There are zero no-go zones in Peterborough says new Chief Constable

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The new Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire police has said there are no ‘no go zones’ in Peterborough - and pledged to tackle the fear of crime.

Chief Constable Nick Dean started in the top job less than two months ago. He said he was confident officers were providing the best possible service to residents.

Nick Dean and Jason Ablewhite

Nick Dean and Jason Ablewhite

Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph, he said residents should feel safe on city streets.

“People should feel safe - our job to make sure people feel safe. I’ve heard a lot of talk in my policing career about no go zones about areas where people cannot goand the reality is there aren’t any.

“Of course we have to deal with the perception and if there are people out there with a fear of crime, we have to deal with that.”

Mr Dean said the public played a crucial role in policing in Peterborough. He said: “Information from public is vital. There are 900,000 residents in the county. All of those people can supply us with information we need.

“We need to encourage people to supply us the right information, the right intelligence, so we can piece together that jigsaw, so we can act on it.”

Mr Dean also spoke of the ‘uncertainty’ surrounding Brexit in the force.

He said: “Brexit is a real uncertainty. There is a lot of hard work going on to plan for any contingencies, whatever the result of Brexit is. Whether that is a change in legislation, whether that be unrest in the community.

“Whatever may come from Brexit – or simply public concern, then we need to be geared up for that.”

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Abelwhite welcomed Mr Dean to the force and said Cambridgeshire officers could have to take on wider duties following Brexit.

He said: “There are two key elements. One is public unrest. Number two is if there are issues with ports – we link with Felixtowe through a main route, for example.

“We would also be expected to provide aid if there is a significant issue, if lorries back up from Dover, for example, Cambridgeshire will be expected to support that.”

Mr Abelwhite also said residents could expect to see more operations surrounding the railway station, including seeing more metal detectors used, as officer tried to deal with drug dealers carrying knives travelling from elsewhere in the country into the city.

He said: “The County Lines problem is the one area that keeps me awake at night. Predominantly London or Birmingham drug dealers coming into our area using the trains to come in, quite often sending vulnerable young people down to deal with the drugs, and these young people - as young as 14-15 years old carrying knives as standard.

“Places like London and Manchester are losing control – it does put significant pressure on us. Will we see more knife arches at the station? You certainly will.

“We are working with partners like the British Transport Police up and down the track, making arrests before the criminals get into the county.”