Tuesday, April 21, 2009

13 new Constables, increased Police presence, and a whole load of Dog Sh*t

I was invited to spend last Tuesday morning with the 13 new Police Constables recruited by Humberside Police - 6 weeks into their training and they get me talking about Councillor input into Policing, Local Action Teams, and partnership working… It was all very positive but I must admit I did stray into the area of Central Government imposed targets and the contradiction with what local people are telling us in the East Riding. (Funnily enough there were no detractors – perhaps it’s something to do with all the Police Performance Challenge meetings I’ve attended over the past two years).

What I really struggle with is this Government that wants the Police to focus on targets that are not really applicable to our East Riding communities, where quite clearly the priorities are different from larger urban communities.

Many people tell me their priorities are antisocial behaviour (where the perception doesn't reflect reality – thanks mainly to the media), speeding and parking in villages and towns, and last but not least DOG FOULING - something plaguing most communities. So why does the Government insist the priority for the Police should be vehicle crime?

(Please note: PCSOs in Leeds give out tickets to people caught Dog Fouling and there appears to be less comments about a lack of a Police Presence)

Please, let’s have an election soon, let’s get rid of this wretched Government (and that’s without talking about the Budget statement), and let’s have more localism where we have more decision-making disseminated down to the local level that a new Tory Government will bring. At the end of the day it is the voice of the people I represent that is most important – not the voice of this centralist Government telling us what they think, how we should think and what we should do, and worst of all imposing their priorities on us.

To finish on a positive note, 13 great recruits; who I’m sure will make great Police Officers in the weeks, months and years to come.


Kev Owen (aka Bluetracker) said...

I thought it was common knowledge Paul, Prioritising vehicle crime allows for a steady income into central coffers. What other area of 'crime' has such an appealing end product to the Whitehall bean counters?
Let's face it, if and when the new speed limits come into being, there will be even more incentive to deploy more cameras and rake in a little more of this clandestine taxation.

Whilst I am glad we have 13 more 'real police officers' out and about the county, they are hardly 'new' to the region being 6 months into training.

Where are the rest of their colleagues?
Sat in the station completing paperwork no doubt, whilst the areas' ne'er do wells flourish with relative impunity.

It is all well and good recruiting officers but they are no good sat behind a desk. We need to cut the amount of paperwork that officers have to fill out. The scrapping of the lengthy Stop and Account paperwork was a starting point, yet still more fat needs trimming in order for us to see the benefit of having those 13 officers in the community.
Dog Fouling?
That is hardly a Police matter but one for the Council to address. As one of the many RESPONSIBLE dog owners in the area I too am dismayed at the amount of owners I see who do not clean up after their dogs. I am even more dismayed when I see owners using poop scoop bags and then throwing the bag over walls fences/hedges. Also can anyone tell me what species of tree we have growing on Westfield banks and other open areas around and about?
The ones I'm unsure about have poop filled bags hanging from their branches!
Perhaps the council could provide a few more bins into which people could deposit their dog poop bags rather than turning the trees of the area into some grotesque celebration of their Canine companions' bowel movements?

Paul Robinson said...

Thanks for that Kev.

The recruits were only six weeks in not six months - but I take your point

The vehicle crime is not necessarily speeding but more theft from vehicles as well as theft of vehicles… So not really feeding into central coffers. I do have a problem with the focus on speeding drivers and them being perhaps victimised if they are a few of miles over the limit and being fined and gaining points, when we should be focusing on anti-social vehicle use and those who are travelling significantly over the speed limit. You’re right it is perceived as a form of clandestine taxation, but nothing new here with this Government.

Dog fouling is the scourge of many communities and something I get more complaints about then anything else. People also say (rightly or wrongly) that they seldom see a Police presence in their communities. If the PSCOs are able to deal with dog fouling (as they do in other areas) it reduces, and at the same time people see the Police doing something about a problem that affects them, so it’s a win/win for the Police and the community.

I’m not sure of the Latin name for the trees that have the hanging bags but I think it’s something like: ‘Quercus Shiticus Macranthera’

Kev Owen (aka Bluetracker) said...

"I’m not sure of the Latin name for the trees that have the hanging bags but I think it’s something like: ‘Quercus Shiticus Macranthera’"

Really? I thought they may have been a branch of another type of 'Cannabis' farm myself...there seems to be quite a few of those turning up on local Police radar lately...

However..back to reality before I get my coat handed to me!

I really don't believe saddling PCSO's with the duties of 'Dog wardens' really does these public spirited individuals justice or spends our council tax very efficiently.

I have a better idea...take all the traffic wardens from the Howden CPZ and re-badge them as Dog Wardens...and set them loose around the areas frequented by dog walkers...after all once the PA car park opens up on Station Road there will be no cars around for them to stick tickets onto, either legally or otherwise. With their unerring 'dedication to duty' proven over the years of lying in wait for some unsuspecting motorist to overstay the allotted parking time, I'm sure they will soon 'clean up' and the money raised in fixed penalties can be spent on fixing a few potholes on the roads...

Anonymous said...

I am also a responsible dog owner and enjoy the access to multiple doggypoo bins around Gilberdyke. Sadly despite this facility there are still areas in which you tread with great care!
The PCSOs and normal police appear from time to time with some positive effects but I wish the days when we had a village bobby living in the village (well Newport - but close enough) would return. He knew the locals especially the towrags and discouraged antisocial behaviour before it started.
One final point - just when will something be done about the car junk-yard which is situated on the corner of Thornton Dam Lane and Main Road in Gilberdyke?

Paul Robinson said...

Thanks for raising the issue of the ‘Junk-Yard at the end of Thornton Dam Lane’ – I have more complaints about this than anything else. I’ve had public protection look at it, highways, planning enforcement, and the Police… and unfortunately he appears to be little wrong legally. Apparently he only works on his own cars (unless someone can tell me he doesn’t), he can park the cars on the road because they’re legally taxed, his leaving junk on the bridge and part of the verge is difficult to enforce - as it’s a Lower Ouse Internal Drainage Board maintained dyke but subject to some aspects of riparian law…. I therefore totally and absolutely share your feelings on this, and I promise to continue to try to find a solution….

Simon Palmer, the local PSCO covering Gilberdyke and Newport is very good, and has a terrific rapport with the young people of the area. I agree with you in wishing we still had the local Bobby based in Newport, but unfortunately Policing has had to change with the times… BUT I think Simon serves a very similar function and is the nearest thing we’ll see to those times past. Incidentally Simon can be reached on 0845 60 60 222 of by email at: simon.palmer@humberside.pnn.police.uk

Anonymous said...

Lo and behold this weekend yet another car being repaired at the junkyard reg no N 123 LWS this time. Also the black sports car is parked opposite on the road without its front number plate fitted.
The guy knows when he is not going to be seen by ERYC officers or the police it seems