Latest update from the Amersham Chalfonts and Missenden Neighbourhood Team
Alert message sent 26/07/2021 10:19:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
The Amersham, Chalfonts and Missendens Neighbourhood Team consists of: Inspector Richard Vine, PS 3675 Darren Walsh, PC 6633 Matthew Carson, PC7844 Matthew Cumming. Along with: PCSO 4233 Lucy Sandford and PCSO 8632 Jen Shraga covering the Chalfonts. PCSO 7495 Lucy Groves and PCSO 9783 Chris Hinkley–Ging covering the Missendens. PCSO 8882 Jacqueline Day, covering Amersham, soon to be joined by PCSO 9601 Charlotte Marsh and PCSO 9631 Kerry Clarke this summer.
Chiltern & South Bucks Policing Issues Panel The priorities for your Neighbourhood Policing Team (NHPT) are decided by the brand new Policing Issues Panel. This steering group is made up of local residents and representatives from organisations across the area. The forum is not run by the police, although we do attend as representatives. It allows us to speak to a wide cross-section of the community, find out what you most want improved in the area, and consider how we and others can accomplish these aims. The top three priorities are chosen by the forum every three months and are then assumed by your Neighbourhood Policing Team. https://www.csb-forum.org/about
Priorities from the meeting on the 18th May 2021: Priority 1; Burglary We did; Over the last quarter there has been a further fall in the amount of burglaries. It is acknowledged that with many people working from home this has had an impact on the opportunities available to the burglar. Which goes to show the importance of basic crime reduction advice in giving the appearance that someone is at home.
If we look at recorded dwelling burglaries, for the last 3 months; there has been only 2 in the Missendens area compared to 5 last year. There has been 9 in the Amersham area compared to 7 last year and 6 in the Chalfonts compared to 7 last year.
There has been a reduction in shed breaks with 3 being reported in the Chalfonts. There has also been a sharp decrease in non-dwelling burglaries with Amersham down from 8 to 3, the Chalfonts down from 10 to 4 and the Missendens from 3 to 2 cases.
With the changes in technology keyless car crime is taking place and offenders no longer have to enter your house to steal your car or cars. Many of the public are still unaware of this risk and the use of Faraday boxes needs to be promoted. A £17 Faraday box can stop you losing your £50,000 motor.
Looking at figures for thefts of motor vehicles by this technique it is fairly low with 1 case in Amersham and several in the Chalfonts. There have been a number of motor bike thefts so owners do need to ensure that their bikes are secure.
Proactively we have carried on working with other departments and police forces in targeting travelling criminals and trying to deny them the use of the road. A week of action in April resulted in 3 arrests, 9 people being reported and 2 vehicles being seized. The May week resulted in 10 arrests, 11 people being reported and 12 vehicles being seized. A week of action in June resulted in 3 arrests, 11 people being reported and 3 vehicles being seized.
On the 3rd July Lucy Groves, David Alder and myself completed training for the first batch of Neighbourhood Watch Crime Reduction Advisors. We aim for them to cascade down best practice when it comes to security to strengthen our communities.
Priority 2; ASB We did; The team are currently dealing with a number of issues involving neighbour disputes and ASB. With more people being at home there has been an increase in the amount of calls to police about a huge variety of issues ranging from noise, parking, dirty looks to verbal abuse. These cases can be very difficult to deal with as no offences are being committed. Unfortunately, we can’t get on with everyone, and people will make noise. We will intervene when the circumstance justifies this. I have told the team that there needs to be a strong focus on victims engaging with the mediation process. Bucks Mediation has a huge success rate in resolving disputes but often there is a common theme of reluctance from victims to take part in this.
There has been an increase in our partners now getting injunctions and I suspect not that evictions can take place again; this will be an option for them with repeat offenders.
One report from a worried parent of their child receiving unwanted wolf whistles and alarming comments causing concern resulted in the team identifying the site worker, notifying the company of their employees’ behaviour and them reacting in dismissing him from his job.
Mental Health will frequently play a part in people’s behaviours and we are currently working on several cases where damage has been caused. These cases require intervention from a number of agencies to try and achieve an acceptable outcome and to get people the support that they need.
In the Missendens a common theme has been the careless attitude of people smoking drugs in their houses and the impact it has on their neighbours. Contrary to what a lot of people believe this is an offence and we will deal with people who we become aware of. The positive intervention approach has certainly led to several mothers becoming aware of their teenagers’ drug use (or at least that what they claim).
TVP are now taking a more robust attitude towards possession of cannabis and if you are found in possession you can be expected to be ordered to complete a drugs awareness course.
Utilising my PCSO’s in a more robust manner with targeted house to house Have Your Says has resulted in a number of people feeling confident to come forward and discuss with us concerns and observations. This has led to a number of drug dealers being identified. Our Stronghold Team have, as a result of this, been able to obtain warrants and recover drugs off the back of this approach.
This tactic has been used in Prestwood, Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Amersham and Holmer Green. The team has also been able to promote our NHW groups. We want to make life as uncomfortable as possible for any would be gangs so that we can protect our community.
Priority 3; SPEEDING We did; Speeding is constantly one of the biggest concerns raised by the public. During the lockdown Amersham has been one of the few areas that have carried on pro-actively targeting speeders at a Neighbourhood level.
PC CUMMING has been working to get the Community Speed Watch (CSW) Groups up and running. He has been making contact with groups and local Town and Parish Councils in ensuring that sites are assessed for safety and visibility. At this time the following areas have Community Speedwatch Groups with varying levels of experience; Amersham, Little Chalfont & Chenies, Chalfont St Peter, Gt Missenden and Holmer Green. We will be aiming to do a training days for people interested in joining the scheme over the coming months.
My team will be working with these groups in trying to combat speeding. We will be asking for the use of Moveable Vehicle Activation Signs (MVAS) to support CSW and help get a true picture of the speeds on roads and then back up the results with the use of Glare and our Roads Policing Department.
In the last quarter the following locations were targeted for enhanced checks: Kingsway in Chalfont St Peter, A413 Chalfont St Giles, and Austenwood Lane in Chalfont St Peter. Copperkins Lane in Amersham, Elizabeth Avenue in Little Chalfont, High St in Prestwood and Joiners Lane, Chalfont St Giles as results
Figures from the Road Safety Mobile and Speed Enforcement Team and they confirmed that 339 tickets where given out to speeders by them in Chiltern in May and 739 people being captured in April. A number of the static cameras are back in action.
Have Your Say meetings We will be running a HYS van to cover the following sites on 17th August 2021 Amersham Tesco 08:30-10:00 Holmer Green Common 10:15-11:15 Chalfont St Giles High Street 11:30-12:30 Lunch 12:45 -13:15 Chalfont St Peter – Church Lane Car Park 13:30 – 15:00
April to June Priorities Dates of next meetings; TBC
Offenders Brought to Justice Offences from the 1st April 2021. This does not include persons who are currently under investigation.
Amersham Person charged for assaulting police Person charged for malicious comms x 2 Person charged for assault Person conditionally cautioned for public order Person given a penalty notice for public order Person given a penalty notice for cannabis possession Person conditionally cautioned for criminal damage Person charged for breaching restraining order Person charged for harassment Person charged for criminal damage Person given restorative disposal for theft Person given youth restorative disposal for possession of bladed article Person given restorative disposal for criminal damage Three people given restorative disposals for attempted drug importation Three people given restorative disposals for possession of cannabis Four people given restorative disposals for assaults
Chalfonts Person received a caution for 3 assaults Person given restorative disposal for assault Person cautioned for public order Two people given restorative disposals for assaults Person given restorative disposal for attempted drug importation Person charged for possession of drugs with intent to supply Two people given restorative disposals for cannabis Four people received restorative disposals for cannabis
Missendens Person charged with burglary Person charged with domestic coercive control Person charged with breaching restraining order Three people charged for ABH’s Two people given restorative disposals for control of dogs Person charged with assault on police officer Person given restorative disposal for assault Person given restorative disposal for cannabis
Person given restorative disposal for criminal damage
Rural Crime Over the last month few months the team has been focusing on several rural matters. We have been especially trying to work with farms in them ensuring that their site has security protocols in place and conducting free marking of tools. In the coming months there will be a dedicated rural crime officer. TVP will also be creating a team that will focus and target on the organised crime groups that target rural locations.
We will be looking to hold a Rural Spotters Training event on 7th September 2021 to get more eyes out in the community.
Modern Day Slavery As part of our neighbourhood duties, we work with the National Crime Agency in tackling Modern Slavery. A week of action was conducted were we visited Car Washes, Nail Bars and builders’ yards. We also spoke with street beggars. During this week, we were able to identify vulnerable persons in Chiltern and South Bucks and Modern Day Slavery referrals were made.
County Drug Lines The team assisted in an intensified week of action against County Drug Lines in May. These operations have a big impact in disrupting the hallmarks of CDL criminality – drugs, violence and the exploitation of the vulnerable. The operation resulted in
• Arrested 81 CDL related suspects • Executed 17 warrants • Conducted 129 CDL searches • Seized 626 deals or wraps of drugs • Seized 85 mobile phones • Confiscated over £42,047 in cash • Engaged with 95 vulnerable people and identified 29 • Intervened in 136 suspected ‘cuckooing’ addresses • Visited 103 schools in the Thames Valley
One week of action, no matter how good, will not solve the CDL problem – it remains pernicious, destructive and a real threat to local people. Our work continues – both overt and covert – as we seek to drive this criminality from the Thames Valley and make its good citizens safer.
It is a debate whether cannabis is a gateway drug for the user. I would say what is not up for debate is that it is a gateway for people coming into contact with organised crime groups. OCG’s will target users with free drugs and payment and get them involved in dealing. These dealers will then frequently be robbed and owe debts to the OCG’s that they pay off by dealing or enforcing. This offending then leads to an increase in the carrying of weapons for protection.
We’ve found that the joint operations have also been great as disrupting drug dealers, users and drug drivers. There have been some substantial yields diverted from hitting the streets.
Fraud Fraud continues to be a big issue and a real threat especially to our elderly community. Victims of fraud can expect to be contacted by one of my team for an Op Signature welfare check and will receive a visit if it is felt that it is required. Frequently from these visits adult protection reports will be submitted to other services to get the most vulnerable in the community the support they need. There are banking protocols in place with banks to get police attendance for suspicious withdrawals.
Well done to PCSO DAY whose intervention with an elderly fraud victim and her challenging a bank over their handling of a £28k fraud case related in the bank accepting that security checks had been missed and we were able to get the victim his money back with Trading Standards assistance.
A recent review of frauds shows that the most common scam is the ‘Boiler room scam’. Share and bond scams are often run from ‘boiler rooms’ where fraudsters cold-call investors offering them worthless, overpriced or even non-existent shares or bonds. Boiler rooms use increasingly sophisticated tactics to approach investors, offering to buy or sell shares in a way that will bring a huge return. But victims are often left out of pocket – sometimes losing all of their savings or even their family home. Even seasoned investors have been caught out, with the biggest individual loss recorded by the police being £6m.
How share and bond scams work: Share and bond fraud usually comes out of the blue, with scammers cold-calling investors after taking their phone number from publicly available shareholder lists. The high-pressure sales tactics can also come by email, post, word of mouth or at a seminar. These scams are sometimes advertised in newspapers, magazines or online as genuine investment opportunities. They may even offer a free research report into a company, or a free gift or discount on their dealing charges. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
This is a real worry as people do not realise that they are being scammed. One case we are dealing with had the victim getting a delivery of gold bars delivered to their home address which was later collected by the scammers.
Social media As always we ask our readers to consider subscribing to our Thames Valley Alerts, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk ‘TV Alerts’ allow the subscriber to filter the subject matter which is of relevance to them, and only requires an email address to begin receiving local policing information.
Our “Twitter” feed @tvp_chiltsbucks will show you what the policing team are doing, will provide crime prevention information, witness appeals and “Good Result” stories.
Our Facebook group TVPChilternandSouthBucks will provide the same information as Twitter but seems to be the preferred social media site used by the public.
We do not take reports of crime via social media and we do not see comments placed into personal social media groups. Some feel that if they post about an incident, they will have a direct response. This is not true as local groups are not monitored. Other policing areas are experiencing the same issues. To report crime online. You can do so via: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/
Message sent by
Ian Stacey (Police, Neighbourhood Policing Administrator, Chiltern & South Bucks)