Dear Chesterton resident,
I contacted you last week to begin explaining what the local Police team are doing to combat serious issues in your neighbourhood. I want to continue the conversation here by answering in a little more detail some of the questions we touched on during our meeting.
First off, I want to thank you for your continued help, we have seen encouraging numbers of people reporting this week. It remains of the utmost importance that you each continue to report concerns either on line, via 101 or in an emergency on 999.
One of the matters we touched on last week was call handling, contacting us by 101 or 999. A common concern was "I call but you don’t come".
To be clear, we always dispatch officers to emergency calls, but we do identify calls routinely that don’t need immediate attendance, or where we don’t need to see you in order to record or investigate what you have reported. The decisions we make about who we visit are tough, and a decision not to attend does not always reflect how important something is to you, to your community or to us.
So why sometimes do we not come to see you or send an officer?
Problems in Chesterton are complex, they involve a wide range of persistent criminal and non-criminal acts. Reports range from egg throwing and nuisance to more serious incidents such as the recent dangerous driving and collision.
In many cases, by asking questions online or on the phone we can gather everything we need to record what has happened and allocate an officer to investigate. In these cases we will ask a detective to contact you, rather than sending an emergency response officer immediately.
Many of your reports relate to careless, inconsiderate or dangerous driving. Your calls will help direct patrol officers, but we don’t always need to come and visit you to use the information. We can’t always follow up calls providing information such as this, it’s just not practical. However given the problems in Chesterton I have put in place measures to ensure we follow up every call from your neighbourhood to ensure we close the loop when you give us information.
Problems in Chesterton are unique and in some cases acute, as such I realise we must be more visible and be available to see you in person. As a recognised area of concern we will endeavour to attend incidents and see you face to face even if we would not normally do so. We still have to prioritise emergencies, however officers working in the area all understand the heightened concerns and will do all they can to come and see you.
We will also be organising some drop in sessions with local officers in the near future for you to come talk to us, and we will also be working with the local residents association as promised.
What's happening right now?
- The Community Action Team have been conducting regular preventative patrols in the area. We will provide an update later this week on their work.
- Behind the scenes officers have reopened some of the historical criminal investigations based on new information provided from the meeting last week.
- The dash cam footage of the crash provided at the meeting has been reviewed by the SIO (Senior investigating officer) Det. Insp Dave Savill. As you would expect, as I hinted at during the meeting this is a detailed enquiry which will take a little while to piece together, so we must be patient. I took away concerns from the meeting about not being able to contact the officer in the case, it is fair to say that whilst we all understood how important this investigation is we had not prioritised a call back to the gentleman who was trying to help us. If you ever have issues contacting any one of us individually, call handlers on the 101 switch board can always help find someone else to talk with.
- We've had some volunteer community members respond to my offer of joining the team as registered police volunteers. Once we have people signed up, you will have members of your community who will be able to hold us more to account from a more informed position with vetted access to certain information, and a greater degree of flexibility to communicate with the local team. My hope is that these volunteers will help bridge the confidence gap… effectively you'll have people "on the inside".
I will continue over the next few weeks to work through some of the other common questions in a little more detail.
Inspector - Southern partnerships team.