Policing Matters: building links with local people
Welcome to my first article in The Ambler. My name is Ian Forster, I am a Neighbourhood Sergeant with 25 years policing experience and I have recently taken over responsibility for Amble, covering an area from Alnmouth, south to Cresswell, and west as far as Cambo.
Policing issues are broad and varied in such a diverse area. With the majority of the area being rural, we deal with incidents such as thefts and burglaries to farms and other rural premises. Poaching is a problem, people coming onto farm land usually with dogs to kill rabbits, hares and other wildlife. They cause damage by driving over crops and often use poaching as an excuse to check out the area looking for things to steal such as quads, power tools and diesel.
There has just been a police operation called Checkpoint involving some of my team and many other officers from all over Northumberland working with volunteers from the rural community. The operation went on through the night with the volunteers being extra eyes on the ground. Any suspicious vehicles that were seen that may have been out to commit crime or poaching offences were stopped by police.
We get regular reports of off road motor bikes and quads riding along the coast, which, again, causes damage and annoyance to the public and we have increased patrols in these areas.
One of my team works within HMP Northumberland to deal with crimes in the prison such as assaults or smuggling items into the prison, usually mobile phones and drugs. In addition I have 4 officers based at Morpeth who cover the rural area north and west of Morpeth, and 4 officers based at Fourways in Amble. All the officers are experienced, professional and approachable, so feel free to speak to them when you see them.
Neighbourhood officers have other duties in addition to responding to incidents. We have responsibility for safeguarding victims of crime such as domestic violence, repeat victims of crime or anti-social behaviour (ASB, we like mnemonics in the police service!).
We work closely with other agencies such as the council, Social Services, Housing, Education and so on, to protect vulnerable members of the community by sharing information, taking actions against offenders and supporting victims.
Our priorities in Amble are to build links with local residents and businesses so that we know what your concerns are and to address them.
Crime will always be a priority and I want to also drive down any pockets of ASB and drug issues within the town. We will be working with licensees of pubs and off licences to reduce alcohol fuelled disorder and underage drinking. We will try to be as visible within the community as we can.
Above all I would like to ask for your help by telling us about any policing matters that concern you. If there is an address where there are lots of comings and goings all times of day or night, if you have information about someone you think is involved in crime or disorder or anyone you believe is vulnerable and in need of help, then please pass this information on to us. We can only act on the information we have. You can remain anonymous if you wish.
To pass intelligence about an address or a person you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report an incident where you want police to speak to you or attend then ring 101. For emergencies or if a crime is happening now then dial 999.
Ian Forster, Neighbourhood Police Sergeant