With Halloween and Bonfire night looming, the recently appointed Police Sergeant Mark Skelton his brought his specialist team to Withernsea and Beverley for the next 12 weeks.
The Neighbourhood Tactical Unit more commonly known as NTU are a small team of one Sergeant, three Police Officers and four PCSO’s who are specialists in reducing specific crimes in an area.
The NTU are not permanently based at any one location, depending on peaks and spikes with different types of crime, the team move to the area that they are most required at until their job is complete.
The Neighbourhood Tactical Unit was created in March 2013 and has spent its first five months drastically reducing crime in Bridlington.
Withernsea and Beverley have now been chosen as ‘preventable crimes’ are on the increase.
Manager of the Neighbourhood Tactical Unit, Sergeant Mark Skelton, said: “The issues facing Beverley and Withernsea are completely different from those in Bridlington and as such the team has been picked to reflect this need.
“The focus in Beverley and Withernsea is criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.
“The type of criminal damage that Withernsea and Beverley are encountering is people needlessly kicking wing mirrors off vehicles and needlessly throwing things through residential windows. We recognise that criminal damage and anti-social behaviour go hand in hand with each other and we will be looking to proactively target both.
“The team will be based here for a period of 12 weeks which will give us an opportunity to work closely with the community and to help prevent crime in the area.
“Part of our intention is to get crime prevention advice to as many members of the community as possible. Many instances of criminal damage could be prevented or limited by taking simple measures. With vehicle damage people can take measures such as parking vehicles off the street, folding in wing mirrors and sweeping any debris from the driveway. Many of the instances of vehicle damage are when people have staggered past vehicles on their way home from the pub and kick car wing mirrors off.”
SO HOW MUCH DOES CRIME COST WITHERNSEA?
One hypothetical scenario to get you thinking:
19-year-old lad walking home from the pub with a mate, they are having a laugh and for no reason whatsoever he kicks a wing mirror off a car, which is parked down Bannister Street in Withernsea. The two guys laugh and walk on without a care in the world. It is late, dark and the lad is smug thinking he wasn’t caught and the car alarm didn’t activate when he did it.
Stressed out mother desperately attempting to get her two young children to school before work.
Gets to her car which is parked outside her home on Bannister Street in Withernsea to discover glass all over the floor and her passenger side wing mirror hang off.
Stressed out mother can not afford to be late for work, has no alternative transport to get her children to school that day and has no disposable income to replace the wing mirror.
Stressed out mother is beside herself, crying in front of her children.
Police officer attends the crime scene, and informs her this is a growing trend – people probably drunk walking past and decide to just smash the wing mirror for ‘a bit of fun’.
Scene of Crime Officer attends and swabs are taken of a small amount of blood left on the glass and run through the police national database.
Throughout the remainder of the day house to house enquiries are carried out near the scene, CCTV checked from nearby pubs and civic cameras, known offenders are checked for cuts and bruises to their hands and intelligence packages are created for possible arrests.
Stressed out mum has had to take a full days unpaid leave from work, after the police took her statement she had to walk her two children to school, causing them to be 2 hours 45 minutes late for school.
Replacement wing mirror and call out charge cost mum £100 + VAT
1500hrs 17/09 /2013
Match found from blood swab. Arrest package created.
Two officers attend a busy shop in Withernsea and ask to speak to one of their staff members, a well loved lad who works on the tills.
All his colleagues are curious why the police want to speak to him.
The 19-year-old man is asked to attend a police station to help with their enquiries and is arrested for criminal damage.
19-year-old who has been saving his wages to visit America is now in a police interview room being questioned in relation with causing criminal damage to a parked car down Bannister Street, Withernsea on 9th September 2013.
19-year-old man is charged with offence and bailed to attend Beverley Magistrates Court in 16 days time.
SO FAR: A variety of people have been involved in the investigation (SOCO, Intelligence Team, House to House enquiries officers, Blood analysis, file team etc).
The 19-year-olds visa was refused to attend America due to pending criminal conviction
0930 hrs 26/09/2013
Offender took a day off work to attend Beverley Magistrates incurring a loss of earnings.
He was convicted of criminal damage to motor vehicle and is fined £100 plus £50 costs, plus a £15 victim surcharge and was ordered to pay £220 compensation to the victim for damage and loss of earnings totalling £395.
Potential consequences for the offender: Loss of job, restricted for other employment due to conviction, restricted for further education due to conviction, humiliation in front of friends of family, appearance in the local news paper on the conviction page.
Was this ONE moment of madness worth it?
Various departments within the police would have been involved in this investigation which could have run into thousands of pounds, at the tax payer’s expense.
The victim did not deserve to have her wing mirror kicked off, nor did she deserve to lose a day wages, have her children see her cry or be late for school, or be inconvenienced by this one individual.
This is just one very typical call for service the police receive and was very preventable.
The Neighbourhood Tactical Unit use intelligence gathered to change their shift patterns at short notice to catch the offenders (– who the majority of the time are decent hard working people, but for some reason think it is ok to cause damage to your property when drunk.)
Please be vigilant and if you hear something odd, please call the police, and don’t wait until the morning to discover what the noise was – we have more chance of catching them in the act. Please take an extra few seconds to take simple crime prevention steps.
The Neighbourhood Tactical Unit will be in Withernsea and Beverley for the next 12 weeks, lets drive criminal damage and ASB down together. Call 101 or 999 in an emergency if you know who is damaging Withernsea and Beverley’s wonderful reputation.