Insp Jim Gray
Welcome to our first e newsletter for 2009. As usual your Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Policing Team has been very busy working to reduce crime and further strengthen our relationships with the community and partner agencies.
Our main focus has been our policing priority areas which we identify after talking to residents, our partners and analysing local crime trends.
This means if you give us your views about crime and disorder problems in your community we will use this information to help us police your community.
Over recent weeks we've been working to prevent purse thefts, deal with anti-social behaviour and tackle under-age drinking - there is more on these issues below.
To contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team call: 03456 043 043 ext 69191
You can also contact us using our on-line form if you wish to provide any feedback on this newsletter or if you wish to contact your Neighbourhood Beat Manager with any policing issues.
You can see who your Neighbourhood Policing Team are by visiting the Northumbria Police website.
We have good news about recent crime figures. Total crime in the Whitley Bay area has reduced by 28% for the period October 1, to December 31, 2009, compared with the same period in 2008.
This means there were 186 fewer victims of crime, down from 656 offences for the three month period (October to December 2008) compared to 470 offences in the most recent period.
Vehicle crime is down by 65%, from 78 offences to 27, house burglary is down 40% from 49 crimes to 29 and robbery is down by a third from 6 crimes to 4 reported to police again over the same three month period.
But we are aware that we need to tackle a growth in youth anti-social behaviour which has seen an increase over the last quarter up by 44% from 193 offences to 277.
We are working with our partners to address this problem over the coming weeks. Our next force campaign is also focusing on this issue.
Although crime is continuing to fall, police realise that there are issues in communities many people feel strongly about - particularly youth crime and anti-social behaviour.
To help to address this, police have been tackling the problem at an early stage to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime.
Neighbourhood teams have been working closely with schools, councils, youth groups and other partners to support young people and find activities for them to get involved in outside school.
You can find out more about this initiative by logging onto our force website www.northumbria.police.uk from the end of February.
Look out for the Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meetings across North Tyneside, where members of the community are invited to meet with their local officers and discuss any policing concerns.
These meetings support the Policing Pledge to make sure residents know who their local officer is and how to contact them. Representatives from the local authority will also be present to deal with your queries.
The next PACT meetings are:
Monday, February 15, from 7pm to 8pm at St Pauls Church Hall, Park View, Whitley Bay with Sergeant Mal Wallace and PC Guy Morgan
Thursday, March 11, from 7pm to 8pm at Cullercoats Community Centre, Cullercoats with Inspector Jim Gray and PC Kevin Daykin.
We do welcome your feedback on this newsletter or on other policing matters.
If you are unable to attend one of our public meetings you can email or ring the policing team direct.
New powers to seize alcohol on beach
A new order will enable police to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour on Cullercoats beach before it occurs.
Through the new Designated Public Place Order, police can tell people to stop drinking in the area or confiscate alcohol. People who fail to comply could receive a £50 fixed penalty notice, arrest, or even a fine of up to £500.
The introduction of the order follows a 1,200 named petition by residents to the council, which was prompted by public disorder on the beach in May 2008.
Designated Public Place Orders are already in place in North Tyneside’s parks, cemeteries, playgrounds, public open spaces and other areas identified by the public as prone to alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
Inspector Jim Gray, said: "We are committed to reducing alcohol related crime and disorder to ensure that our local area is a safe and pleasant environment for families to enjoy." Cllr Glynis Barrie, cabinet member for Community Services and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “These orders have proven to be a useful tool for the police in locations right across the borough.
“However, it’s important to stress this order will not affect law-abiding residents who may wish to enjoy a drink on the beach. The power will only be used by police if the person is engaging in or likely to engage in anti-social behaviour.”
Pictured left to right are Cllr Glynis Barrie, PC Kevin Daykin and PC Alan Mooring
Police help prevent purse thefts in Whitley Bay
Police in Whitley Bay have been working with charity stores to prevent shoppers suffering purse thefts. Thieves have struck across North Tyneside and kind hearted shoppers who buy goods from charity shops have fallen victim to cold hearted criminals.
To tackle this problem officers have been handing out free purse lanyards to charity shops in the town. Customers clip the purse securely to the owner's bag, in a bid to stop thieves from getting away with their cash.
Neighbourhood Officers have also set up an early warning system among charity shops so the stores can alert police and warn neighbouring stores if they see someone acting suspiciously. PC Guy Morgan, town centre Neighbourhood Beat Manager said:
"Purse theft is a crime that causes distress and upset and I would like to remind people to remain vigilant and ensure purses are kept safe at all times.
"Keep your purse in a secure and closed handbag, don't leave it on top of an open bag, this can be an open invitation to a thief. If possible do use a lanyard, they really do help prevent crime.
"If you do see someone acting suspiciously please call the police straightaway."
Pictured is PC Morgan, with shopper Mrs Agnes Gray being given a lanyard with Michelle Neasham, manager of the John Kennedy Charity Store.
Drugs recovered in Shiremoor
Police recovered a large quantity of controlled drugs and made two arrests for possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply at a house in Shiremoor. Officers from the Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Policing Team made a search of the premises following concerns from the community and seized 1.5 kilos of amphetamine.
Inspector Jim Gray said: "I want to reassure all members of the community that drugs and drug crime will not be tolerated by Northumbria Police.
"The house search was a direct result of information passed to us which we have swiftly acted upon.
"I would like to encourage residents to contact their local neighbourhood policing team if they have any concerns about crime or disorder so we can deal with it.
"If you believe someone in your neighbourhood is involved in crime please tell us about it. We are determined to do all we can to protect the public and target offenders.
"If you have any further information about drugs in your area please contact police on 03456 043 043 ext 69191." A man and a woman are currently on bail regarding this matter."
Pictured are Shiremoor Neighbourhood Beat Managers PC Garry Watson (left) with PC Kevin Rogerson with the seized items
Drivers reminded to watch their speed near schools
Police are reminding drivers to watch their speed in a bid to keep roads safe around schools in Whitley Bay. Neighbourhood officers PC Paul Mckenzie and Claire Fenwick visited the Star of the Sea RC Primary School to discuss road safety with staff and pupils.
Officers also helped to deal with concerns raised about speeding drivers near this and other local schools. To make drivers more aware of how fast they were travelling on Seatonville Road officers erected an interactive matrix speed sign at a prominent location.
PC Paul Mckenzie said: "This sign clearly alerted drivers when they went above 30mph.
"In the space of an hour we stopped 11 vehicles travelling over the speed limit. We gave advice to these drivers as surprisingly many had not been aware that their speed had risen over the limit and could endanger a child or other pedestrians.
"We also gave drivers information from the 'safe speed for life' campaign. Further information can be found at www.safespeedforlife.co.uk
"In future we will take firmer action against speeding motorists and they could face court proceedings or a fixed penalty notice if found travelling above the speed limit.
The deputy head at the Star Of The Sea RC Primary School, Mrs Mary Cave said: "Whitley Bay Neighbourhood team officers are regular visitors to our school and the pupils enjoy meeting with them and learning about policing and road safety which is an important school issue."
Pictured are PCs Claire Fenwick and Paul Mckenzie with pupils from the Star of the Sea RC Primary School
Woman fined for buying alcohol for a child
A Whitley Bay woman has been caught by officers buying alcohol on behalf of a child. The 33-year-old has been issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice for buying alcohol and giving it to a teenager.
Officers on patrol in Whitley Bay found a 13-year-old girl in Langley Playing Fields who had been drinking alcohol. As part of Operation Child Safe run with North Tyneside Council she was taken home to her parents and given advice about her behaviour.
Police carried out enquiries to find out where the drink had come from. They found the teenager had approached the woman and asked her to buy drink for her.
The woman went into a local store and bought cider, lager and wine which she then handed over to the young girl. Sergeant Mal Wallace said: "Police want to get across the message that it is an offence for an adult to buy alcohol on behalf of a child. Anyone who is found to have done so will face a fine.
"Officers are also working closely with partners, including North Tyneside Council's trading standards officers, to take action against any off-licences who are turning a blind eye to the licensing laws and serving children with alcohol."
Crime fighting packs spread the message
Police are spreading the crime prevention message as a scheme to cut break-ins gets extended. Home Office "Secure your Home" packs have been delivered to burglary victims across the borough over recent months - and now police will also be calling at nearby householders to pass on the information.
Although the number of house burglaries is continuing to fall in North Tyneside police understand it is a very distressing crime and want to do everything they can to help victims as well as those living nearby.
The packs contain a wide variety of crime prevention advice, information on Neighbourhood Watch schemes and vouchers for DIY stores allowing people to upgrade their security at a discounted price.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Paterson, of North Tyneside area command said: "These packs have proved helpful to burglary victims and it is important people living nearby also have access to good, practical crime prevention advice. "Now, when officers are carrying out their house to house enquiries following a crime they will be distributing the home security packs to nearby homeowners."
Pictured Detective Chief Inspector Mick Paterson with the burglary pack
Find out more
To contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team call: 03456 043 043 ext 69191 or contact us by Emailif you wish to provide any feedback on this newsletter or if you wish to contact your Neighbourhood Beat Manager with any policing issues.