Police chief addresses Worksop's crime issues

Rural communities in places like Worksop are losing trust in Nottinghamshire Police, according to the county’s new crime commissioner.

By Matt Jarram
Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 7:00 pm
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry

Caroline Henry was elected as the new Police and Crime Commissioner in May 2021, beating Labour’s Paddy Tipping who spent almost a decade in the role.

She believes some victims are no longer reporting incidents they don’t believe will be investigated – and more police resources should be put into tackling rural crime.

Speaking exclusively to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, she said: “I am concerned we don’t have the trust of our rural communities. We do not have a rural crime team.

“People [in rural areas] are not reporting crimes. I am disappointed by the lack of faith they have of police turning up.

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“Rural crime might be the theft of expensive farm machinery, that would just look like a £35,000 vehicle on paper.

“But actually that £35,000 piece of machinery is essential for the farmer to feed his cows. It is ruining people’s livelihoods.”

The commissioner said areas needing more police resource including Bassetlaw, parts of Rushcliffe, Newark and areas around Gunthorpe and Lowdham.

She also said it was important that communities in places like Retford and Worksop, do not “feel forgotten in terms of policing.”

Mrs Henry is currently bidding for £550,000 of Government funding for 24-hour CCTV in 20 “hotspots” across Nottinghamshire.

“Some women and girls do not feel safe walking around Worksop, particularly at night. There are also bad drug issues and there is a hot spot at the Trader Clock,” she added.

“Worksop has the potential to be a vibrant and welcoming place. It is about getting more cops on the streets and making the streets safer for those who feel forgotten.”

Mrs Henry has not yet drawn up her Police and Crime Plan for Nottinghamshire and is still holding events across the county to find out what residents want.

Last year the Nottinghamshire force received £232m to spend on policing. Until this year’s figure is revealed by the Government in December it is unlikely the Police and Crime Plan will be published, she said.

Mrs Henry also wants to extend Operation Guardian – currently running around once a month in Nottingham city centre – with officers and sniffer dogs targeting those who peddle drugs at weekends.

Static ANPR cameras will also be increased to make the roads “hostile for criminals” and to “create a ring of steel” around the city to stop county lines drug dealing.

“Drugs are the cause of so much trouble for us,” she added. “We should have no tolerance of drugs coming into our city.

“If people knew how the drugs got into our city or county and the exploitation that happens because of it, they would not be using them.

“I am unapologetically tough on crime. Money is going to be really tight, but I want to make the money work.”

The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Craig Guildford said his force already had strong local neighbourhood policing teams.

He added: “We have invested significantly in frontline policing across all areas of the force. I deploy policing resources operationally in line with threat, harm and risk.”