To receive a verbal update from Roy Evans of Thames Valley Police.
PC Roy Evans explained that he had PC Gavin McVeigh with him.
PC Evans explained that he had produced a report for the Board and was to produce a quarterly newsletter which would be published on 1 October 2020.
He explained that three priorities had been decided on in May, which were Drug dealing / usage; Residential burglary and Anti-Social behaviour and he summarised as follows:
Drug dealing/usage: there had been an increase in county lines drug gang members coming into Chesham with intelligence stating they were from London and picking on vulnerable communities within the town. However, the neighbourhood teams were tackling this issue. Chesham and Amersham colleagues were proactively working together in trying to intercept them. Intelligence was constantly developing and if there was intel in a certain area, then that area would be ‘flooded’ with police and PCSO’s. A recent drugs operation was carried out at Chesham station to stop county lines coming in that way. A drugs dog was used and everyone who the dog identified either admitted they were carrying drugs or had been in possession of them recently. Criticism had been levelled against the police on social media in relation to this operation as people believe that the British Transport Police should have carried it out, however, anyone coming into the town with the intention of dealing drugs meant that the Thames Valley Police should carry out the operation. On the same day as that operation, a vehicle carrying 3 males was stopped in Ashley Green. Those 3 males were found to all be on bail and were found in possession of drugs and cash in the vehicle. It was hoped that a charge of Possession with Intent to Supply would follow.
Burglary: figures showed that Chiltern and South Bucks was one of the most targeted areas. Within the past three months the two most common ways for a burglar to enter a property were via the front or rear doors with front doors being the most used in the evenings. Advice from TVP was that all doors should remain locked even when the householder was within the property. PC Evans wanted to promote CCTV for homes and stated that there were some extremely good/high picture quality, but inexpensive, CCTV systems on the market. In normal circumstances, TVP would attend neighbourhood meetings, events and fairs etc. to promote house safety but because of Covid-19, this had been impossible. However, depending on restrictions, it was hoped that these events would start again and TVP would attend.
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB): this covered a wide definition, from personal to community or environmental to nuisance. PC Evans explained that there was a full list on the TVP website. Members of the public also believed that speeding and drugs were anti-social too but because they overlapped with other categories it was never clear what they were more concerned with. Covid-19 had brought more problems for TVP to deal with since March 2020. Not only had they been expected to enforce the government guidelines but the numbers of people reporting breaches had increased substantially particularly people reporting their neighbours. The aftermath of these increased neighbour reports was still ongoing particularly where neighbours had got along in the past and now TVP were acting as mediators to sort issues out and that took some time.
PC Evans stated that the priorities for the next three months, which were identified at a meeting held on 23 September, would be burglary and crime prevention, Anti-Social Behaviour and Speeding.
Finally, PC Evans reported that two new officers were now at Chesham station. They were both warranted officers from the Emergency Response Unit. They were PC Jack McGregor and PC Hugh Flanagan and they would be taking on the neighbourhood priorities.
In answer to questions, PC Evans explained that putting an additional ten speed cameras in place mainly in rural areas would be a decision by people more senior then him but that he would take the request back. PC Evans encouraged people to report anti-social driving to police by calling 101 or reporting on the TVP website. In particular police would be looking for registration numbers to help identification. PC Evans explained there was also an app for smartphones which could be downloaded, which made reporting easier.
The Vice-Chairman thanked PC Evans and all the team and recognised that the last six months had been very challenging due to not just Covid-19 issues, but the local team being put on standby to assist with mass demonstrations, Black Lives Matters (BLM) rallies, etc in the local and neighbouring areas.
A suggestion was made that instead of increasing the number of speed cameras, mobile speed devices could be utilised.
The Chairman also thanked PC Evans and all Thames Valley Police for their hard work.