Commissioner cuts £172,000 from police dogs budget

North Yorkshire Police, Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary are to merge their police dog sections to create a single integrated service from summer 2016.

it is claimed that the move “will increase police coverage in rural areas, reduce overall costs by more than three million pounds over the next five years, and enable a substantial 24-hour dog unit to be to retained across the three Forces”.

Police dog

Police dogs carry out a wide range of duties to support police operations, including tracking people, chasing down criminals, finding explosives, cash, weapons or drugs, “passive” drug identification, keeping public order and supporting firearms officers.  Many of these tasks require highly specialised training, which means that, at the moment, each Force only has a limited number of police dogs with these skills.

Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary embarked on a shared dog unit earlier this year and hope to build on this success through the further collaboration with North Yorkshire. Police dogs and their handlers from the three forces will all be trained in the same way and will adopt the same tactical approaches.  This will give each force access to more police dogs per shift, as well as greater access to specialist police dogs to cover particular types of operations.

In North Yorkshire, dogs live with their handlers in different locations across the whole county.

To support them better, operational bases will be set up in Harrogate, York Fulford Road, Northallerton/Thirsk and East Coast/Ryedale.

These, together with bases in Durham and Cleveland, will mean that more dogs are deployable to the north of the county, improving the service to some of North Yorkshire’s most remote rural areas, as well as covering urban “hot spots” more effectively.

As part of the move, dog handlers in North Yorkshire will fall in line with their counterparts by working 12-hour shifts, a change from their current variable pattern with shorter shifts.

Mike Stubbs of North Yorkshire’s Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said it had “serious concerns about the move to 12 hour shifts”.

He said: “North Yorkshire is a very different environment to Cleveland or Durham – our dog handlers have to cover a massive area.

“Is it right they should be expected to do a blue light emergency run on demanding roads towards the end of a 12 hour shift, having already driven many miles across the county in the course of their shift?

“There are laws and limits for commercial drivers to protect against the effects of driver fatigue which the police enforce. It defies common sense that those principles are being ignored for drivers of police vehicles.”

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York woman forfeits £2990 as Police announce local award winners.

North Yorkshire Police have successfully obtained a forfeiture order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) against a woman from York, for cash amounting to £2990 that was seized during a drugs warrant.

Police

Yazmin Biggs, 61, has also been told she must pay £895 in costs to North Yorkshire Police’s Legal Services Department.

Police seized the cash during a search of the home address of Ms Biggs, following reports of drug related activity at the property.

When she appeared in court, Ms Biggs claimed that nothing illegal had taken place in relation to the cash. However when hearing the circumstances in which the cash was seized and details of the subsequent financial investigation, the Magistrates decided that it was more likely than not that the cash was derived from criminal activity.

T/Detective Inspector Rowland of the Force Economic Crime Unit said:

This particular case once again demonstrates that even when the result of a criminal investigation no further action (NFA), if the cash is seized in suspicious circumstances the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) allows North Yorkshire Police to continue to investigate the origin and intended use of that cash.

“Officers from the force’s Economic Crime Unit will work hard to put evidence before a court and they will decide if the cash was derived from criminal activity or was intended for use in such activity.

“The outcome with Ms Biggs reinforces the message to those wishing to engage in criminal activity, that the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) will be used at every opportunity.”

Winners announced at the first North Yorkshire Police Annual Awards ceremony

Supporting the families of murder victims, saving a woman from suicide and encouraging hundreds of youngsters towards a positive lifestyle – those were just a few of the stories from North Yorkshire Police’s first Annual Awards ceremony, which was held at the Hospitium in York on Friday (23 October).

Annual Awards winners 2015 group shot

The Annual Awards event, which was attended by winners, their families and senior officers, was designed to recognise the achievements of officers and staff who embody the Force’s values of courage, compassion and inspiration.  It is the first such event to be held by North Yorkshire Police.
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Police go online to mark Wildlife Crime Awareness Week

North Yorkshire Police are urging members of the public to join officers in supporting national Wildlife Crime Awareness Week.
Wildlife crime

The week runs from 19 to 25 October 2015, and is an opportunity for people to get involved in the fight against wildlife crime – both online, by raising awareness, and offline, by acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police, particularly in rural areas.

Police are also marking the week by launching a dedicated wildlife crime Twitter account – the first of its kind in the region.

North Yorkshire Police has 16 specially trained Wildlife Crime Officers, who, along with their normal duties, investigate crimes against wildlife. They will either assist other police officers or take the lead role in the investigation of more intricate cases, and can also offer training and advice to colleagues. They also give talks to local schools and community groups, support local schemes such as Farmwatch and Rural Watch, and provide advice to the public alongside other organisations at countryside events like the Great Yorkshire Show.lizard

The new Twitter account, @NYPWCOS (www.twitter.com/nypwcos), has already been used to share information and warnings about illegal traps, poaching offences and badger persecution.

Insp Vicky Taylor, who holds the portfolio for wildlife crime at North Yorkshire Police, said: “We take all reports of wildlife crime extremely seriously, and Wildlife Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity to highlight our commitment to tackling this criminality. Particularly in rural areas, members of the public and local Watch scheme volunteers provide valuable support, often acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police, and I would urge anyone who wants to join us in the fight against countryside crime to get in touch by calling 101.”

The @NYPWCOS Twitter account is run by PC Gareth Jones, Ripon Rural Beat Manager and Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator. He said: “Wildlife crime is cruel and illegal. However, people may not always report it because they don’t know what to spot, or what constitutes a crime. Wildlife Crime Awareness Week and our new Twitter account is all about educating members of the public about wildlife crime, as well as asking people to come forward and report any suspicious activity to the police.”

Already this year, a number of wildlife criminals have been convicted thanks to the hard work and vigilance of police officers, local Watch schemes and members of the community – including a hare courser in Melsonby, poachers in East Cowton, sheep rustlers in Skipton and many more.

Other wildlife crime-related activity includes:

  • • In March 2015, North Yorkshire Police took part in the UN’s World Wildlife Day;
  • In May, the force launched a major poster campaign to highlight the dangers of illegal wildlife poisoning;
  • In June, PCs Gareth Jones and Sarah Ward appeared live on BBC One’s Crimewatch Roadshow to demonstrate the impact of wildlife crime in rural communities;
  • In July, North Yorkshire Police’s online rural crime awareness campaign – which includes wildlife crime messages – was a finalist in the UK Public Sector Communications Awards. The campaign has also been shortlisted in the Digital Entrepreneur Awards in November;
  • Throughout the summer, officers attended events and shows, including the Great Yorkshire Show, with a Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) displayer trailer;
  • And in August the force joined an innovative project with NFU Mutual to train officers to tackle livestock theft.
    The term ‘wildlife crime’ encompasses a very wide variety of offences – everything from the unlawful trapping of wild animals to disturbing cetaceans. North Yorkshire Police have published comprehensive advice and guidance about wildlife crime at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/wildlifecrime.

Wildlife Crime Awareness Week is supported by World Animal Protection in partnership with Crimestoppers.

Day of action in west York leads to a number of arrests

The York West Safer Neighbourhood Team conducted a day of action yesterday, Thursday 15 October 2015.
white-collar-crime-1The enforcement activity took place in the Acomb area of York and the team were supported by York Neighbourhood support team, Road Policing team, Firearms support unit, York Anti-social Behaviour Hub officers and York City Council Neighbourhood Enforcement officers.

A warrant was carried out under the misuse of drugs act at a property on Dringfield Close at around 8am. A 25 year old woman and a 27 year old man were arrested at the property and both have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

A search of a vehicle stopped on Barkston Grove led to the arrest of a 25 year old man from York on suspicion of supplying a class B drug. He has been released on bail.

Subsequent searches at a property in Westfield Place, Acomb, York, led to the arrest of a 23 and 2 4 year old man, both form York, for drugs offences. Both have been released on bail.

A 36 year old man from York was arrested on suspicion of the theft of a cycle on Tadcaster Road.  The cycle has since been returned to its owner and the man has been bailed.

As well as the enforcement activity, officers actively supported the Hate Crime awareness week by attending Acomb library with information and advice about Hate Crime.

In addition, officers attended York College for a dot peen property making event where various items of property were marked and recorded including 45 Cycles.

PC Andy Chapman said:

“North Yorkshire Police is committed to eradicating drug dealing in the city of York.

“The actions of those who choose to sell drugs will not be tolerated and my message to them is – you will be caught.

“The local policing team will continue to undertake days of action as part of our aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across the city.”

If anyone has any information about people dealing drugs or anyone wishing to report suspicious activity please contact the Police on 101.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

York sex assault investigation – appeal to trace man in CCTV images

Detectives have issued CCTV images of a man they need to speak to in connection with a sexual assault on a woman at an address in York City Centre.

York sex assault investigation – appeal to trace man in CCTV images

The incident, which is being treated as isolated with no wider concerns for the local community, occurred at around 5am on Friday 2 October 2015.

The victim is being supported by specially trained officers while police enquiries are ongoing to trace the man. Officers are urging him to come forward as he could have important information to assist the investigation. They are also appealing for anyone who recognises the man from the CCTV images to get in touch without delay.

He is described as a white, aged around 20 or 21, of skinny build and has chin-length black hair. The man has a few tattoos, one of which is a distinctive “umbrella with rain drops” on his right bicep area. He also has a tattoo of some writing across his stomach area.

If you can help, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for York Serious Crime Team. Or email SCTYork@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

York sex assault investigation – appeal to trace man in CCTV images 2

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Please quote incident number 12150176353 when providing information about this investigation.

Crime levels up in York

The latest 12 month crime figures for York – for the year ending June 2015 – show increased levels of criminal activity in the City compared to three months ago.

Crime figs to June 2015

The figures however do show a small reduction in overall crime levels compared to the 12 months ending in June 2014.

The figures are produced by the Office of National Statistics and exclude “anti social behaviour” (ASB).

ASB accounts for over 50% of reports to the Police in some parts of York.

Offences showing a sustained raise include those connected with drugs, public order, robbery, sexual offences and violence.

Bicycle thefts are down as is criminal damage, burglary, shoplifting and vehicle offences.

York and North Yorkshire continues to have a relatively low crime rate

The North Yorkshire Police response to the latest crime figures can be read by clicking here

Crime updates

  • Appeal for witnesses after ATM theft in Heslington this morning Police were called at about 2.30am this morning to reports of a digger being used to force entry into the front of the Natwest Bank on Main Street, Heslington. For more information click here
  • Appeal for Information following serious assault at Blue Fly, York North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about an assault that occurred at Blue Fly Bar, New Street, York, on Saturday 8 August 2015. For more information click here
  • Appeal following burglary on Holgate Road, York North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about a burglary that occurred in York. It happened at around 4am on Wednesday 9 September 2015. For more information click here

Over 1,500 items security marked on York allotments

dot-peen-chassis-componentOver 1,500 items have been security marked during the summer months by City of York Council working alongside North Yorkshire Police and the city’s allotment associations.

As part of the new York Allotments Against Crime campaign, the security marker was funded by a Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund grant awarded to Bootham Stray Allotment Association – with support from City of York Council.

Property marking events have run from early July until September with hundreds of people turning up to have some 1,500 items marked and recorded. Should they be stolen and retrieved they will be more quickly returned to the owner and, if possible, used as evidence.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at City of York Council, said: “This is a great result for the allotment tenants on our 18 sites. At Low Moor Allotments, 246 items were marked, at Holgate 180 while on the last session at Scarcroft and Hospital Fields Allotment, we secure 167 items. Backed by a social media campaign under the #whatisdotpeen hashtag and with our partners at North Yorkshire Police, this campaign is helping reassure allotment holders and increase their enjoyment of gardening.”

Councillor David Carr, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “We continue to advise allotment holders to take any valuable tools home with them or ensure larger items are securely anchored or chained in a locked shed. These markers are a real asset in the fight against allotment crime and, following this success, we hope to repeat the scheme next year.”

For more information on the York Allotments Against Crime (YAAC) and further tool marking opportunities please contact Darren Lovatt on allotments@york.gov.uk or go to https://www.york.gov.uk/allotments

Westfield crime levels up over last 12 months

Westfield Crime graph to Aug 2015

There were 159 crimes reported in the Westfield Ward during August. The majority (92) concerned anti social behaviour. There were 19 reports of violence/sexual offences and 15 of criminal damage

The highest concentration of crime reports were in Chapelfields and Front Street/The Green although there were local hotspots in Foxwood Lane (near Chesneys field) and in the Stuart Road area.

Overall crime reports increased significantly early in the year but have levelled out during the last 6 months.  Crime levels often drop during winter.

In total 593 crimes were reported in west York during August.

Drugs and housing – mixed messages

Two Councillors were using the media to tell the York Council what it should be doing last week. One was right, the other wrong.

Drugs

One commentator hit the nail of the head. She said that the scale of drug abuse problems in the city should be more generally understood.

She was right to do so.  drug-misuse_blackpool

While local police officers often conduct high profile drugs raids, the level of reports – for what some regard as a victim less crime – almost certainly disguises the real level of abuse.

Crime stats reveal that only 202 drug related crime reports were made in the City during the year ending in July. This was 2.8% of the total crimes reported.

This compares to 3510 reports of “anti social behaviour” during the same period.

Anecdotal evidence paints a different picture.

York’s public toilets are frequently misused by drug users who leave their paraphernalia lying around. This poses a threat to other users and to cleaning staff.

So more candour about drug related issues is needed.

Newbury Avenue

A snide contribution from a Heworth Ward Councillor claimed that the development of flats on the Newbury Avenue garage site should go ahead immediately.

Cars parked on grassed amenity area in Windsor Garth

Cars parked on grassed amenity area in Windsor Garth

She clearly had little knowledge of the scale of problems already evident in the area mainly as a result of the late running development of the Our Lady’s school site.

Acute parking problems and traffic issues have been exacerbated by the development while road surfaces – and in particular the speed tables – have been badly damaged.

Some residents are now resorting to parking on grassed amenity areas (see photo right) while the Council still refuses to release much needed estate improvement funding  to the area “because to doesn’t have a residents association”.

The Council is right to pause any additional building work in the area at least until it sorts out existing issues with public services.

Had Enough!’ code of conduct shared in bars and railway

York drunk

Bars, restaurants and clubs across York city centre have been visited by police and council licensing officers who have distributed and discussed the code of conduct. Also, train operating companies and British Transport Police have shared the code with people travelling to York.

This is the next phase in a drive to clamp down on alcohol-related anti-social behaviour caused by a minority but which impacts on the enjoyment of the majority. It forms part of work by the new partnership of City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police (NYP) and British Transport Police (BTP), train operating companies, York Racecourse and city centre licensed premises, as well as Make It York and York Bid.

There are two codes in operation: one handed out to railway users and another posted in licensed premises in York city centre.

The codes state that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated on the train or the station, in the street or in licensed premises. It says York’s city centre licensed premises have agreed not to allow inflatables, language or fancy dress which are considered offensive or inappropriate. They state they will not admit large groups (only at the licence holder’s discretion) or people they believe to be drunk. They won’t allow alcohol to be drunk that has not been purchased on the premises and will not tolerate anti-social behaviour. The code also makes it clear that details of anyone who is refused entry or asked to leave will be shared with other licensed premises and the police.

 

Major police operation to clamp down on York burglaries

An operation to protect York residents against a new garage burglary ‘exploit’ saw dozens of properties visited and more than 100 items security marked in a single night.

Dot peen property marking

On Tuesday 15 September, one police officer and eight PCSOs from York North Safer Neighbourhood Team, boosted by the support of 12 Special Constables, took to the streets of Rawcliffe.

The clampdown follows a significant rise in burglaries in the area, often involving offenders exploiting a weakness in certain garage doors in order to steal property, particularly pedal cycles.

Residents in the Rawcliffe area were shown how criminals commit such burglaries, and given advice on how to simply and effectively secure their garages in response.

Officers also brought with them three ‘dot peen’ marking kits which were made available to residents to get their property security marked and registered. In total, 66 bikes were marked, as well as 17 tablets, 12 laptops and 11 other items including phones and guitars.

Officers visited every property in Beaverdyke, Angram Close, Leighton Croft, Eldwick Close, Swinsty Court, Chelkar Way, Baden Court, Fewston Drive, Lindley Road, Barnby Close, Ebsay Drive, Lanshaw Croft, Redmires Close, Whitley Close, Haythorth Close, Handley Close, Wellesley Close and Bransholme Drive.

When there was no answer, a letter was posted through the door offering crime prevention advice and inviting people to a dot peen property marking drop-in session on 26 September 2015 at Clifton Moor Church and Community Centre from 6pm to 8pm. More information about dot peen is available at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/whatisdotpeen

PC Steve Gillespie, of York North Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “I’d like to stress the importance of adding additional security measures to your garages to ensure that you too do not become a burglary victim.

“I strongly recommend the installation of security measures such as garage defenders or ground anchors. I am sure the cost of having to replace stolen items will far outweigh the cost of installing this equipment.

“Furthermore, allowing the police to mark your items – such as pedal cycles, gardening tools, golfing equipment, mobile phones and almost anything else you can think of – ensures that our chances of reuniting you with your  property, should it be lost or stolen, are greatly increased. It also assists us in ensuring that the North Yorkshire Police area remains the safest place in England.”

The crime prevention campaign will continue, and officers have stepped up patrols in the area, including patrols in marked and unmarked vehicles, and on marked and unmarked bikes throughout the night.

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity is urged to report it to the police immediately. Such reports assist officers in preventing crime and catching offenders with stolen property in their possession.

PC Gillespie praised the contribution of North Yorkshire Police Special Constables, volunteers with the same powers as full-time police officers: “Without the support of our colleagues from the Special Constabulary giving up their midweek evening to assist these patrols, it would not have been possible to visit as many people, on as many streets, or to have marked as much property as we did.”

Two boys, aged 16 and 14, were arrested on 13 September on suspicion of burgling a garage in the Rawcliffe area. Both have been released on bail pending further enquiries.