Performance Scrutiny Meeting focusing on Strong Local Policing (23 November 2022)

One of my key roles as Police and Crime Commissioner is to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public, and make sure that Derbyshire Constabulary deliver on the key strategic priorities included in my Police and Crime Plan 2021/2025.

The Performance Scrutiny Meetings are just one of the ways that I hold the Chief Constable to account. It is an opportunity for the force to provide extensive evidence on their performance and plans for improvements where necessary on the key priorities. It is also an opportunity for the public to send in specific additional questions.

Strong Local Policing is one of the key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and I am committed to working with the Constabulary and other partners.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken he time to submit a question. My office received 33 questions in total, which were addressed during the meeting.

Below are the questions that were submitted to me, alongside the response to those questions from the Chief Constable. The Agenda and Papers submitted at the meeting are available to view.

Please be advised that the next PSM meeting is on Tuesday 21 March and the topic is Neighbourhood Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour. Please see the website for more details on upcoming PSM’s for the rest of the year.

Thank you once again for taking the time to submit a question.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire
Angelique Foster

The Agenda and Papers and Presentation submitted at the meeting are available to view.

Public Questions raised at the meeting
Performance Scrutiny Meeting recording focusing on Strong Local Policing.

Public Questions Submitted

Vehicle related noise

Q1) Could I have an answer regarding my complaints regarding illegal motorcycles/trial bikes that have been racing around the fields to the back of Oversetts Road/Fairfield Avenue in Swadlincote and also using the roads around this area during weekends and most nights of the week around 17:00 to 18:00. It’s been reported numerous times by myself, and I have submitted images, yet nothing appears to have been done as far as I am aware. It’s been going on for weeks. I plan to keep reporting it until something is done theses are uninsured motorbikes causing damage to the fields and also using roads illegally. They are noisy, dangerous, and disruptive.

Constabulary Response

The force has purchased 3 off road motorcycles (4th on order) and are training staff to use them. Six staff will be trained by January 2023. They will deploy in teams after a problem profile is created by local SNT teams. The off-road motorcycles will work in conjunction with SNT in pre-planned deployments only with carefully scripted risk assessments and standard operating procedures for the riders. 2 of the 4 total bikes have been funded by local councils / funding streams, 2 have been purchased by the PCC.

Derbyshire CAPTURE is our secure online facility for the upload of footage, capturing alleged traffic offences and poor driving behaviour.  Submissions can be uploaded through our Police website, and initially reviewed by our Op Capture officer within our Roads Policing Unit, who assesses the footage and supporting statement, and manages how it can be progressed.  All available footage is evaluated to determine if there is clear evidence of a traffic offence, and whether there is enough evidence for this offence to be prosecuted.

Cases that require further action or investigation are tasked to our Roads Policing Officers, who can issue Notice of Intended Prosecution (NOIP) and interview the suspected driver where required, and this can lead to a variety of outcomes including – issuing a fixed penalty notice, warning letter, driver awareness/education course, or arrest and Court Summons. Some cases unfortunately we are unable to pursue due to; unclear footage, insufficient details to track the vehicle or offender, not identifying an offence that can be prosecuted within the footage, or the footage being over the time limit for issuing a NOIP or occurring out of our Force area.

In relation to the question, Derby South SNT made this a priority during summer 2022 following the area forums. There were a low number of incidents initially reported, with none reported in October 2022. The SNTs have been patrolling the area.  It will remain a local priority until the next area forum in November 2022, which we would encourage to get involved with. In the meantime, the SNT will continue with their patrols.

The next round of meetings will be in January / February 2023. These are advertised on both South Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire Police websites.

Q2) What is being done regarding the numbers of riders and drivers flagrantly disregarding exhaust regulations with regards to excessive Db levels and backfiring systems? You may well be aware that The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, particularly sections 55 and 57 relate to vehicle exhaust decibel levels for both cars and motorcycles. Section 57 particularly sub-section 4 and 5, relates to systems fitted which must comply with British standards and specifically points out the illegal use of systems marked with ‘NOT FOR ROAD’ or ‘FOR OFF ROAD USE ONLY’. This exhaust noise issue is not confined to motorcycles and we have noticed an increase in cars with modified noisy systems venturing to and from Matlock Bath along the A6 from the direction of Ambergate. In relation to the ‘bikes, one only has to walk through Matlock Bath to visibly detect offending exhaust systems, but I appreciate that with cars, the matter is a little more difficult evidence wise, even when visibly obvious. As a former police advanced vehicle examiner, I would be very interested to know how many vehicles, of any type, have been examined and/or how many prosecutions or VDRS tickets have been issued for vehicles with defective, non-compliant exhaust systems. Excessive noise, of whatever kind, is a real blight on any community, but particularly a rural one.

Constabulary Response

The SNT currently have a problem management plan for Matlock Bath, working alongside RPU and CREST.  Whilst the noise produced by vehicles is frustrating/alarming and causes disturbance, it is not specifically linked to causing road casualties. However, if officers were to come across a vehicle causing excessive noise, they would, and do, require them to have it modified.

The force has some testing equipment available for determining whether the noises emitted by vehicles, including those from motorbikes, is excessive and above the permitted levels. However, the equipment is not routinely carried by all patrolling officers, but work is taking place to train the SNT in its use. It is used as part of targeted operations, such as Operation Safe Drive, in response to community, local authority and other stakeholder concerns. However, this is not an effective tool for prosecution as it provides only an indication of excess noise, due to the need to provide a very controlled environment which is not readily available.

Although noise pollution from such vehicles is not generally linked to road safety directly, the deliberate adaptation of a vehicle to create excessive noise, (or in some cases where excessive noise is produced as a result of a faulty silencer system), can be classed as anti-social behaviour and officers can use powers under S.59 Police Reform Act 2002 to seize such vehicles and prosecute offenders. We continue to police and engage with road users to reduce ASB on our roads.

Roads Policing officers continue to work closely with CREST (Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team) and Upright/Bikesafe (Motorcycle safety) to make the roads safer for all.

Our key focus is driving down the fatal 4 offences – Mobile phones, Speed, Drink and Drug driving and Seatbelt offences.

Q3) Local policing is needed in the spring gardens Buxton to tackle the ongoing excessive noise from boy racers in the wye street car park at night.

Constabulary Response

The issue of vehicles accessing the Spring Gardens car park and creating noise is a very long running issue and one which the local SNT have spent much time trying to tackle. The SNT have undertaken patrols in the area and have previously used our Policing Powers under the Police Reform Act (Sec 59), alongside enforcing traffic offences. The last incident, which was reported, was on the 19 September 2022. Officers attended but did not find any vehicles in the car park. Consideration has been given to closing the site, but access is required 24/7 due to the supermarket based within the Spring Gardens Centre. In partnership with High Peak Borough Council, the SNT continue to try and tackle this problem and are working to identify a long-term solution. 

Q4) The adaptation of motor vehicles to make them noisier or faster, or to lower their suspension and other driving characteristics is something that drivers should notify to their insurance companies. I feel sure those companies would not approve of changes that make vehicles illegal on a road. Since you appear reluctant to actively discourage such anti-social and dangerous practices will you prosecute for using a vehicle without insurance instead?  This problem is endemic in S41 and Chesterfield as a whole and needs addressing.

Constabulary Response

Roads Policing Unit (RPU) officers will stop and check suspected modified vehicles and examine their insurance certificate. Where any modifications have not been notified to their insurance company and the insurance company confirm they will not insure the vehicle as a result – then officers will and do seize vehicles under Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act. Furthermore, officers work closely with local Safer Neighbourhood Teams to help police so called ‘Car Cruise’ events under Operation Edgecombe, working with neighbouring forces and key partners to prosecute drivers for any offences identified.

Q5) Why are the Police unable to stop motorcyclists and car owners who have removed silencers and who use Matlock, Matlock Bath and the A6 as a race circuit?

Constabulary Response

 Roads Policing officers continue to work closely with CREST (Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team) and Upright/Bikesafe (Motorcycle safety) to make the roads safer for all. Our key focus is driving down the fatal 4 offences – Mobile phones, Speed, Drink and Drug driving and Seatbelt offences.

Whilst the noise produced by vehicles is frustrating and it undoubtedly has a negative effect on those who live in the area, it is not specifically linked to causing road casualties. That said if officers were to come across a vehicle causing excessive noise, they would challenge the driver and require them to have their vehicle modified. The problem is proving the number of decibels the vehicle is producing is in excess of the MOT level and finding any modifications that may have been added/removed internally on it.

The force does have some mobile testing equipment which supports work by the local safer neighbourhood team in targeted operations. However, as stated earlier, this is not an effective tool for prosecution due to the need for a controlled environment. We are aware that technology is developing to help identify and prosecute offenders for noisy vehicles, with some councils nationally having installed equipment at fixed sites. Whilst long term solutions are being explored, officers continue to be directed to deal with the fatal four offences which cause the most harm on our roads, but they will continue to tackle noisy vehicles as and when they identify them.

Speeding

Q6) Would it be possible to install two ANPR cameras at the site of the Traffic Island opposite Hacienda, Station Road, Bolsover, S44 6BH. This island has a power supply which used to feed a Lamp on the island, but the lamp has not been lit since hit by a vehicle several years ago. Having the ANPR cameras would cut down on the current excessive speeds being seen on this road. It would also help to protect the nearby cross roads the site of RTCs.

Constabulary Response

Initial speed complaints are reviewed and managed by our Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) who will look to see if a Community Speedwatch is in place or could be considered. If the location is one where there have been previous collisions, CREST would consider the location for enforcement action. Where a site is highlighted as high risk for Road Traffic Collisions (RTC’s), prevention work would take place, working with the Local Authority, completing national campaigns, education programmes and enforcement action.

ANPR cameras do not detect speed, they are there to monitor vehicle registrations using roads and link to a series of internal databases.

The citing of static roadside speed detection cameras sits wholly with the local authority responsible for that area. They are responsible for the survey work required to justify their necessity and the actual installation etc. Any questions around static speed cameras should be directed to the local authority.

Q7) What measures are being taken to reduce vehicles racing/speeding on the inner ring road (including Uttoxetter Road) during the day to include the ‘early hours’. Also noise pollution and non-standard registration plates around Derbyshire.

Constabulary Response

Initial speed complaints are reviewed and managed by our Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT). They will look to see if a Community Speedwatch is in place or could be considered. If the location is one where there have been previous collisions CREST would consider the location for enforcement action. Where a site is highlighted as high risk for Road Traffic Collisions (RTC’s), prevention work would take place, working with the Local Authority, completing national campaigns, education programmes and enforcement action.

Our SNT have been updated about the report made and will work with CREST to understand the collision data and concerns on the inner ring road.

Whilst the noise produced by vehicles is frustrating and it undoubtedly has a negative effect on those who live in the area, it is not specifically linked to causing road casualties. That said if officers were to come across a vehicle causing excessive noise, they would challenge the driver and require them to have their vehicle modified. The problem is proving the number of decibels the vehicle is producing is in excess of the MOT level and finding any modifications that may have been added/removed internally on it.

The force does have some mobile testing equipment which supports work by the local safer neighbourhood team in targeted operations. However, as stated above it is not an effective tool for prosecution due to the need to have a very controlled environment. We are aware that technology is developing in order to identify and prosecute offenders for noisy vehicles, with some councils nationally having installed equipment at fixed sites. Whilst long term solutions are being explored, officers continue to be directed to deal with fatal four offences which cause the most harm on our roads, but they will continue to tackle noisy vehicles as and when they identify them.

Where a vehicle is stopped with a non-standard number plate we do the following – Issue a Traffic Offence Report (TOR), report to DVLA, who issue a warning letter, or provide words of advice, depending on the severity of the offence.

Q8) Performance Scrutiny Meeting on Wednesday 23rd November Hello Ma’am…Thank you for inviting questions from us for your role at the above meeting. We wonder perhaps our question might not be relevant to your meeting…But as we are not sure we thought we’d offer it in case it is. Our question is to ask if you have it in mind to address the loud speeding cars and motorcycles on the A61 Alfreton to Chesterfield Road through the villages of Shirland and Higham.  We live at the junction of New Street with the A61 and the noise from these speedsters is quite disturbing…some late into the night…we also worry of the potential danger caused by them – sadly the death one evening of a young lad on his motorcycle, overtaking on the wrong side of the road, just a year or two ago.  As we are in our 80’s we know that whilst it’s wonderful to be young; albeit often with a brain that doesn’t see its surroundings; and we know, because we did, that it’s also good to stay alive! Can we not calm these guys and reduce their chances of destroying themselves along with our communities?  Can we not install more roadside cameras or noise trigger devices…anything that might help to prolong the lives of these guys and us! May we wish you a good and successful meeting on November 23rd Ma’am.

Constabulary Response

The A61 from Alfreton to Shirland is a rural road with a national speed limit up until the point it reaches Shirland. There is already a traffic calming measure in place which is a speed matrix sign as you enter the village and cars parked outside of houses on Main Road tend to naturally slow traffic as the road narrows.

The Local Policing Inspector has looked at the reported injury collisions over the past 12 months and there have been two reported occurrences.  Neither collision was attributed to speeding. Over the same period, there were seven damage only collisions reported.

Excessive noise produced by vehicles is frustrating and it undoubtedly has a negative effect on those who live in the area, though it is not specifically linked to causing road casualties. That said if officers were to come across a vehicle causing excessive noise, they would challenge the driver and require them to have their vehicle modified. The problem is proving the number of decibels the vehicle is producing is in excess of the MOT level and finding any modifications that may have been added/removed internally on it.

The force does have some mobile testing equipment which supports work by the local safer neighbourhood team in targeted operations. However, as stated above it is not an effective tool for prosecution due to the need to have a very controlled environment. We are aware that technology is developing in order to identify and prosecute offenders for noisy vehicles, with some councils nationally having installed equipment at fixed sites. Whilst long term solutions are being explored, officers continue to be directed to deal with fatal four offences which cause the most harm on our roads, but they will continue to tackle noisy vehicles as and when they identify them.

A Safer Neighbourhood officer can visit and discuss concerns with residents, and we would work with the local authority to address any concerns raised. Reports of vehicle noise and any requests for further traffic calming measures in the area can be made to the Local Authority, who provide opportunity to report concerns online – Traffic calming – Derbyshire County Council

Q9) Warwick Ave/Kenilworth Ave and Stenson Road is a heavily populated area with a large park. The area continues to be used as a racetrack with the occasional accident making the local paper. This is especially bad in the evenings. No police presence or traffic calming measures are to be seen.

Constabulary Response

Initial speed complaints are reviewed and managed by our Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT). They will look to see if a Community Speedwatch is in place or could be considered. If the location is one where there have been previous collisions CREST would consider for enforcement action. Where a site is highlighted as high risk for Road Traffic Collisions (RTC’s), prevention work would take place, working with the Local Authority, completing national campaigns, education programmes and enforcement action

The local SNT are not aware of any recent reports from residents and ask that contact is made by residents to the SNT, so they can support joint working to help resolve the concerns and discuss actions that are taking place.

Officers from the SNT will look to take proactive measures to understand and reduce the anti-social actions that are taking place, this will be through high visibility vehicles in the area, liaising with CREST and applying section 59 warnings if driving standards amount to ASB.

The local council would lead on traffic calming measures and through joint working we aim to reduce and prevent speeding/collisions on our roads. The Local Authority provide opportunity to report concerns through their website – Traffic calming – Derbyshire County Council

Q10) What are you going to do about speeding, aggressive driving and pavement parking?

Constabulary Response

Without specific information as to the location and issues involved it is difficult to answer this question. SNT work with community Speedwatch in areas identified by the local community, and they are in regular contact with the Speedwatch co-ordinator and the Crime Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST). 

Routine parking issues are normally dealt with by Derbyshire County Council, who are the lead agency to which concerns can be reported directly. If the issues poses a risk to public safety, then we urge you to contact your local Safer Neighbourhood team so we can support a resolution to the concern raised.

Where Anti-Social Behaviour or aggressive driving is witnessed, we would look to take positive action through our powers under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, which can result in seizure of the vehicle.

Q11) Many local villages including ours are struggling with speeding vehicles, despite repeated requests we have still had no police monitoring the village. All they can suggest is setting up our own community speed watch but it’s the polices job to enforce speed limits.

Constabulary Response

Operation Cruiser runs in Derbyshire and has been funded by the DDRSP (Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership), which sends officers on dedicated patrols to attend speed sites and conduct proactive patrols across the County. 

Initial speed complaints are reviewed and managed by our Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT). They will look to see if a Community Speedwatch is in place or could be considered.

Community Speedwatch is a successful preventative tool to reducing speeding. If the location is one where there have been previous collisions CREST would consider for enforcement action. Where a site is highlighted as high risk for Road Traffic Collisions (RTC’s), prevention work would take place, working with the Local Authority, completing national campaigns, education programmes and enforcement action.

Police Presence

Q12) We need the police out walking beats, all day every day. Providing interaction and presence. Not sitting in cars and offices. They also need to be much more smart, they seem to be scruffy and obese in the vast majority. No wonder the kids have no respect for them. And the females seem plastered in makeup. So unprofessional for a uniformed service. You/We are our actions. They should be inspected before and after every shift. And should all be able to quote and explain their oath on demand. This mess is not difficult to fix.

Constabulary Response

Derbyshire Constabulary recognises the importance of visibility and interacting with the public. One of the best methods of engaging with communities is by patrolling on foot and speaking with residents. Foot patrol is primarily carried out by Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) officers, who are responsible for engaging with communities and tackling local priorities. Whilst each SNT does have access to vehicles, it is expected that walking and cycle patrols are also carried out in line with patrol strategies and hot spot locations. Exactly where these patrols take place is based on risk and threat, highlighted through data analysis, community feedback and local knowledge. The method of patrol will also depend on the issues affecting that area, for example burglary patrols may take place in a plain vehicle whereas anti-social behaviour (ASB) along a canal tow path would be on foot or cycle. 

Each officer is expected to adhere to the standards of professional behaviour, as well as appearance. This includes passing a police fitness test, ensuring that uniform is appropriately looked after and that every officer is presentable for duty. The force training school has recently re-emphasised this requirement and carries out daily inspections of dress and appearance. The oath of attestation is read and understood by all officers joining the ranks. We expect that each officer upholds the values and duties within the oath.

Q13) I think most crimes are committed in the dark hours. Is there any night area policing that might help prevent these crimes or are there insufficient staff.

Constabulary Response

The distribution of all crime varies by the hour of day. Much crime in hours of darkness is related to the night-time economy within the city centre and larger towns, which during peak times are policed by dedicated resources whose presence aims to deter and respond quickly to reports of violence.

A broad range of officers and police staff contribute to policing and preventing crime during the hours of darkness. Safer Neighbourhood Officers (SNT), work a flexible shift pattern, changing their shifts according to local need. Problem solving is one of the most effective means of preventing crime, whatever the hour and so much of the SNT work is committed to problem solving activity. Additionally, Local Policing Unit (LPU) officers provide a 24/7 response to reports of crimes and incidents with shift cross overs at peak times increasing the number available. Where specific issues arise, LPUs run additional operations to tackle those issues. Officers from the forces Roads Policing, Armed Response, Dogs and Drones units also all provide a 24/7 policing function across the county, with patrols targeted according to demand. Additionally, a number of specialist officers and detectives work within the CID and public protection teams to help prevent and investigate the most serious crimes.   

Q14) Why do I not see young/new recruits or cadets on the streets? Why do I not see police officers knocking on doors to introduce themselves to residents? Why do I not see police in supermarkets. Touting virtues of smart water?

Constabulary Response

After training school new recruits are initially allocated to a local policing unit where they complete their probationary period. This provides a good grounding in dealing with a variety of incidents and investigations. Some of their main duties involve responding to immediate and priority incidents, dealing with public order situations, investigating local crimes, and interviewing suspects. Some of these enquiries will involve house to house actions to identify witnesses, forensic opportunities, and CCTV. We are exploring options around providing new student officers with attachments to our Safer Neighbourhood Teams. This will provide them with a more thorough understanding of community issues, crime prevention activity, priority setting and community engagement. Wherever appropriate we look to utilise cadets, special constables, and police volunteers to support with crime prevention activity or community engagement.

As part of their work, and supporting our Community Charter, local officers will often hold engagement events, such as ‘cuppa with a copper’ and look to attend Parish Council meetings to give residents the opportunity to directly raise any issues or concerns that they may have. This also provides a good opportunity for residents to meet members of their local teams. We encourage people to follow their local teams on social media, such as Facebook, where we will advertise the upcoming events. We also provide Parish Councils with a monthly newsletter, advising of forthcoming events, what the area priorities are and results of any recent enforcement activity.

Alfreton Police SNT – Home | Facebook

Codnor, Ripley and Waingroves Police SNT – Home | Facebook

Heanor and Langley Mill Police SNT – Home | Facebook

Belper, Kilburn and Heage Police SNT – Home | Facebook

We will also implement weeks of action, where there will be an increased policing presence within the local community. We have held Op Sceptre events across Amber Valley, where we have advertised where officers will be available for knife surrendering and knife sweeps in local recreational areas. This is very much focused on prevention knife crime in our county. Week commencing 21st November 2022 burglary intensification week starts and local officers will be designated to pro-active patrols within the local community, with officers visiting addresses to provide crime prevention advice and security assessment.

Q15) I would like to know when, if at all, we will see local Police Officers on the beat around the Alvaston area, daytime and especially at night into the early hours.

Constabulary Response

Derby East LPU officers work out of Ascot Drive, this includes the 24/7 response officers and the SNT team currently has 10 PCs and 10 PCSOs. The LPU has benefitted from the recent Uplift programme and has 10 new recruits.

There is a Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) serving Alvaston Ward, who generally work shifts between 0800 and 2200, but who regularly change their hours according to local need and priorities. The role of the SNT is to provide visible reassurance, targeted policing, problem solving and engaging with communities with the shift pattern reflecting peak demand times for these services across the county. The SNTs work to the priorities which are set in conjunction with the public and local authorities every three months. Following your local team on social media or signing up for Derbyshire Alert allows communities to see what their SNT officers are working on and how they are responding to issues of concern in their communities.

Officers patrol on foot, by bicycle and using marked police vehicles according to a strategy based on known locations where problems are more frequently reported. Outside of these hours Local Policing Unit officers as well as roads policing, armed response, dogs, and drones patrol and provide a response to incidents as they are reported or in line with local policing operations.

We would encourage members of the public to report their concerns to the police, so that they can be considered when officers are planning their patrols and setting priorities. If there is a specific issue of concern in relation to this question, we would encourage you to speak to your local SNT.   

The contact details for the local SNT can be found on your area within the Derbyshire Constabulary website
Home | Derbyshire Constabulary

Alvaston and Boulton police SNT Facebook page provides updates of the work the SNT are doing, including engagement events and regular patrols

Alvaston and Boulton Police SNT – Home | Facebook

Residents can report their concerns in a number of different ways either via 101/999 (999 in an emergency), or online via Derbyshire Police website using the online form. Residents of Alvaston and Boulton can get in touch with their local beat officers via the messaging facility on the Facebook page.

Q16) Still not heard about local policing in our village. ie Netherseal, Swadlincote.

Constabulary Response

A lot of local policing work is being done in Netherseal with the local PCSO updating the Parish Council via a monthly newsletter and in regularly speaking with the Clerk.  The PCSO regularly patrols the area, engaging with members of the community, including at post office and Netherseal School.

They have recently undertaken work to improve parking outside the school and in addressing reports of a youth regularly riding their motorbike on the park, behaviour which has since stopped. There was also a recent arson (bench set on fire), which the PCSO dealt with by restorative justice disposal, with the offender required to pay for the damage and attend a fire awareness course. To hear more about local policing, I would encourage you to sign up to Derbyshire Alert or follow the team on social media

The contact details for the local SNT can be found on your area within the Derbyshire Constabulary website
Home | Derbyshire Constabulary

Derby South SNT Facebook pages provide updates of the work the SNT are doing, including engagement events and regular patrols

Melbourne Police SNT | Swadlincote | Facebook

Etwall, Hatton and Hilton Police SNT – Home | Facebook

Swadlincote Police SNT – Home | Facebook

Mercia Police SNT | Swadlincote | Facebook

Residents can report their concerns in a number of different ways either via 101/999 (999 in an emergency), or online via Derbyshire Police website using the online form.

Q17) Sadly, too many members of the public do not respect the police and there does not seem to be strong deterrents for those committing crimes, how do you propose to address this and make the streets safe for law abiding citizens when there is so little police presence on the streets?

Constabulary Response

The police will carry out effective investigations into allegations of criminal offences, prioritising the most serious offences. Whilst the police are responsible for preparing a prosecution case for court, we are not responsible for the level of sentence given. Our specialist departments prioritise activity to protect the most vulnerable in society and bring to justice those that cause the most harm. We have specialist units that manage prolific offenders, sex offenders, investigate paedophiles, tackle terrorism, organised crime groups, modern slavery and so on. 

We recognise though that neighbourhood crime is important, and this is why we are prioritising a strong and visible local police presence. Working with partners, local police officers have a variety of options to intervene early with individuals and put restrictions in place to prevent further criminality or ASB. This includes community protection notices, Criminal Behaviour Orders, acceptable behaviour contracts and civil injunctions. Systems are in place locally to identify breaches to these conditions and pursue action against those that do not adhere to them.

Through the Police Officer Uplift Programme, we have allocated officers based on risk, threat and demand, supporting increased visibility and helping to ensure Derbyshire remains one of the safest Counties.

Q18) Whilst we have witnessed an increase in the presence of Police vehicles on our roads in Sawley we were informed in April 2022 that our local PCSO had been changed, due to the promotion of her predecessor. Despite arranging dates to meet (to get to know her and help her understand the environment) we have yet to meet, or even see our PCSO on our streets – This question isn’t aimed at causing embarrassment for the PCSO as we believe due to priorities in another part of the County!

Constabulary Response

Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been a ‘victim of their own success’ due to PCSO’s possessing the right skills and attitude to join the force as PC’s which has seen a drop in PCSO figure through the Police Uplift Programme. However, we have been regularly recruiting new PCSO recruits to join us and fill our SNTs. Please see our website for details on PCSO recruitment.

The Sawley area is covered by the SNT based at Long Eaton. Two new PCSOs, successfully recruited as part of the ongoing work will be starting at Erewash in mid-November, and following their initial training, will be posted to Long Eaton. Long Eaton has also recently seen an increase in Police Constables who pro-actively work to combat local issues.

Our Neighbourhood Policing Charter sets out our continued commitment and pledge to build on community engagement and deliver on the priorities in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. Neighbourhood policing charter (derbyshire.police.uk)

Another way to keep in touch with your local Safer Neighbourhood team, is to join our community messaging system, Derbyshire Alert.  You can join online at this address www.Derbyshirealert.co.uk.  You will receive local community information, letting you know what is going on in your area in relation to crime, anti-social behaviour, street meets with officers, monthly newsletters and crime prevention advice.  You can reply to all our alert messages if you are worried or concerned about issues. 

You can also take our Derbyshire Talking survey at this link www.Derbyshirealert.co.uk/DerbyshireTalking.  This is where you can log issues that may appear to be minor but need noting and action taking. This information allows the Safer Neighbourhood teams to set their priorities and look at the main issues that need dealing with.

In Erewash, we have 2763 members of the Alert system.  These members share our alerts on other social media channels such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, so we know that our information reaches a huge audience, spreading the word, working together and building safer neighbourhoods.

Working with Councils

Q19) Very concerned about rural crime especially burglaries in rural villages. Your advice about protecting outbuildings and property is excellent. Perhaps more can be done working with Parish Councils who eyes and ears of the communities. Also concerned about the warm places initiatives with the elderly being away from their homes during the day and scammers taking advantage of this dire situation. Thank you.

Constabulary Response

Thank you for the feedback around our crime prevention. We have worked hard to ensure relevant and meaningful information is available to the public and our officers. Further details can be found on our website, where we have also recently added advice around protecting homes during darker nights. Sadly, fraud is a growing issue with criminals often preying on the most vulnerable. The force responds to scams and trends through media campaigns and making sure that our advice pages are up to date. Action Fraud also has some useful resources to help prevent frauds and information as to how to report scams.

Parish councils are always an excellent source of information and advice relating to crime prevention. Our Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) officers will often attend Parish Council meetings to provide policing updates and receive feedback around local concerns. The SNTs are also working to increase the number of Neighbourhood Watch schemes and members for which we are always seeking volunteers.   

Our Neighbourhood Policing Charter sets out our pledge to build on community engagement and deliver on the priorities in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. This includes working with local councillors and community groups to improve community safety. Neighbourhood policing charter (derbyshire.police.uk)

Our Rural Crime Team support a visible policing presence in rural communities and implementation of problem solving and evidenced based policing initiatives, to targeted approaches to reduce the impact of crime and disorder on rural communities. Our establishment currently stands at one full-time Sergeant and seven full-time constables. Presently 6 of the constable posts are filled, and a recruitment process to fill the vacancy is actively underway. All officers are specialist wildlife crime investigators and three are specialist investigators in relation to the control of endangered species. All officers have completed training with Historic England regarding the investigation of Heritage crime.  There is also a part-time coordinator and a part-time administrator to support the team and there will shortly be an addition to the Rural Crime Team in the form of Derbyshire’s first Rural Crime PCSO.

Q20) It would appear that our city council staff and the security services they employ are now violating the rights of our community to take a photograph in the city council building. I have personally witnessed intimidation, verbal threats, and physical assaults against individuals for carrying out that right. Could someone offer any explanation as to why this behaviour is allowed to continue, despite video evidence and on-line reviews being available?

Constabulary Response

A review has been conducted of reported incidents relating to his location over the last 12 months. Whilst we cannot comment on individual cases, none of the incidents concern the rights of an individual to film or take photographs in a public place. All reported incidents have been proportionately investigated.

Security officers employed in any building generally make use of common law powers of self-defence. Where a party reports an incident which amounts to a criminal offence, such as assault or public order offences, then it would be investigated by the police. Any concerns regarding staff incivility which do not meet the criteria for public order offences should be directed to Derby City Council directly as a complaint against staff.

Q21 ) As a neighbourhood in a quiet area crime with drugs is under the radar at night and is easy access for county lines to bring issues into area and deal. High peak council are very responsible for continuously bringing undesirable people into the same properties time after time with the same issues coursing anti-social behaviour and people and neighbours being scared to speak out. How can you tackle this problem when the high peak council seem to ignore and bring these people to the rural area to deal?

Constabulary Response

High Peak Borough Council are a key partner agency to the High Peak policing teams, who work very closely with them. County Lines drug dealing is an issue that they keep a very close eye on, working with other policing departments to development intelligence around properties and individuals of concern. Enforcement activity has taken place and arrests have been made. The High Peak Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs), would very much like to receive information about properties that residents are concerned about and they regularly hold drop in sessions around the towns to complement their email, telephone, and online contact services. They regularly meet with partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour through joint problem-solving initiatives.

Residents are encouraged to use our online services detailed on Derbyshire Police website or telephone 101 to report concerns. If the situation is an emergency (someone in danger or a crime taking place), please use 999.  If a resident does not wish to contact Police directly they can speak confidentially to Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Q22) Can anything be done to encourage the County Council to repaint worn out white lines at road junctions? As the nights close in, this is becoming an increasing problem in my area, particularly for drivers who do not know the area.

Constabulary Response

As you have indicated repainting of white lines is a responsibility of the Local Authority. We would recommend completing the online form accessed through the Derbyshire County Council website, highlighting your concerns – Traffic calming – Derbyshire County Council

Specific Policing Issues

Q23) Having contacted Derbyshire Constabulary via 101 to report finding several electric hand tools I was told they would be collected by an officer but up to present this has not happened. Why? Is it not considered serious enough for action?

Constabulary Response

Whilst the Police do not routinely handle found property and have not done for a number of years, if the items are suspected as being stolen or obtained in the commission of a crime, then we would expect officers to review the incident and conduct relevant system checks to cross reference any relevant offences, and where proportionate conduct investigations into the origin of the items. Practically speaking, we would expect officers to recover high value items that are suspected of being stolen but without further details it is difficult to comment on without a location or incident number.

The Constabulary are currently liaising with this member of the public directly to ascertain further details regarding the concerns they have raise.

Q24) Why do the Police fail to take seriously all complaints especially those concerning drug and alcohol problems? Also why do the local police fail to attend parish council meetings?

Constabulary Response

All concerns regarding drugs and alcohol which are reported to us are assessed and action taken where it is appropriate to do so. We regularly work with our partners to target premises and people connected to drug use, and we work with our licencing teams to ensure that licenced premises adhering to their licencing conditions.  

Officers attend Town and Parish Council meetings where there is a specific concern or matter to be discussed. Whilst officers will not routinely attend all meetings, a written update should always be provided as part of the neighbourhood pledge included in the Community Charter.

We would encourage people to report all concerns as and when they occur, and we will continue to provide police updates as required through social media, local newsletters and through the Parish Councils       

Our Neighbourhood Policing Charter sets out our pledge to build on community engagement and deliver on the priorities in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. This includes working with local councillors and community groups to improve community safety. Neighbourhood policing charter (derbyshire.police.uk)

Q25) Convince me that the role of the PCSO is not just regarded by the Force as the 1st step on a career path. Rural communities need to have a long-term PCSO who knows and is known throughout the community. Our last 2 PCSO’s were only in situ for 6 months each until they moved on to do “real policing” – their quotes not mine!!!

Constabulary Response

PCSOs are an important part of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) and are highly valued within Derbyshire Constabulary. It is often the local PCSO that local communities recognise, given that there their primary role is to be visible, engaging with communities, gathering intelligence, and working to tackle crime, disorder, and anti-social behaviour.

Understanding a local community takes time, which is why we rarely move PCSOs to other neighbourhoods.  As part of the governments police Uplift programme, Derbyshire Police has seen a number of PCSOs join the regulars. Whilst this is of benefit to the force in the long term, it does mean that some gaps have recently been left in our PCSO cadre. However, we still have many PCSOs who have been in their roles for several years, with a number having joined 16 years ago during the very first recruitment campaigns. The force is working hard to recruit into the vacant positions to ensure that our Safer Neighbourhood Teams are adequately staffed with both constables and PCSOs

Q26) A van hit my daughter’s (Derby City resident) parked car early one morning. There was footage of the event on the CCTV camera at the local shop, clearly showing the time, date, the van’s logo, and the fact that it hit two cars (including that of my daughter) before driving off. When she reported this to the police, she was told that (he) couldn’t see what crime had been committed, apart from failing to stop and give details! Exactly, there is the crime…failing to stop and give details. What an easy one to solve too, vehicle logo, registration number and a driver who is clearly unfit to drive, for whatever reason. Aren’t the police interested in challenging people who think that they can go around damaging other people’s property and get away with it?

Constabulary Response

From the comments made within the paragraph the assessment is that the service provided to the victim on this occasion fell below what we would have expected to be provided to the public, both in investigative quality and professionalism.  In a case whereby a driver causes a collision and fails to stop, we would expect all reasonable lines of enquiry to be pursued, all identified offences recorded and where evidence was available, a prosecution to follow.

The Constabulary are currently liaising with this member of the public directly to ascertain further details regarding the concerns they have raise.

Q27) My 11-year-old granddaughter was recently a victim of online grooming which was reported to the Police. She was given an appointment to attend Chesterfield Police station 6 days later, with her mother, when officers took details of the offence and evidence from her mobile phone. The officers then advised them that this was a minor crime and that they did not have the resources to investigate it. They also stated that she could get into trouble herself. This matter was brought to the family’s attention by the parent of another young girl, at the same school, who had also been targeted by the same man. Why are Derbyshire Police not investigating crimes of this nature?

Constabulary Response

Where an allegation amounts to the grooming of a child for exploitative purposes then it is treated as a priority and investigated. The force has a dedicated online team who review all cases of grooming and depending on the circumstances of the case go on to investigate it.

In the past 12 months, we have investigated 320 crimes of child sexual exploitation.  However, not all online contact with a child would amount to an offence and without further details it is difficult to comment on the appropriateness of the action taken and advice given.  

The Constabulary are currently liaising with this member of the public directly to ascertain further details regarding the concerns they have raise.

Miscellaneous

Q28) How many crimes have been reported, and how many arrests have been made? The latest 12 month period will be sufficient {North East}.

Constabulary Response

North East & Bolsover policing section has the second highest number of crimes compared with the ten other policing sections in Derbyshire. The section is also one of the largest sections, combining two district council areas (North East Derbyshire and Bolsover) and it has nearly double the population compared with other sections.

There were 10,476 recorded crimes on North East section in the 12-month period ending September 2022. An increase of 1.8% compared with the previous 12 months compared with 3.2% force wide.

The five most common types of crime committed in the area, accounting for two thirds of all crime, were stalking and harassment, violence with and without injury, public disorder, and criminal damage.

There were 1,884 Stalking and Harassment crimes in the 12 months ending September 2022, this is similar to the previous year.

40% of Stalking and harassment crimes were flagged as domestic abuse related, which is three percent lower than the previous year.

There were 1,936 arrests made during the same period (12 month period ending in September 2022), with the majority being for the five most common crime types. Please note, that arrests are not the only route taken for prosecution – interviews under caution without arrest for example are frequently used also.

Q29) Over the last 12 months how many extra police (excluding PCSOs) have been recruited?

Constabulary Response

In the 12 months from 1 November 2021 –

31 November 2022 the following number of Police Officers and PCSOs were recruited.

Police Officers: 366

PCSOs: 36

Whilst this is the total number recruited, this includes combination of additional officers under   the Uplift, and officers to replace those who have left. 125 additional officers have been recruited in this current financial year, which meets the force’s Uplift target.

We have several recruitment campaigns taking place for both officer and staff posts, with two further intakes of PCSO’s planned for January and February 2023, which will recruit a further 40 PCSO’s.

Q30) For low level crime to be dealt with through any measure available.  ASB, drug dealing, and high street theft makes towns and cities unworthy of visiting.

Constabulary Response

Chesterfield Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), works closely with partners, namely Chesterfield Borough Council and have implemented targeted, high visibility patrols to tackle the issues that are affecting the local community. At identified times and dates, SNT and enforcement officers from the community safety partnership conduct patrols, in the parks and town centre whilst engaging with local traders, shop workers and members of the community whilst enforcing any orders such as the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

Over the last three months there have been:

•             5 Community Protection Warnings for ASB and nuisance

•             4 Community Protection Notices for breach of Community Protection Warnings

•             20 Anti-social behaviour contracts on youths identified as committing ASB

•             15 Anti-Social behaviour  Warning letters mainly to under 16 year olds

Most importantly, police and partners work to prevent crime and ASB, using diversionary schemes such as BLEND. BLEND is a youth project that operates in Chesterfield as well as Ripley, Heanor and Swanwick. Its aim is to reduce the risk of young children getting involved in ASB, crime and alcohol or drugs misuse. The project delivers a range of activities including cookery classes, art workshops, music lessons and counselling services. The idea is to promote healthy pursuits and works closely with partner agencies (including the police), to identify children and young people in need of this support.

During November, Operation Sceptre will focus on reducing knife crime, whilst raising awareness around the night-time economy, darker nights and the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy. SNT officers and partners will be available to discuss prevention and use of items such as personal attack alarms. Places where people have told us that they feel less safe e.g., multi story car parks will be subject to reassurance patrols. Also, in the lead up to Christmas, a shoplifting campaign will be undertaken, using both visible and plain clothed officers.   

Q31) Can we look at bringing all high street crime reduction schemes together in order to deal with low level crime. Low level crime has huge impact on the business and also football and investment. Support needs to be given to high street businesses in order for us to keep our towns and cities vibrant and safe.

Constabulary Response

Derbyshire Business Crime Reduction Partnership is a partnership between businesses and organisations, with the primary aim of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour within the business sector. The scheme is overseen by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and is part funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner. There are schemes currently operating in several areas throughout Derby, Chesterfield, Staveley, Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton, and Glossop.  The scheme is primarily aimed at the retail sector, but this not exclusive and is open to any business within Derbyshire. Members benefit from online reporting tools, information sharing and training and support.

The force is improving the way it works with the partnership, such as improved communication using platforms such as Derbyshire alert and use of a crime prevention hub.

During the recent National Business Crime week, we ran various prevention initiatives in key retail areas such as high visibility policing, crime prevention advice and guidance to local businesses and the pursuit of our most prolific outstanding offenders in relation to business crime.

Q32) When will you be able to clean our streets of drug dealing which is a scourge of most criminal behaviour, we need more police presence, more police officers? According to some officers the red tape and reports can take up half their shifts. Also, I’ve heard of people being arrested and taken to Ripley rather than a main cell in Chesterfield. Time = money. Also, I would like to see more neighbourhood watch schemes set up with locations of civilian CCTV cameras known to the police to assist in investigations, maybe these could be mapped. Can we also put a stop to chesterfield becoming begging town with most begging for drug money, these are prominent in our town and are overlooked even when they harass general shoppers, deterring them from town. We the people need to take back our streets and feel safe.

Constabulary Response

Chesterfield SNT have highlighted town centre ASB as a local priority, including concerns about daytime street drinkers as well as ASB by children in the evenings. A Public Space Protection Order is being utilised daily, allowing officers to remove those behaving antisocially. Officers are also working with local authority colleagues to embed a ‘Boots on the Ground’ project that involves joint patrols to identify perpetrators of ASB and tackle the issues at key times. ASB calls have decreased since the commencement of this action.

Due to health and safety reasons, the custody cells in Chesterfield are not currently operational. Work is underway to create a new 50 cell custody block in Chesterfield however, this is likely to take some time.

We do not underestimate the impact and harm drug dealing has on communities through county lines gangs, organised criminals, and drug dealers. Working with partners across the county to tackle substance misuse, cracking down on drug supply chains and helping addicts to recover and strengthen activity to prevent people using in the first place.

With regards to Neighbourhood Watch, we have seen over 1500 new members added to Derbyshire schemes since the start of the year. We are continuing to push for new schemes to be set up, especially in areas where we have limited coverage. By signing up to Derbyshire Alert, people can update us with details of their own personal CCTV and the location it covers.

If an offence happens in that area, we can then quickly identify potential lines of enquiry and send a message out to those that may be able to assist.

PLEASE NOTE: With the exception of legally required data and historic financial records, the majority of the information on the Derbyshire OPCC website covers information, news and events for the current Commissioner only. For access to news articles and information covering the previous Commissioners please contact the OPCC team.
HomepagePerformance Scrutiny Meeting focusing on Strong Local Policing (23 November 2022)
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