At our last meeting on 2nd March which was held in Potterhanworth‘s Pavilion Village Hall, we were very pleased to welcome Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, of Lincolnshire Police. Unfortunately, and a little disappointing, was that we only had two members of the public attending.
During this meeting, it was confirmed that members of the public will be welcome to attend any future meetings and stay until they conclude, as it was felt we should be open and transparent and should no longer go into “closed sessions”, which previously the public was excluded from.
C.I. Vickers gave a comprehensive overview of local policing, touching on the closure of Bracebridge Heath police station and the officers moving to North Hykeham. A variety of issues including geography, cost, staffing and incident priority were taken into account before making this decision. Concerns were that by moving resources further from the B1188 villages, priority would be given to urban areas and response times would suffer. However, it was accepted that there may be some delay because of geography, but that all needs would be assessed and prioritised accordingly.
Lincolnshire is the lowest funded force in the country but will recruit additional officers during this financial year, however, because of natural wastage, they will be absorbed into the current establishment of 1,079 officers. Any new officers would be deployed where there is a need, but C.I. Vickers explained that the greatest risk to us as individuals and communities is cyber crime, fraud, mental health issues, including domestic abuse, where the risks are high.
Members were concerned that roads policing was no longer a priority and that Lincolnshire resources were being diverted to Nottinghamshire and other areas, and that local funding was being expended ‘out of area’, but were reassured that this practice has been addressed and no longer occurs. Only under exceptional circumstances will Lincolnshire officers and resources be used ‘out of area’, e.g severe acts of terrorism. Roads policing and speed enforcement will be increased with a higher presence and capability and will be addressed when issues occur.
It was agreed by all village representatives that the information cascaded to parish councils in the monthly police report was inadequate and not sufficiently detailed. C.I Vickers agreed that this was an issue but considerations had to be given before releasing information, e.g. community safety being the most important . He gave some examples where what appeared to be ‘crime hot-spots’ and shown on the report as a high number of assaults, were actually the result of continuing domestic violence with one victim and one offender. He reassured the group that levels of crime in our community are low and, where necessary, resources will be committed appropriately.
Nick Byatt attended the meeting and appraised members of the role of the Police Independent Advisory Group (IAG), of which he is a member. The role is to represent the views of the public and allow senior police officers to hear what troubles the public, gives them advice and provides the public with an understanding of police practices and
operations. The group also review the police stop and search powers for appropriateness, and the resolution of complaints against the police.
Altogether, a very interesting and informative meeting.
For your diary - Our next meeting will be on Monday, 7th September, 2020 at 7 p.m. at Nocton Community Hub…
Moving on now to more personal issues, all members realise what a terribly worrying time everyone has had regarding the awful Coronavirus over the past few months, unfortunately, some more than others, and want to send every one of you our very best wishes for your good health at this very distressing time.
We are seeing so much kindness coming from communities, helping each other during this dark time, but we are also now seeing a lot more scams taking place......apparently scams have rocketed 40% during this pandemic.....
People have been contacted by phone, text or email saying they are from their bank, building society or the Police. They have convinced them their account has been attacked and they need to move their money to a new account for safety. They provide a link for them to click on or a phone number to call, to provide bank or card details or any pin numbers.
Please remember, no bank, building society or police will ask you to do this. So please do not give anyone any information of any kind.
Be wary of rogue doorstep callers who will persuade you that some work needs doing at your home, will ask for money upfront and charge extortionate rates. If you haven’t asked them to call, it is a criminal offence.
Courier scams where they send someone to your door to collect your bank card and PIN number.
Please just be very wary. Not all is what it seems. These unscrupulous people want your money, so keep a strong hand on your purse or wallet, together with your confidential details. If you are pressurised, ring the police.
In conclusion, I will repeat that good, healthy wishes are being sent to you all.
As always, be WARY, keep SAFE.
B1188 Community Police Panel.