A crackdown on vehicle crime in the Gedling borough, in response to concerns raised by the local community, has resulted in a significant 27 per cent reduction.
A covert ‘capture car’ is among the numerous tactics to have been used in vehicle crime hotspots in the borough as well as late-night patrols to combat overnight crime and target offenders.
Thanks to the ongoing work, and crime prevention initiatives working in partnership with Gedling Borough Council, the borough saw a year-to-date reduction equating to 192 fewer vehicle crime victims by the end of March.
Inspector Chris Pearson, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector responsible for local policing in the Gedling borough area, said: “There was community concern around auto crime which was highlighted to me by some of the local councillors and members of the public. Due to this we chose to really focus on the work we were doing.
“Most, if not all, of the offences were overnight. We set up regular overnight operations including support from the Gedling Neighbourhood Policing Team, Gedling Op Reacher Team, response officers, the force’s Operational Support department and our Gedling Specials.
“We’ve focused patrols based on crime data and carried out plain clothes patrols in hotspots such as Porchester and Netherfield, with support from Gedling CCTV operators where possible.
“We went through a process of reviewing all reports of auto crime to identify lines of enquiry, such as CCTV footage or forensic opportunities, which would help us to identify patterns and offenders. We used this information to either make arrests or inform patrols.
“We stopped vehicles and individuals on the streets overnight often leading to disruption, such as vehicle seizures for no insurance or other driving offences. The Specials were the lead for this activity which we hoped would send a clear message that we were out policing the streets overnight.”
Positive results included two men being arrested on suspicion of theft of motor vehicle after three stolen vans were recovered during a warrant executed at an address on the Colwick Industrial Estate on 1 March 2020. The suspects, aged 25 and 33, were subsequently released under investigation.
Insp Pearson added: “We have also used social media to raise awareness of vehicle crime and provide crime prevention advice to the public. This was particularly important as we saw a spike in vans being targeted for tools and valuables stolen from cars that had been left on display overnight.
“We worked with Gedling Borough Council to put new crime prevention signs into some of the Porchester area which was a key hotspot location for us. The Neighbourhood Wardens worked with us to identify the best places to put these based on reported offences. This was another way of target-hardening the area by reminding residents to secure cars and remove valuables.
“There are very close links between auto crime and burglary so we chose to target both crimes together at the same time.
“We have made a concerted effort to tackle both issues and we also seen a reduction in burglaries of just over seven per cent. In real terms, this has meant 37 fewer victims of burglary across Gedling.
“While the reductions we’ve seen in auto crime and burglary are pleasing we are not complacent. There is more to be done and we are still pushing ahead with our work to tackle these issues this year.
“We will continue with our relentless approach to protecting the public, reducing victims and catching offenders.
“All of our teams are working together, we are carrying out a lot of late-night patrols and we are regularly examining CCTV and targeting known offenders.
“As ever I’d urge the public to report any suspicious behaviour in their area and if they have any information about those suspected to be involved in vehicle crime to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke, said: “We’ve worked closely with the police on a number of initiatives recently and this excellent result is another example of great partnership working.
“Our neighbourhood wardens, CCTV operatives and other officers have provided valuable, local support, which has helped make this significant reduction in vehicle crime and helped protect our residents and keep our communities safe.
“We have absolutely no plans to slow down and I’d like to thank the police for their unrelenting hard work, especially given the current, exceptional circumstances we are all living in. They continue to protect and support us and help ensure our borough continues to be a fantastic place to live and work in.”
For more advice on protecting your vehicle visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention/vehicle
ACTION: An overnight vehicle stop in the Gedling borough; Stolen vans recovered during a warrant executed at an address on the Colwick Industrial Estate on 1 March 2020; Signage warning of car thieves operating in the Gedling borough area PHOTOS: Nottinghamshire Police