Police and Communities Together Meeting (PACT)

report from Cllr Lesley Jones
of the meeting of 8th December

Thursday, 17 December 2009

With thanks as usual to all those members of the Community who came to the latest meeting chaired by Sgt Chris Norbury in the Committee Room at theTown Hall.

Sgt Norbury gave his update on progress with the priorities that had been set at the previous meeting in October as follows:

Continued high visibility foot patrols in the town centre and Calder Holmes Park, particularly over the bonfire period.

  • Patrols have continued to be deployed both on foot and on two wheels!  Regular visits have been made to all licensed premises especially at the weekends.  It was re-assuring to hear that disorder round licensed premises in Hebden Bridge is generally very, very low.
  • Concerns are still being raised re noise associated with people gathering outside Marshalls, much of which has been caused as a direct result of the smoking ban.  There have been no reports of violence or disorder and it was accepted that no harm is intended but that voices do carry late at night.  It was suggested that Marshalls be asked to post notices asking for customers to respect nearby residents and asking for noise to be kept to a minimum.  Sgt Norbury will pass this suggestion to the Pub Watch scheme.
  • The bonfire operation was successful with minor town centre disorder only.
  • A number of pro-active arrests have been made over the last 6 weeks as a result of the foot/cycle patrols including one following a fight on Albert Street which resulted in a 22 year old being issued with fixed penalty fine for being drunk and disorderly.
  • A drugs warrant has been executed and an arrest was made and a caution issued.  The question was asked as to whether or not those involved in drugs was getting any younger, perhaps as low as 12 or 13 but Sgt Norbury said there was no particular evidence that this was the case.

To raise the profile of recent stone thefts which are now a significant problem throughout West Yorkshire. A press release has been prepared for publication in the HB Times.  However, on a positive note, intelligence received and cameras at Todmorden had enabled the arrest of 2 Bradford men and recovery of stone.  Intelligence can be critical in getting results and all members of the public are asked to report anything at all suspicious as soon as possible.

In respect of recent Landrover thefts and other remote location crime, Sgt Norbury contacted the NFU and he has attended a recent NFU meeting and outlined crime prevention information.  A Farmwatch ring round scheme is also planned.

Over the last 6 week period there have been a total of 41 reported crimes which is just slightly up on the previous period.  However, it should be noted that the area covered includes all the hilltop villages such as Colden, Blackshawhead and Heptonstall etc.  Brief details are as follows:-

  • 2 dwelling burglaries
  • A Skoda taken from Lee Mill Road was later recovered at the Friendly pub along with some other stolen goods.
  • There have been 8 thefts from garages/sheds.  One resident highlighted a particular issue at a number of garages at Keighley Road/end of Midgehole Road where there have been a number of incidents over quite a long period of time in an area which is poorly lit and street lighting is unreliable.  No house overlooks the garages and dense road parking restricts views even further.
  • An amount of copper pipe was taken from Pitt Street and Colden School was broken into resulting in the loss of 2 computers. 

There are suggestions that people are travelling into the area to commit these crimes but there have also been some successes including a 19 year old charged with breaking of a jeweller’s window and DNA being recovered following a break in at Carlton Chambers which is expected to result in an arrest.  In addition, the car park ticket machine stolen from Widdop has been recovered.

There have been 4 vehicle crimes.  An LDV minibus has been stolen and to date there has been no trace of it.  If anyone sees PL52WVY please let the Police know.

  • A Landrover wheel has been stolen and enquiries are ongoing.
  • A guitar was taken from a car on Stubbing Holme Road.  Crime prevention advice is of course to never to leave property on display in unattended vehicles.
  • A driver has been summoned to court for failing to stop after an accident.

Other issues currently being dealt with include investigation of reports of off road motorcycles on the hillside below Stoodley Pike.  Police are working on obtaining evidence in order to issue a Section 59 warning.

The local NPT are working with businesses to re-instate the ShopWatch scheme in the light of some recent incidents of shop lifting.  Foot patrols will be increased during the Thursday late night shopping periods.

It was mentioned at the meeting that the owners of Holme House B and B have experienced some late night disruption caused by people leaving the Trades Club late at night. However Sgt Norbury said no formal complaint had been received by the Police.  Unfortunately the Police can only take action if they are made aware of a problem and everyone is always encouraged to contact them if they have any concerns.

The meeting moved on to discuss the 20 mph speed limit again where it was noted that some of the key culprits for non compliance with this were delivery wagons coming through between the hours of 4 and 6 in the morning.  Sgt Norbury confirmed that he had passed this onto the traffic division following similar comments made at the last meeting.

There were some concerns over traffic management at the Round Table bonfire.  On leaving the bonfire and exiting Station Road, motorists had been given priority over the Park and Ride bus which was trying to gain access to the station car park, resulting in people waiting some considerable time in the rain for the bus to be able to pick them up.  This did not give the right message when trying to encourage visitors to use alternative transport methods.  This would be flagged up to the Round Table in time for next year’s event.

Priorities for the next 6 week period were agreed:-

  • To continue with high profile policing of the town centre and the park in the lead up to Christmas.  The number of Street Angels is to be doubled on “Mad Friday” (18th December), traditionally the day when workers in the town finish for the Christmas holiday and start their celebrations.
  • In line with Regional policy, regular checks will be made to combat drink driving and speeding.
  • Increased patrols at the end of Midgehole Road to monitor the situation with the garages there and to deter future theft attempts.  Sgt Norbury will also liaise with the Crime Prevention Officer, Steve Holderness, in order for the profile to be raised via a letter drop in the area.

Finally, a note that Calderdale Young Peoples Service has started a new Rock School.  This is held every Saturday evening at the Salem Centre between 6 and 9pm.  Please spread the word amongst your youngsters!

As usual I would encourage attendance at the next meeting and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible – 19th January 2010 at 6:30 (Committee Room at the Town Hall)

See also:

Hebweb News: community meeting with local police (September 09)

Hebweb News: community meeting with local police (August 09)

Hebweb News: community meeting with local police (June 09)

Hebweb News: community meeting with local police (May 09)

Hebweb News: community meeting with local police (April 09)

HB neighbourhood police page

Hebweb News: Sharp fall in Hebden Bridge crime rate (Jan 09)

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