The latest column from Rob Hall, Detective Inspector, Priority Crime Team and Impact Team
One cold and wet Sunday morning, as a young police constable, I found myself on my own trying to arrest someone who was trying to swallow drugs.
We were rolling around in the street at the front of Victoria railway station and he wasn’t particularly keen on being arrested. As we rolled through puddles in the taxi rank, I heard an American accent shouting, “Hey that cop needs help! Someone call 911!” Another American tourist, this time an American police officer on his holidays, saw me struggling with the man and came to my assistance, helping me to restrain him. We all need help from time to time.
From the regular police officer working around the clock to the Special Constable working a few hours a week after their main job, and the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator bringing local residents together at a local meeting, we all have the same aim – ensuring Peterborough continues to be a safe place to live and work.
Last week, the local detective sergeant for the burglary team went out to a neighbourhood watch meeting to ensure we are all continuing to share information.
I’m really keen that, we carry that process on. It might just be that the little piece of information the community has - someone acting suspiciously in the street or a vehicle seen in suspicious circumstances - could be a vital piece of information to solve a crime or stop someone before they actually commit a crime.
I can think of many times over the years where a call from a concerned resident about suspicious behaviour has led to someone being arrested for burglary or vehicle crime on arrival of the police. The sooner we know about something, the sooner we can do something about it.
So, if you are already involved in a local neighbourhood watch group, or are interested in setting one up or becoming involved, we’re always happy to talk this through and point you in the right direction.
In the next few weeks a new opportunity will arrive in local policing. A 12-strong team of Police Support Volunteers are currently undergoing training to assist local police.
The team, who are members of the city’s community, will be volunteering a few hours each week to work alongside officers and help progress investigations quickly, from taking statements and preserving evidence to visiting vulnerable victims and providing crime prevention advice.
If you over 18, and are interested in becoming part of this exciting new team, Detective Sergeant Tom Rowe at Thorpe Wood police station would be happy to talk this through with you.