Vandals attack wall in Foxwood

Disappointing to see that a flower bed wall in Corlett Court has been damaged by vandals. Hopefully the culprits will be identified and forced to pay for repairs! The area will be tidied up prior to permanent repairs being completed before the end of the month. 

Elsewhere the Foxwood Residents Association are meeting tonight. One of the issues to be considered may be the location of additional car parking in the area. Following the completion of the bays in Oldman Court it is hoped to extend the lay-by in Spurr Court. After that it is up to residents to decide where the next bay goes.

Some suggested locations for additional parking bays

Policing concerns at record high levels in Westfield

Early results from a survey of residents opinion on public service standards have revealed that over a third of respondents rate policing in the estate as “poor”. When asked about Policing services residents rated it as

Vandalism a growing problem

  • Good – 13%
  • Satisfactory – 49%
  • Poor – 38%

This represents a marked decline from previous results

Many residents, responding to a separate Westfield Focus survey, said that they hadn’t seen a Police Officer or PCSO in their street during the previous 4 weeks

The Lib Dems have now announced that they would give the North Yorkshire police force an extra £2.8 million a year

Liberal Democrats have announced they would boost investment in police forces by £300m a year. This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing. Theresa May as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has cut policing budgets by over £2bn, eroding the very fabric of community policing.

Under the Liberal Democrats North Yorkshire would see a funding increase of £2.8 million a year. This could be used to restore a visible policing presence in the community and ensure the police have the training and tools to deal with the changing nature of crime.

“This investment in our police is absolutely vital. Under Theresa May – first as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, our police have had to deal with the most brutal of cuts. These are now cutting into the bone.

“Our police work tirelessly to keep us safe and this Government has completely betrayed them.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have a credible plan to reverse the increase in violent crime, boost community confidence and ensure the police have the resources they need to keep us safe.”

 

  •  On policing cuts: According to figures from the National Audit Office (NAO), from 2010/11 to 2015/16 central government grant to police and crime commissioners and their equivalents in London including specific grants and council tax freeze grants has reduced £2.2 billion in real terms. This represents a 22% real terms reduction. – http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7279/CBP-7279.pdf
  • On police strength: At 31 March 2016 total strength of the 43 police forces in England & Wales reached just over 124,000 FTE officers. This is the lowest number of police officers recorded under the current strength measure. This is not a pattern we see in Scotland where police numbers have seen year on year increases almost continuously since 1985.
  • On neighbourhood policing: In the PEEL report Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies warned that the neighbourhood policing model was under threat due to funding cuts. The report stated:
  • Since 2015, there has been a substantial drop in the proportion of people who say they have seen the police, on foot or in a police car, regularly, in their area. Our research shows that, now, fewer than one in five people feel there is a regular uniformed police presence in their area. Where neighbourhood teams exist, police officers are routinely taken away from their local areas to meet demands in other parts of the force area, leaving a reducing number of PCSOs as the mainstay of community teams. – https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/state-of-policing-2016.pdf

So is alcohol fuelled violence getting out of hand in York City centre

With seemly daily reports in the media about drunken behavior and violence in York city centre, what are the actual crime statistics for the area within the inner ring road?

Fortunately they are readily available on the Police UK web site

The latest monthly figures available cover the month of March.

Distribution of crimes

There were 448 crimes reported in March. The majority of these were for anti social behavior,violence and shop lifting.

It was a similar picture during the previous 12 month period

Crime type Total Percentage
Anti-social behaviour 2373 43.68%
Violence and sexual offences 790 14.54%
Shoplifting 649 11.95%
Other theft 419 7.71%
Bicycle theft 340 6.26%
Criminal damage and arson 220 4.05%
Theft from the person 173 3.18%
Public order 153 2.82%
Burglary 120 2.21%
Drugs 83 1.53%
Vehicle crime 41 0.75%
Other crime 35 0.64%
Possession of weapons 19 0.35%
Robbery 18 0.33%

Crime levels usually increase in the summer when larger numbers of people visit the City. Officials will be looking anxiously at the figures for April and May, when any adverse trends may become clearer

What happens to these arrested?

Some go to court, but most do not!

So who is responsible?

Many of the crimes are fuelled by alcohol.

Here the City Council must take some of the responsibility.

They have cheerfully nodded through more and more licensing applications and have even given planning permission for new premises such as the arts barge whihc will have a bar. They have been recommended to allow up to 5 new licensed premises at the shipping container village which is to be located near the Walmgate trouble blackspot.

Not all licensed premises contribute to the problems but it would be reasonable to ask all four candidates in the forthcoming general election what they want to see done to reassure residents that parts of the City centre are not becoming a “no go zone” during parts of the day.

Police appeal following incident on Windsor Garth, York

 

North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about an incident involving a member of the public who was possibly assaulted.

The incident happened at about 12.30am on Sunday 7 May 2017 when a man was walking along Windsor Garth, York.

Prior to the incident there were two young men aged in their twenties who were walking behind the member of the public and they appeared to be arguing.

The member of the public then woke up on the floor on Windsor Garth and had suffered a head injury. It is unsure at this stage how the injury was sustained or what caused it.

We are conducting enquiries and are requesting the public’s assistance to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

We are appealing for witnesses or anyone who can provide any further information about the incident to get in touch as soon as possible to assist the investigation.

If you can help, please contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for PC 63 Amanda Popely. You can also email amanda.popely@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170078144.

Police appeal for information after 13 year old boy assaulted on number 1 bus in Acomb

 North Yorkshire Police are appealing for witnesses and information following an assault on a 13-year-old boy on the number 1 bus travelling from York city centre in the direction of Acomb on Monday 3 April 2017.
 At around 4pm the boy was sitting at the front of the bus on the top deck. The bus had just left the Blossom Street bus stop when a man described as white, aged in his 50’s of large build with a bald head and grey hair to the sides, wearing a grey round neck jumper and carrying a white carrier bag sat next to the boy. The man is believed to have assaulted the boy by grabbing his face and elbowing him in the chin, causing the boy to fall backwards. The man then left the bus at the Front Street bus stop in Acomb.
The 13-year-old victim did not suffer any serious injuries, but has been left shaken by the incident.
Police are conducting enquiries and are requesting the public’s assistance to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.
We are appealing for information from anyone who witnessed the incident and in particular from a man who it is believed challenged the suspect following the incident.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for PC 1742 Pauline Law. You can also email pauline.law@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170056449.

Fake phone cover pedlar handed suspended sentence and fined £1,280

A street pedlar who sold counterfeit phone and tablet covers in York city centre has been given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for one year, with the requirement he also undertakes 300 hours unpaid work. Mr Faye was also fined a total of £1,280 by York Magistrates today (12 April 2017).

The fake brands included Dior and Apple and were among thousands of items discovered stockpiled in the pedlar’s basement and a storage unit by City of York Council trading standards officers.
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York police rolling out mini speed camera vans

The number of camera vans operating in North Yorkshire has doubled.  Six new, smaller sized, vehicles are expected to concentrate on villages and “more built-up areas”

They’ll be added to the six transit-sized vans already in the force’s mobile “speedcam” fleet. Chief Constable Dave Jones says the new vans mean drivers are likely to be caught on camera “in areas they didn’t previously expect”

The announcement will reawaken the controversy about how effective the police policy is on controlling vehicle speeds.

The force says, “Our mobile safety camera vehicles aim to reduce the number of collisions, deaths and serious injuries on our roads”.

FOI requests asking for trend data on average speeds – and accident rates – on roads subject to regular speed camera visits were ignored last year.

So all we know is that around £1 million a year is being taken in fines and “speed awareness course” income. This effectively pays for the camera vans and is a powerful incentive to use them where non compliance is at its most likely (essentially on trunk roads)

North Yorkshire speed stats

In effect the only success measure that is published is the number of vehicles found to be exceeding the speed limit on a day. This data can be viewed by clicking here

The Police site also lists the roads which are currently liable to be monitored

In York the list currently is:

York

  • Tadcaster Road Dringhouses York
  • Strensall Road Huntington York
  • Church Lane, Wheldrake
  • Millfield Lane Poppleton York
  • A64 Eastbound Heslington York
  • A64 Westbound Heslington York
  • A64 Westbound Murton
  • A64 Westbound a Fulford
  • A64 Claxton
  • A19 Skelton
  • A64 Jack Daw Crag Overbridge-Westbound
  • A64 Jack Daw Crag Overbridge-Ebound
  • B1222 Cawood Junct of Kelfield-
  • B1217 Saxton
  • A59 Poppleton Road (Holgate)
  • A59 Boroughbridge Road (opposite shops)
  • A1036 Huntington South Moor

New policing plan weak on York neighbourhoods

The North Yorkshire  Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has published a new plan covering the period up to 2021.

She claims that it addresses the issues raised by respondents to a consultation undertaken last year. It appears that the response to the consultation was very low with less than 1% of the population participating.

One reason for the lack of interest may be the failure of previous plans to successfully address concerns about street level crime.

Anti-Social Behaviour, vandalism, drug and alcohol misuse figure high on many residents list of concerns.

These issues have got worse in sub-urban York since the, so called, “anti-social behaviour hub” was established in West Offices – at a stroke robbing communities of their day to day contact with community constables.

Now the Police are promoting a new “Community Safety Support Team” suggesting that they still haven’t got the message that centralisation isn’t the solution to street level crime problems.

Much of the PCCs new crime plan is waffle. There is a strong undercurrent of ambition – mostly surrounding a planned take-over of Fire and Rescue services. The plan talks about sharing “estates” – a euphemism for downsizing (such as the planned closure of the Acomb Police station)

There are no numeric targets in the plan.

It remains highly unclear how police resources are currently divided between operational and support activities – much less what the future holds.

The approach is reminiscent of the inability of the Police to articulate what effect their, now ubiquitous, speed camera vans have actually had on accident levels (or even average speeds) on monitored roads.

In parts of York, very recently, communication from neighbourhood policing teams has improved.  

Better use is being made of social media channels like Twitter while the police have also launched a Community Messaging service.

This may suggest that, freed from the dead hand of the PCCs Harrogate office, local police forces can indeed engage effectively with local residents.

£15,457 penalties for Blue Badge on-line scammer

The conviction follows an investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team

A man and his company who misled disabled people into paying £49 a time for Blue Badge parking permits was sentenced to financial penalties totalling £15,457.35 yesterday (30 March 2017) at York Magistrates’ Court.

Ramiro Rohan Depass, aged 23 of Thameshill Avenue, Romford, Essex, pleaded guilty to misleading consumers by using copycat websites to sell Blue Badge parking permits, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.  He was fined £1,230, ordered to pay £5,139.98 compensation to 102 of his victims, and pay prosecution costs of £4,847.37 and a victim surcharge to the Court of £120.  His company, Impetus Solutions Limited, was fined £4,000 and pay a victim surcharge of £120.

Depass’s activities came to light after over 100 complaints were made to the Citizens Advice  and Action Fraud helplines over an eight-month period in 2015/16, triggering an investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.

Depass’s scheme worked by diverting those searching online for Blue Badges to apply via his own website, meaning that badges were never issued. Disabled drivers were charged £49 for these non-existent badges, which are normally bought from the local council for £10.

In April 2016 officers from the National Trading Standards eCrime Team (NTSeCT) raided a house in Romford and found documents linking Depass to the scam. He presented himself to police later that week.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at City of York Council, said: “This profiteering is despicable and shows a casual disregard for the law alongside a willingness to exploit vulnerable people genuinely eligible to hold a Blue Badge. I applaud our expert investigators for unveiling and successfully prosecuting another ecrime which impersonates legitimate, at cost local authority services.”
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Police appeal after windows smashed on Bramham Road, York

Vandalism still a problem in parts of York

 North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about a criminal damage that occurred on Bramham Road, York, on the evening of 29 March 2017.

It happened on Bramham Road at around 9pm on 29 March 2017 and involved a dark figure believed to be male approaching the address and throwing broken pieces of paving slab through the front windows.

We are conducting enquiries and are requesting the public’s assistance to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for PC Gareth Foster.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170053054.

Contact details:

gareth foster – #837
gareth.foster@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 101
Incident reference:
12170053054