Police reassure public after crime spike in Peterborough

Supt Mel Dales
Supt Mel Dales

More police resource was deployed onto the streets of Peterborough after the biggest crime spate in three years.

The move was signed off by Peterborough’s top cops following a number of major incidents in May.

Police at Shrewsbury Avenue EMN-160905-082831009

Police at Shrewsbury Avenue EMN-160905-082831009

However, the spate has now calmed down and the incidents are seen as “isolated” due to offenders and victims knowing each other.

Incidents last month included a man being seriously hurt after a stabbing in Lincoln Road and two men being seriously injured in a stabbing incident in Southfields Avenue, Stanground.

Armed police also shut off Padholme Road in Eastfield before arresting then bailing three people on suspicion of kidnap.

In another incident, pizza delivery man Ali Qasemi was killed while working in Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston.

Two men have pleaded not guilty to killing Mr Qasemi and will be tried in October on charges of manslaughter and robbery.

Superintendent Melanie Dales, Peterborough area commander, said the last crime spike of this nature had been seen three years ago.

She said: “There’s been some issues with local youths. It’s bubbled up and bubbled down again.

“We allocated more resources in the town centre areas and more residential areas to give increased visibility. We’ve had good feedback and people have said it’s nice to see the police about.

“It’s certainly increased the amount of information they are willing to share with us.

“We moved people around, pulling other people from other teams. That’s normal policing procedure. Officers also did overtime work.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Branston, crime manager for Peterborough, said: “We’ve already scaled it back. We are no longer required to put in extra resources. They are isolated incidents - the people were known to each other.

“It’s certainly nothing that’s worrying me.”

Asked about violent crime figures, and the assertion by Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, that violent crime is only rising due to the way it is being recorded, Supt Dales said: “Last year we had an increase in violent crime.

“In Ravensthorpe, Bretton and Paston there was an increase in low level incidents without injury - altercations in the street, road rage.

“Those are the areas where drug issues are more relevant and unemployment is higher.

“We are working with the job centre and drug agency to do something in those areas.”

Explaining that the crime rise locally mirrored the national picture, Supt Dales said: “It’s certainly nothing to do with inner city violence or the night-time economy.”

DCI Branston added that the force puts a lot of emphasis on getting the recording right.

Supt Dales also praised the work of the new Joint Prevention and Enforcement Team, a collaboration of council, police and fire personnel.

The team tackles areas of concern such as anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, aggressive begging and abandoned vehicles. Peterborough’s area commander said: That’s made a big difference with quality of life issues.”