Fewer Community Police in York

A response to a Freedom of Information  request has indicated that front line PCSO numbers have dropped by more than half in York since 2016.

PCSOs passing out in 2014

Liberal Democrat Councillor Ashley Mason, who is currently serving as the Vice Chair to the Police & Crime Panel, recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police Force. He wanted to know the number of community police officers patrolling the streets of the City.

In response, Cllr Mason was told that there are currently 25 front line PCSOs in York.

This compares to 64 in 2016.

Cllr Mason had also requested the figures for the last 10 years, but unfortunately, was told that this information was not recorded.

This revelation comes amidst growing concerns that the fall in police numbers, due to Government cuts, has lead to increases in crimes throughout England. Although this has been denied by Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, a leaked report from her own department, has suggested reductions in police numbers were “likely” to have led to the increase.

Earlier this year, PCC Julia Mulligan promised to look into the neighbourhood policing system in York, after many local councillors expressed concerns about the lack of local officers in their communities.

Councillor Ashley Mason, Liberal Democrat and Vice Chair of the Police & Crime Panel:

“PCSOs are a vital link between the police and the communities they serve.  To loose so many over two years is shocking.”

“It is interesting to see that the Police and Crime Commissioner say that numbers high, which suggests that some PCSO’s are being taken away from the City of York.”

“I will be writing to the Police and Crime Commissioner to express my concerns and insist that her review of the force begin as soon as possible”

PCC Julia Mulligan has responded by saying that the North Yorkshire Police website, from which the figures in the FOI response were taken, was incorrect.

Councillor Ashley Mason responded by saying:

“I sent through a request to North Yorkshire Police for them to confirm to me the number of PCSOs working in York. I was a little surprised in the first instance when I was only referred to the North Yorkshire Police’s website, as the numbers indicated were low.

“I queried this with the force’s Civil Disclosure Unit and was again directed to North Yorkshire Police’s website, where I was told that the numbers of PCSOs could be found under the details of the ‘York North’ and ‘York City’ Neighbourhood Teams. As indicated on the website, only 25 PCSOs are detailed.

“If as the Police & Crime Commissioner has said that these numbers are incorrect, then this should be absolutely reflected on the North Yorkshire Police Force website, particularly if Councillors and members of the public are going to be directed to the website. Neighbourhood policing is extremely important to communities here in York and therefore, it is essential that information provided to the public is correct.”

Concerns raised over the 101 Service by Cllr Ashley Mason

On the panel, Commander Charlotte Bloxham (far left), Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward (left of centre), Cllr Ashley Mason (right of centre) and Superintendent Adam Thompson (right).

Concerns and confusion continue to persist regarding the performance of 101 service in York.

During a public meeting organised by Liberal Democrat Councillor Ashley Mason, residents were vocal in their displeasure over the quality of service they have received after calling 101, with many commenting that police responses were too slow or, in some instances, did not show up at all.

In response, Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, head of the York Control Room, highlighted that November 2017 was the busiest month on record for 999 calls and due to the sheer volume of calls, this had an adverse effect on the force’s ability to respond to 101 calls.  However, the Police did apologise to residents who had not been provided the appropriate level of service and commitments were made to improve localised responses to 101 calls.

In addition, a number of residents underlined their unhappiness that charges were being applied to the national 101 service, despite residents being actively encouraged to log calls via 101.  Deputy Chief Constable, Lisa Winward, concurred that residents should not be charged for logging calls and agreed to take this issue to the National Police Board.

Cllr Ashley Mason said:

“The 101 service is extremely important for many local communities and it is crucial that it operates to a high standard  Calls to the 101 service must result in police action, where necessary, and I am pleased that the Police took onboard the concerns of residents and apologised to those who had been let down by the service.

Looking forward, it is encouraging that Deputy Chief Constable will take the issue of call charges to the Police’s National Board and commitments have been made to improve responses to 101 calls.  We must continue to scrutinise the performance of the 101 service, in order to identify where improvements are required.  Excellent standards must be consistently maintained to deliver the safety residents are entitled to.

 

Local Councillor Ashley Mason probes Fire Service takeover bill

Costs have been revealed concerning the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) bid to take over responsibilities for overseeing the Fire Service in North Yorkshire.

It has been revealed that Julia Mulligan has spent £141,437.50 on consultants in order to put her business case together, exceeding her budget by over £12,000 in the process.  The revelations come after Councillors on the Police and Crime Panel were issued with a last minute briefing paper from the PCCs office.

Cllr Ashley Mason, Vice Chair of the Panel and Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, initially queried the costs earlier in the year, but was informed the details were commercially sensitive.

Cllr Ashley Mason said:

“I was astonished to learn how much the PCC had spent on this takeover bid. I was even more surprised to see that these costs are solely for the external consultants and marketers. The costs do not include the large amount of staff time her office put into the campaign and only £88,000 can be claimed back from the Home Office.

This is totally unacceptable and the money would have been better spent in employing more control room staff to address the failings in 101 services, or on local PCSOs, with numbers reducing in York.

The Commissioner has some serious issues to tackle within the police, who have recently fallen in their rating by the Inspectorate of Constabularies’ from ‘Good’ to ‘Requires Improvement.”

Police launch new Community Messaging service

North Yorkshire Community Messaging is a free community messaging system that allows residents to register to receive the latest Community messagingcrime notifications and community news happening in their local neighbourhood.

North Yorkshire Community Messaging allows residents to decide when and how they are kept informed about the issues that matter to them:

  • Choose your interests: Crime and Other Police Incidents, Rural Policing, Anti-Social Behaviour, Road Safety, Neighbourhood News and Events
  • Choose how to receive your alerts: Phone, email, text message or mobile app (launching soon)!
  • By area(s): School, home, places of work, elderly relatives

Registering for North Yorkshire Community Messaging is Safe, Secure and Easy – Just click  Join  and follow the step by step instructions.

The North Yorkshire Police have been under fire for failing to keep their social media channels updated during recent months.

This seems to us to be a worthwhile initiative which we hope will improve communications with residents

Police seek help following Tadcaster Road incident

North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about an incident that occurred in Tadcaster Road, York
Police tape2

It happened outside The Newington Hotel, Tadcaster Road, York, at 6.15pm on Saturday 5 March 2016, when men in a blue five-door hatchback car approached a young man.

We are conducting enquiries and are requesting the public’s assistance to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

In particular, we are appealing for witnesses to the incident, and local addresses that may have CCTV covering the location and any drivers of blue five-door hatchback cars that may have been in the location at the time for elimination purposes.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for Tony Barnes. You can also email tony.barnes@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12160039467.

13 year old boy assaulted on little Hob Moor in Dringhouses

A 13-year-old local boy has been assaulted on the cycle track between Hob Moor and Tadcaster Road in York.
At 3.30pm on Wednesday 25 November 2015, a young man aged approximately 19 to 20-years-old forcefully grabbed the young victim and pulled him off his bicycle and shook him violently. 

Fortunately the victim did not require hospital treatment but has been left distressed by the incident.

Officers are appealing for information about the assault and are urging anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

In particular, they are appealing for information about a white man aged 19 to 20-years-old, about 6ft tall of medium build with short curly ginger hair.  The man was wearing a black hoody and blue or black trousers and was seen to by riding a blue BMX bicycle.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Constable James Mills. You can also email james.mills@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Please quote North Yorkshire Police reference number 12150209471.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

No to cuts in Policing numbers in York – Petition launched

The Conservative Government is planning to cut the Home Office budget in November’s Comprehensive Spending Review and change the ‘Police Funding Formula’.

Teresa May police cuts

The North Yorkshire Police Federation has warned that these comibined cuts could see a reduction in police numbers and leave North Yorkshire Police (who cover York) with fewer police officers than when the force was founded in 1974. The Federation has called for North Yorkshire to be given a “fair deal” by the Government.

To show our support for North Yorkshire Police we have started the folloiwng petition which we urge you to sign:

I/We the undersigned oppose plans by the Conservative Government to cut the funding for the North Yorkshire Police.

Click here

Woodthorpe arrests

York Police just tweeted, “report received regarding 3 males taking advantage of vulnerable elderly male in Woodthorpe apparently having driven him to a cash machine.

Van sighted and stopped.

£400 belonging to victim recovered and 3 males arrested for fraud offences. Incidents like that are hard hitting and sickening and will not be tolerated.

These 3 males off the streets is a good result”

You can follow the local neighbourhood policing team on twitter @snayorkwest

York woman forfeits £2990 as Police announce award winners.

North Yorkshire Police have successfully obtained a forfeiture order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) against a woman from York, for cash amounting to £2990 that was seized during a drugs warrant.

Police

Yazmin Biggs, 61, has also been told she must pay £895 in costs to North Yorkshire Police’s Legal Services Department.

Police seized the cash during a search of the home address of Ms Biggs, following reports of drug related activity at the property.

When she appeared in court, Ms Biggs claimed that nothing illegal had taken place in relation to the cash. However when hearing the circumstances in which the cash was seized and details of the subsequent financial investigation, the Magistrates decided that it was more likely than not that the cash was derived from criminal activity.

T/Detective Inspector Rowland of the Force Economic Crime Unit said:

This particular case once again demonstrates that even when the result of a criminal investigation no further action (NFA), if the cash is seized in suspicious circumstances the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) allows North Yorkshire Police to continue to investigate the origin and intended use of that cash.

“Officers from the force’s Economic Crime Unit will work hard to put evidence before a court and they will decide if the cash was derived from criminal activity or was intended for use in such activity.

“The outcome with Ms Biggs reinforces the message to those wishing to engage in criminal activity, that the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) will be used at every opportunity.”

Winners announced at the first North Yorkshire Police Annual Awards ceremony

Supporting the families of murder victims, saving a woman from suicide and encouraging hundreds of youngsters towards a positive lifestyle – those were just a few of the stories from North Yorkshire Police’s first Annual Awards ceremony, which was held at the Hospitium in York on Friday (23 October).

Annual Awards winners 2015 group shot

The Annual Awards event, which was attended by winners, their families and senior officers, was designed to recognise the achievements of officers and staff who embody the Force’s values of courage, compassion and inspiration.  It is the first such event to be held by North Yorkshire Police.
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