Feeling safer? Tell it to Rod

Safer York web site is still out of date

The York Council is reviewing the effectiveness of its “Safer York” partner at a meeting next week. A biannual report has been tabled

Anyone wondering what the safer York Partnership does will no doubt head for the Councils web site., It has a page with 8 lines devoted to the organisation https://www.york.gov.uk/info/20152/community_safety/1361/safer_york_partnership

The web site provides a hot link to the partnerships own web site.  http://www.saferyorkpartnership.co.uk/

Anyone following this link may be disappointed to find that the site hasn’t been updated for 2 years!

So, back to the report on its activities.

Councillors will be told that “due to changes in the way police data is supplied to local authorities and the introduction of tighter data access control, CYC no longer routinely receives data recorded by the Police”!

Key priorities are identified as

  • Road & River Safety
  • Keeping the City Centre
  • Protecting People from Harm
  • Tackling Anti-social Behaviour
  • Serious Organised Crime
  • Tackling Substance Misuse Public Health

The report does, however, go on to report some good news.

Our surveys reveal that anti-social behaviour remains one of the key concerns with the rise of the “moped gang” spotlighted by many respondents.

The SYP report concentrates on the York city centre. It says, “Although there remains a perception that alcohol related anti-social behaviour has increased, there was a 14% reduction between 2016 and 2017 and an 11% reduction between 2017 and 2018. Much of the behaviour which is highlighted in media reports is low level nuisance rather than criminal and this is addressed through high visibility patrols by the police, BID Rangers and CYC Neighbourhood Enforcement Team”.

The report says, “There has been an increase in the number of needles found in public areas within the city centre”.

One unexpected note of caution is sounded, on the subject of buskers.

“The Neighbourhood Enforcement team have planned Saturday afternoon joint patrols with Make It York with the purpose of engaging with all buskers in the city centre and to ask them not to hand their microphones to members of the public.

All buskers will be provided with a laminated card they can show the public which states that they are not permitted by CYC or MIY to hand over their microphone in the interest of reducing noise nuisance and ASB”.

Unfortunately the crime stats reported  are not up to date

York Police spread the word about illegal motorcycles as action to target nuisance riders brings “significant results”

Officers at North Yorkshire Police will be working with schools, colleges, motorcycle dealers and instructors to cut down on the number of illegal and nuisance motorbike riders on our roads.

They are trying to reach younger riders to educate them about how to stay safe and legal – and warn them of the consequences if they break the law.

It’s part of Operation Confiscate, which was launched in response to residents’ complaints about antisocial motorcycle riders in York.

Residents are urged to help police crack down on nuisance riders by reporting offences on 101 or by emailing snayorknorth@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If possible, please take details of the registration, make or model, colour or a description of the rider or the helmet they are wearing. Information will be passed on to North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group so offenders can be tracked down and dealt with.

Police Community Support Officers will be visiting the locations to hand out information and talk to riders and other members of the community about how they can help police tackle the issue.

Officers are also carrying out regular enforcement patrols with off-road police motorbikes. They are using information supplied by the public and are targeting hotspots. These currently include the suburbs of Clifton, Fulford and Heworth.

In the last month alone, a number of motorbikes and scooters have been stopped by police in York, including:

  • A motorbike that was seized in Huntington for being uninsured and ridden while it was declared off the road (SORN)
  • A scooter rider who had no tax or MOT. The rider was reported and the scooter has been seized
  • A motorbike rider who has been given a Section 59 warning notice for antisocial riding
  • A scooter rider who has been reported for having no MOT and incorrectly displaying a front L plate
  • A scooter rider who is due to be interviewed on suspicion of having no licence or insurance after a police stop in Clifton

York North PCSO Harl Pattison, who is working on Operation Confiscate, said: “As the operation continues,  we’re seeing some significant results. These results are making a real difference to residents’ quality of life and making their communities safer.

“But we want to prevent illegal riding happening in the first place. So we’re doing more and more work to reach young riders and influence the way they ride.

“By working with other people in the community, we’re spreading the word that riding antisocially or without tax, insurance, an MOT or a  licence is foolish and it won’t be tolerated.

“We’re enforcing the law too, and in the last month alone we’ve been sending riders to court, handing out official warnings or seizing motorcycles. We’re showing riders that the stakes are high, so chancing it could cost them dearly.”

Police are being supported by partner agencies such as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency who can carry out roadside checks and make sure the vehicles are roadworthy. If not, prohibitions notices to remove the vehicle from the road can be issued.

North Yorkshire Police is reminding riders to check the following before taking to the road:

York cyclists urged to “switch on to road safety” as nights get longer

Cyclists in York are being warned they will be fined if they fail to use bike lights.

As the nights draw in, North Yorkshire Police is launching enforcement patrols across the city to encourage cyclists to “switch on” to road safety.

They will issue Traffic Offence Reports, which carry a £50 penalty, to those riding on pedestrian-only pavements or not using lights when it’s dark.

York Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Lee Pointon said: “As a major cycling city, it’s important that we make sure cyclists in York are safe and legal.

“Cyclists are vulnerable road users. But they also have a responsibility to ride legally and ensure they are seen. So if you ride a bike you must make sure you’re switched on when it comes to road safety.

“The cost of a set of lights is significantly less than the cost of a fine.

“And sometimes the cost is more than just financial – our officers have to knock on doors after cyclists are badly hurt or killed and break that devastating news to their families.

“If you saw what we see, you’d know it’s not worth risking it – you’d ride safely and be seen.”

Cyclists should take the following steps to stay safe:

  • Always use an approved set of front and rear bike lights. You can be fined if you don’t.
  • Switch them on from twilight – as soon as the light starts to drop
  • Check them regularly to see if you need to change the batteries or recharge them
  • Always use designated cycle paths or roads. Keep off pedestrian-only paths or face a fine
  • Wear highly-visible clothing, preferably light-reflective gear
  • Remember that even when you’re well lit you’re less visible at night than during the day, so always pay attention to your surroundings

The patrols will start on Monday and will run throughout autumn and winter.

Vote for your “top cop”

Public Choice Award 2018 – who wins? You decide!

Members of the public are being asked to choose the winner of this year’s North Yorkshire Police Public Choice Award.

Public Choice Award 2018 – who wins? You decide!Each year the Force collects nominations for officers, staff and volunteers who have shown particular courage, compassion and inspiration in the course of their duties.  A shortlist is selected and put to public vote.

Past winners of the Public Choice Award include PC Richard Farrar, who single-handedly tackled an armed thief, PC Mike Tinsley for handling a domestic knife attack and Sergeant Ed Simpson for his work in breaking down the stigma of mental illness in the blue light services.

This year the nominees include:

  • Police staff member Kim Wray, for her work with Police Cadets
  • PC Mike Barker, for saving a man from suicide
  • DS Angie Carey for her work safeguarding adults and children
  • PC Craig Davies and PC Richard O’Connell for tackling a knife-man in a domestic incident
  • DS Tracey Williams for her work on child safeguarding
  • The Rural Taskforce
  • Sergeant Amy Hunter for her campaign to create a memorial for a colleague murdered on duty
  • PCSO Angie Smith for supporting students and staff at a school in the aftermath of a gun-plot

To read about the nominees and place your vote, visit:  www.northyorkshire.police.uk/award18   Voting closes at noon on 11 October.

Only 5 fined for dog fouling offences in York

Notices put up to deter dog fouling

Only five people were fined during the last year for allowing their dog to foul public places in the City.

The figures are revealed in a new report which lists the enforcement action taken during 2017/18 by the York

Council on a wide range of offences

Recent surveys have revealed that dog fouling remains a major concern for residents living in some neighbourhoods.

More fines were actually issued in the City centre to men found urinating in public than were handed out for dog fouling

The report does however highlight several success for enforcement teams.

  • 64 years imprisonment (5 years suspended)
  • £21k in fines
  • 1060 hours of unpaid work
  • £311k in compensation for victims
  • £3.3m in proceeds of crime confiscation orders
  • £98k in costs awards

The bulk of these relate to fraud and “Ecrime” activities.

In addition various actions were taken on housing issues while 10 neighbourhood enforcement officers dealt with reports of anti social behaviour, fly-posting, littering and similar offences.


City centre security on the council agenda

Plans to protect York’s busiest city centre spaces from the threat of terrorist attacks will be considered by two key council committees over the next fortnight.

York’s busiest city centre spaces are set for increased protection under plans unveiled by the council to combat the threat posed to UK cities by terrorists.

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.

After reviewing all the city centre access points, the report recommends changes in the first ‘priority zone’ including Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, High Ousegate and Spurriergate, Coney Street, Davygate, Finkle Street, Church Street and Jubbergate.

Longer-term, this will involve replacing many of the existing temporary measures, such as those at the end of Parliament Street, with permanent fixtures.

The council plans to introduce this as an experimental traffic order, which will give up to six months to understand the impact and work with affected groups like residents, retailers and disabled people.

Before the decision is taken on Thursday 27 September, the Executive has requested that the proposals are presented to today’s Economy and Place Development Committee, so the committee can consider the potential impact that the measures could have on disabled access to the city centre.

Superintendent Lindsey Robson, commander for the York and Selby area, said:

“We’re working with the council to make sure that York has the right security measures in place to keep residents and visitors as safe as possible.

“The national threat level remains severe which means a terrorist attack is highly likely and is likely to come without notice.

“This combined with the shift in methods from complex, coordinated attacks that we’ve seen around the world, to more basic attacks in the UK using hire cars and knives, means that we must do all that we can to protect the city from such attacks.

·             “Alongside these physical measures there is a lot going on behind the scenes and we continue to work alongside counter terrorism police to prevent, disrupt and deter dangerous extremists across the country.

“We thank members of the public for their continuing support and although the likelihood of being involved in an attack is low, we urge them to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or activity to police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or via gov.uk/ACT. In an emergency always call 999.”

The current threat level across the UK from international terrorism remains at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely and the police reiterate the long-standing advice to remain vigilant and alert.

In the rare event of getting caught up in a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice. Run to a place of safety rather than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go then hide and don’t confront. Finally, and only when it is safe to do so, tell the police by calling 999.


Speed camera vans in North Yorkshire generate £1.9 million in income

The annual report into the performance of North Yorkshires 12 speed camera vans has been published.

We have been critical of the Crime Commissioner in the past for failing to demonstrate a link between the deployment of the vans and a reduction in accident rates.

The latest report makes some attempt to do so.

Overall speed related accidents, resulting in death or serious injury, have fluctuated since 2010 when the first vans were deployed.

There were fewer serious accidents recorded  in 2017 that in 2016.

However, safer roads may result from several factors. Local Council proactively carry out engineering work at accident black-spots while passive measures, such as signs which flash a vehicles speed, can also have an effect.

So, we must look closer for evidence that the cameras are reducing speeds and accident levels.

The vans mostly concentrate on locations where there is a known speeding problem. This includes sites like Whitwell on the Hill on the A64 where 4686 violations were recorded during 2017.

We looked in vain for a trend over the years in both average recorded speeds, the percentage of drivers speeding and accident levels for this section of road.

There are, however, around 20 serious accidents on the A64 each year, so some speed monitoring is clearly justified.

We remain supportive of the deployment of mobile cameras. In addition to monitoring speeds they can now spot other infringements like mobile phone use and lack of a seat belt.

The ANPR facility allows professional criminals to be identified as they move into and around the county.

But we remain sceptical about whether 12 mobile cameras can be justified. They cost taxpayers a net £263,000 last year.

Yet many local roads like Wetherby Road and Green Lane in west York didn’t receive a single visit for a van last year. Anyone monitoring the flashing signs on these roads will see that around 10% of drivers are exceeding the speed limit.

In a residential area that is a potential safety risk which requires some attention

Urgent appeal: Kyle James Bostock, 20, wanted in connection with knife incident in Tudor Road

UPDATE: Kyle James Bostock, 20, arrested in connection with knife incident in York

Kyle James Bostock, 20, was arrested at 2.35pm (Tuesday 11 September 2018) in York in connection with the knife incident on Tudor Road, Acomb, on Sunday 9 September 2018. He is being held in custody for questioning as part of the ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information that could assist enquiries is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Please quote reference number 12180168690 when providing details about this incident.


Police investigating a knife incident in York have issued an urgent appeal to locate a man wanted in connection with the inquiry.

The Force Control Room received the report at 8.04am on Sunday (9 September 2018) about the incident that occurred on Tudor Road in the Acomb area earlier that morning.

A 25-year-old local man had suffered significant but not serious injuries believed to be from a knife. He was taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary and was discharged following treatment.

A 21-year-old man from Harrogate was arrested in connection with the incident at 1.23pm on Sunday. Following questioning he was released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.

Due to the serious nature of the incident, officers from the Firearms Support Unit were deployed to assist with the arrest and the search for another man.

Enquiries are ongoing to locate Kyle James Bostock, aged 20, from Ripon who is wanted in connection with the investigation. A police helicopter was called in on Sunday to support the search.


Bostock is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, with short blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts or possible sightings are urged to call North Yorkshire Police immediately on 101, option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Please quote reference number 12180168690 when providing details about this incident.

The scene of the incident on Tudor Road remained closed to the public during Sunday while Crime Scene Investigators attended and searches were completed. It re-opened on Sunday evening.