People from across Gedling borough were given a chance to question Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and local police bosses last night (October 7) during an online public meeting.
Residents were invited to submit their questions and comments ahead of the meeting organised by Caroline Henry, who is Nottingham’s police and crime commissioner (PCC)
She was joined by a panel that included Gedling MP Tom Randall and Gedling neighbourhood police inspector Chris Pearson during the session, which lasted an hour.
The first question put to the panel was from Mohammad from Woodthorpe.
He asked: “We never see any cops where I live. If you ring they take ages to come or don’t come. What’s going on with getting more cops?”
Commissioner Henry was first to respond.
She said: “We have been getting more cops. There is more to do. We want more visible frontline policing and we want you to be confident that when you do call you will get a response. I will keep pushing to get more police officers for you”
Inspector Pearson revealed that the Gedling Neighbourhood Policing team had gained around 10 officers in the last couple of years.
“We’ve gained a sergeant and six PCs on my proactive team,” he revealed.
“We are really starting to see the benefits of the extra officers locally.
“On the issue of visibility we have been fortunate to receive new methods of transport in Gedling like electric bikes that were funded through our partnership which have increased the accessibility and visibility of our team as well.
“I really think we’re going in the right direction now with officer numbers. We have a new beat manager for the Calverton area as well who has joined our team in the last few weeks, so it’s going in the right direction for sure.”
Gary in Arnold complained about the noise and problems caused by youths in the town.
He said:”They hang around causing trouble and make people feel unsafe.”
Gary asked the panel: ‘What’s the plan as I never see the police to deal with it?”
Commissioner Henry responded: “The police are there but actually anti-social behaviour (ASB) is very much a joined up approach with Gedling Borough Council and also the city council.
“ASB is actually the top priority for the neighbourhood policing team in Gedling borough and they are working with the council and wider partners such as the youth service, who carry out detached youth work to reduce ASB reports.
“There has been a particular focus on open spaces and parks and the police team has increased patrols. The Operation Reacher colleagues have been working to reduce to reduce those ASB concerns.
“Officers also carry out high visibility patrols and do targeted days of action.
“The neighbourhood team are supported with officers in plain clothes too, so officers may be there but you just don’t realise it but they are keeping an eye on what’s happening.”
The panel heard that Gedling Borough Council recently issued a reminder CCTV is in operation in key hotspots across Gedling borough.
Inspector Pearson revealed that rural villages had been suffering from high levels of anti-social behaviour following the easing of lockdown restrictions
He said that Ravenshead had been one of the areas in the borough that suffered the highest impact but proactive policing work had been going on to reduce incidents.
Pearson said: “We received a report that some damage had been caused to one of the residents gardens. I believe it was some plants and flowers had been damaged.
“We actually managed to locate the offenders for that offence who later took part in a litter pick in the community. We took that approach because I am a huge fan of the community resolution outcome or restorative justice as most people would probably know it. It gives people the chance to learn from their mistakes and we wanted to do that on that particular occasion to promote some ownership in the community and make young people realise that their behaviour is not acceptable.”
Manjit in Netherfield asked the panel how they would be tackling the drug dealing issues in the town.
He said: “I worry about my family and I want to see these people dealt with so what are you doing about it?”
Inspector Pearson said that tackling drug supply has been made a priority in Gedling borough.
He said: “Since the Operation Reacher team started with us there has been two main areas of Gedling borough we’ve focused on. The first being Netherfield, under the banner of Operation Thistle, and then over in the Arnold area where we sadly saw some serious violence in the Front Street area which we believe to be down to the use and supply of controlled drugs.
Pearson revealed that the Neighbourhood Policing team and Operation Reacher have carried out 57 magistrates’ court warrants aimed at drug supply offences and have made 160 separate seizures of controlled drugs across the borough and taken £275,000 of suspected criminal money out of circulation.
Inspector Pearson added: “There is often a viewpoint that we don’t act of reported intelligence. It can sometimes take several weeks and months to develop to the standard we need in order to obtain a warrant through the courts. Please do keep reporting your concerns to us. We want to hear from you and want to get that information so that over time we will develop it and take enforcement action.
You can watch the full ‘Have your say’ session HERE