by jackiebrodie on 3 September, 2017
It can’t have escaped many people’s notice that we are currently experiencing a wave of car crime in Newton Abbot, the likes of which we have never seen before. I’m sure I’m not alone, in fearing that its only a matter of time before my car will be the next target, and I approach my car each morning with trepidation. Both my immediate neighbours have suffered break ins, in the past few weeks, one during daylight hours. I have also heard from many residents looking for answers from us as local cllrs, whether this be getting steet lights switched back on at night, or criticising the local Police in various ways.
In response I have spoken in detail with the local Police Inspector , and based on that conversation fired off the letter below to Alison Hernandez (the Police and Crime Commissioner). I also copied in our local MP . I will let you know the response I receive from the PCC when I get it. In the meantime, the common sense advice is to make sure your vehicle is always locked with windows shut and no valuables, or objects eg coats, jackets , bags, left in your vehicle, that look like they might have valuables in them.
“Dear Ms Hernandez,
I believe you have been made aware on more than one occasion of the current crime wave in Newton Abbot. I am now contacted on a regular basis by people that have had their cars broken into, as well as my immediate neighbours also experiencing this. Having lived in Newton Abbot for the last 30 years, I have never known a level of fear of crime like this. I, like many others fear each morning that my car will have been the next target.
I spoke with Insp Woon last week, about the issues surrounding this, the efforts being made locally to catch and gain the evidence needed to prosecute the known offenders. It was an interesting and appreciated discussion, in which I was informed that the break ins were almost exclusively related to the funding of drug habits by the individuals responsible. They are known to the Police but the problem was getting the evidence. It seems Police officers are working flat out, and given overtime hours, but it was explained to me that the time involved in gathering evidence, being out on patrol, and normal policing duties at a busy time, were putting strain on the Police service locally. In our discussion he expressed his strong desire for these individuals to receive custodial sentences where they were able to receive the drug rehabilitation treatment they needed. Without breaking their drug habit their criminal behaviour was likely to continue.
It must be frustrating for the Police, and difficult for the public to understand, that often even when the culprits are caught they must be released if there is not enough evidence, and that they will almost certainly be straight back out on the streets looking for ways to fund the next “fix”. It seems crucial both for their sake, and that of society in general, that these individuals receive a custodial sentence where their problems are addressed.
It was therefore with great concern and anger that I then read an article in the Independent that outlined the recent government cuts to drug rehabilitation services.
Please can you let me know what the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority under your leadership is doing to tackle these issues, and any future plans you have. I am of course keen to support in any way that I can, the addressing of .these issues locally, and work with yourself, the local Police force and others as necessary to ensure the current crime wave is resolved.”Leave a comment