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Community Safety

Community Safety

New District Commander at Stockton The new District Commander, Alastair Simpson, was appointed at the beginning of September. He is in charge of the police’s efforts to continue to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across Stockton Borough. Alastair has experience in a variety of roles across the Cleveland Force area, including the management of Neighbourhood Policing and public protection. He has worked in the Stockton area before as a Detective Sergeant in 2003/04 and comes to this position after a successful period as Detective Chief Inspector responsible for Crime Management and Serious Crime in Middlesbrough. Superintendant Simpson said: “I have really enjoyed working in Stockton District in the past and I am looking forward to my new role. Stockton Police and the Safer Stockton Partnership have had a lot of success in recent years and I will be seeking to ensure we continue to tackle local problems and achieve crime and disorder reductions. “Key to this is the support of the people of Stockton. Information given to us about people who are committing crime, dealing drugs or causing anti-social behaviour helps us to effectively respond to local problems.

The new District Commander, Alistair Simpson during his a visit to Grangefield Specialist Technology College, Stockton, with Head Girl Laura Jones and Mitchell Agar, Head Boy

“So far this financial year we have already reduced crime by 7.2 per cent (which equates to 300 fewer victims) and reports to the police of anti-social behaviour have fallen by just over 25 per cent. “This is an excellent start and we are striving for continued improvement.” Stockton continues to be the safest place to live in Tees Valley with the lowest rate of crime and anti-social behaviour per 1,000 population. Superintendant Simpson will play a key part in the Safer Stockton Partnership where partners work together to reduce crime, and the fear of it, while tackling the priorities identified by residents through a Borough-wide Crime and Disorder consultation.

Don’t be distracted! Distractions can kill – that was the message Stockton Council’s Road Safety Team gave to more than 2000 Year 6 pupils from across the Borough at this year’s Crucial Crew event. Crucial Crew brings together a wide variety of agencies, each delivering vital (and possibly life saving) messages through fun scenarios to pupils. This year the event focused on the dangers of distractions to pedestrians and cyclists such as listening to music or using mobile phones. Road Safety Officer, Peter Fleming said: “This was a new direction for us and tackled the increasing problem of youngsters being distracted by their music or mobile. The reactions of pupils and teachers were excellent and using a video which showed distractions can kill really hit the message home.” For more information about Peter Fleming visit www.tuneintotraffic.co.uk or email peter.fleming@stockton.gov.uk or call (01642) 526737. PAGE 20

The partnership has adopted a problem solving approach to tackling issues which has lead to a significant reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour. This financial year has seen significantly fewer robbery and vehicle offences. Criminal damage has reduced by nearly 25 per cent. While there have been major reductions in most areas of crime and anti-social behaviour, Stockton has seen an increase in shoplifting. The partnership and Police are working with retailers to address this problem with several ongoing initiatives and operations planned as the festive season approaches.

Have yourself a safe and happy Christmas As the hustle and bustle of the festive season approaches a few hazards could potentially take the joy right out of it. Being aware of dangers will ensure a safe and happy time. Your Christmas tree may be a focal point in your room but it could be potentially unsafe. If you have a real tree make sure it’s fresh as once dried out it becomes a fire hazard. Be careful not to place it too close to a heat source, fireplace or heat vent as it could dry out, causing it to be more easily ignited. If your tree caught fire it could rapidly fill a room with deadly gases so when it becomes dry, discard it promptly.

Keep Christmas presents out of sight both in your car and in your home. Visible presents under a tree are a magnet for burglars. If you go out or go away for the holidays - leave a light on or have a switch on a timer. Ensure all your doors and windows are locked. It is a prime time for garden furniture and tools to be stolen so lock them away securely in a shed or garage. Take your car keys and door keys with you when you go to bed. Leaving them lying around makes it easy for a burglar to steal your car. Ensure the goods you buy are not counterfeit as they are substandard and can be dangerous too. If you would like more information or advice call Stockton Police on (01642) 302271 or (01642) 526560 for general Trading Standards advice. One more thing - do have a very safe and Happy Christmas!

Turn fairy lights off when you go out or when you go to sleep. Ensure the bulbs don’t touch anything that could easily burn such as paper. Don’t overload your sockets, ensure you are using the right fuses and if bulbs blow replace them. Candles can be dangerous – don’t ever leave them unattended and ensure you snuff them out before retiring to bed. Christmas time means party time but follow some golden rules. When it comes to alcohol know your limits and stay in control. Get home safely by using a licensed taxi. When you’re out and about make sure you dress appropriately - a ‘beer jacket’ won’t keep out the cold! And remember - end the night without a fight. Walk away from fights and scuffles. Look after yourself, and your wallet, as there are people who may be out to profit from stealing it.

A sense of justice

A Stockton mum is encouraging more people to volunteer for Stockton Council’s Youth Offending Service (YOS). Claire Garvey has experienced, at first hand, the excellent job of Community Panels and she is urging more people to do their bit.

As part of this process Claire, with the support of a Community Panel, met her son’s attackers. She said: “Meeting the boys face-to-face made the situation real for Claire’s 17-year-old son was attacked by them - they were held accountable for their two teenage boys. They later admitted actions. It showed them how their behaviour charges of actual bodily harm and received had impacted on other people’s lives. referral orders. “Working with the panel gave me the Those who are sentenced to a referral opportunity to ask the boys important order are required to attend a youth questions and I needed them to know offending panel which is run by specially how my son and family had been affected. trained Community Panel volunteers. I think the Community Panels definitely work. The offenders in this case have

certainly changed their way of life.” To find out more about volunteering as a Community Panel Member please request an application form by emailing Emma Ewing at emma.ewing@stockton.gov. uk or call (01642) 524524 alternatively contact Sheila Whitehead or Ruth Farnaby on (01642) 527597.

Paul Shaw, Restorative Justice Officer who has worked closely with Claire throughout the process. PAGE 21

Stockton News - Winter 2012  

The Winter 2012 edition of Stockton News

Stockton News - Winter 2012  

The Winter 2012 edition of Stockton News

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