge and that at the time Mrs Wade was at their home in Malton. He told investigators that he wanted to visit the city centre during his lunch hour and to save time, drove in and displayed the badge. Mrs Wade admitted to investigators that she made the phone call to the council because she was worried about the consequences, should her husband’s actions be investigated further.

Mr and Mrs Wade pleaded guilty to all charges at York Magistrates’ Court on 23 October 2018.

Anyone with any information on fraudulent activity should please phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email fraud@york.gov.uk .

Magistrates sentence six for urinating in public

York magistrates have sentenced six people for urinating in public with a fine of £2541, following City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police action against alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

James Benjamin Moore (aged 27 of Woolnough Avenue, York) was sentenced yesterday (23 October) at York Magistrates Court for urinating against the wall next to a taxi rank in St Saviourgate York at 03:50hrs on Friday 20 July 2018. Mr Moore was noticeably intoxicated and continued to urinate despite noticing a police officer’s presence, when he then became increasingly aggressive when the officer asked for his name. Mr Moore pleaded guilty and was given a total sentence of  £447.

Jonathon Roy Alderson (aged 37 of Roebuck Ridge, Barnsley) pleaded guilty after urinating against private property near York Racecourse at 19:30 on the evening of Saturday 28 July 2018. Mr Alderson, who apologised upon seeing the police officer, pleaded guilty to urinating in public and was given a total sentence of £478.

On 23 October 2018, the court heard that Ellis Alex Parker (aged 32 years of Horsforth, Leeds) was found by police officers at 19:45 hours, Saturday 28 July 2018, urinating against a wall near Albermarle Road, York. When approached by the officer, Mr Parker became aggressive and began swearing and initially refused to give any personal details. Mr Parker pleaded guilty by post and York Magistrates ordered him to pay a total of £460.

The court heard that Harry Edward Murphy (aged 18 of Stammergate, Ripon) and Owen Taylor Abbott (aged 18 years of Clotherholme Road, Ripon) were seen by a PCSO urinating against the shutters of Thomas Cook, Clifford Street, York in the late hours of Wednesday 15 August 2018. When approached, one of the males was apologetic for the offence, for which they were both cautioned and reported for summons. Both defendants pleaded guilty at York Magistrates court, Mr Murphy sentenced to pay £380 while Mr Abbott was sentenced to pay £409.

York Magistrates also heard a guilty plea from Tyler Anne Mathias (aged 23 of Richmond Drive, Goole) for urinating next to St Chad’s Church on Campleshon Road, York. Ms Mathias was visibly intoxicated when approached by the officer at 18:00 hours Saturday 25 August 2018, where she was no further than 200 hundred metres from toilet facilities at the racecourse. In mitigation, she said that she had been suffering from a water infection at the time and had to sprint across the road. Ms Mathias was sentenced to pay £367.

“I’m grateful to our partners North Yorkshire Police and the court for supporting our enforcement action. We will continue to prosecute individuals displaying alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the city.”

Crime in North Yorkshire up by 9%

The increase is revealed in a Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) “Crime in England and Wales, year ending June 2018” bulletin

It shows there were a total of 40,782 crimes in North Yorkshire during the 12-month period, giving a crime rate of 49.7 per 1,000 of the population.

This 9% local increase is below the national average crime increase of 10%.

Broken down into the main crime categories, the ONS figures for North Yorkshire show:

  • Burglary decreased by 1% (3,658 crimes in total, of which 2,235 are recorded as domestic burglaries and 1,423 non-domestic burglaries)
  • Drug offences increased by 6% (1,592 crimes in total)
  • Violence and against the person increased by 20% (11,811 crimes in total), which is broken down into Violence with Injury (5,112 crimes in total, a 10% increase); Violence without Injury category (4,821 crimes in total, a 22% increase); Harassment and Stalking (1,849 crimes in total, a 47% increase)
  • Possession of weapons offences up by 22% (247 crimes in total)
  • Robbery increased by 14% (183 crimes in total)
  • Theft offences increased by 4% (16,822 crimes in total)
  • Theft from the person down by 1% (444 crimes in total)
  • Bicycle theft reduced by 12% (1,095 crimes in total)
  • Shoplifting increased by 11% (4,686 crimes in total)
  • All other theft offences up by 2% (4,466 crimes in total)
  • Criminal damage and arson up by 3% (5,934 crimes in total)
  • Vehicle Offences were up 15% with 2,473 crimes in total
  • Sexual offences increased by 13% (1,649 crimes in total). As previously highlighted, this rise is regarded as a reflection of the confidence victims have in North Yorkshire Police, particularly those making historical complaints in the wake of high profile historical sexual abuse cases, plus support from dedicated facilities for victims of sexual assault
  • Public order offences up by 18% (1,774 crimes in total)
  • Miscellaneous crimes against society, which includes the possession and publication of extreme sexual images, fell by 2% with 743 crimes in total

Chief Constable Lisa Winward said: “Today’s figures show North Yorkshire remains the lowest crime area in England and Wales. There has been an increase in recorded offences, but this is also slightly lower than the national average.

Projects reported “on target” to meet promised completion dates

The Wetherby Road roundabout improvement is on course to meet its expected Spring 2019 completion date. In total the improvement will take around 40 weeks to construct.

Wetherby Road speed sign missing for over a year now

The design of the improvement has raised concerns that the speeds of vehicles leaving the junction may be higher than are currently recorded.
In turn, that has prompted some residents on Wetherby Road to ask for the missing flashing speed warning sign to be reinstated. The sign on the odd numbered side of the road has been missing for over a year now. When it was last in place, around 20% of passing vehicles caused it to operate.
A petition is being collected asking for the flashing signs to be modernised. Residents are also calling for an occasional visit by the North Yorkshire Police speed camera van. There are already signs in place warning that there are speed cameras in the area (there aren’t any fixed cameras in this location or anywhere else in York for that matter).
Nearby York Civic Trust engineers have confirmed that they will complete the restoration of the stonework on the Acomb War Memorial before 11th November.
A Service of Remembrance is scheduled to take place then with wreaths being laid at around 11:00am.
The York Council has not yet confirmed that it will complete work on trimming trees and branches in the garden of remembrance before the service. Work on providing an improved access for disabled people is also outstanding.

Bogus speed camera sign on Wetherby Road

Work on Wetherby Road roundabout proceeding on schedule

Acomb war memorial