New police team to tackle organised crime groups in Peterborough
A new police team has been set up to tackle organised crime groups in Peterborough.
The city’s new police chief Supt Kate Anderson said the measure was a “proactive” attempt to clampdown on the gangs as she urged residents to share any information possible with the force.
The area commander for Peterborough and Fenland told the Peterborough Telegraph part of the problem is associated with county lines drugs operations, with young people being targeted.
Supt Anderson has made tackling knife crime one of her two main priorities since taking over from Supt Andy Gipp earlier this year, but that extends into all types of violent crime, whether it be behind closed doors or out on the streets.
She told the PT: “I think Peterborough is an incredibly safe city to live in. My family still live in Peterborough.
“We do have some small pockets of individuals who sadly have harmed other individuals, who have used violence. Some of that is linked to organised crime groups we have locally.
“We’ve recently set up a specific team aimed at targeting those organised crime groups so that hopefully we can take more proactive action in terms of how we tackle them, rather than waiting for the harm to be caused.
“The complex thing about organised crime is often they will move between different areas. They may operate in more than one setting.
“What I’d say to the public is, if you’ve got any concerns about what properties near you are being used for, please report that as it’s really important we get information from the ground.
“For instance, ‘this looks suspicious’, or ‘I’ve seen individuals coming from this property throughout the night’, or ‘there’s a funny smell coming from next door and I think it might be cannabis’.
“These are the things that actually help us.”
Supt Anderson also spoke about her desire to really engage with Peterborough communities.
She highlighted the role of dedicated neighbourhood support teams and the recent hiring of a new neighbourhood inspector for Peterborough, but said: “There is the opportunity for us to do better.
“One of the things I’m really keen to do once Covid restrictions allow is invite more people to come and see what we’re doing.
“Traditionally, we’ve offered insight days to people interested in becoming a police officer, but my view is I would like to invite people who are not interested in becoming a police officer, but actually have a particular community concern or have an interest in a specialism in policing, and have them say ‘can I come and spend a day seeing what you do?’
“It’s the most transparent way of showing people the work we do and the brilliant employees we work with.”
Asked if she is pleased to have greater resources to utilise than her predecessors, following a recent uplift in the number of officers at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Supt Anderson replied: “The new intake of officers presents massive opportunities.
“But there are ways of doing things which are more efficient with the resources that we’ve got.
“Partly that is through delivering community buy-in, getting members of the public to be community spirited, be outward focused, and actually help them build that community resilience.
“If we do that we’ll probably see a reduction in crime.”