By Sergeant Andy Boyd
Hello Newton Aycliffe, hope you are all well and have completed your ‘dry Januarys’, have raced at your pace, or have given up the kebabs (or is that just me?)! Whatever your New Years resolution was, can you do something in 2019 to make a difference? Now that might be something personal to you, but what about those people out there that are making a real difference in the community? Since joining the beat team at Newton Aycliffe in the summer, I have been amazed by all the individuals out there that are currently doing just that. As a community team, it would be crazy not to tap into that and working closely with partners we can play our part in making Newton Aycliffe a safer and more enjoyable place to live. Vern McLellan said “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” When you look back on 2019, what will you have contributed?!
As a team, so far in January, we have visited Vane Road Primary School with Jet and Ben. We have been issuing further ACE (Aycliffe Community Excellence) Awards to youths who have demonstrated fantastic community spirit. We now have a monthly winner which is agreed at an ASB panel that I sit on with GATC, Livin, Durham County Council, and Councillor John D. Clare. This month’s winner was Noah Fielding who spent some time assisting park wardens to tidy up the Town Park after youths had tipped over bins and benches, for his effort, Noah was awarded the monthly prize of a certificate and a two day pass to ROF59, you’re ACE Noah!
Our two new PCSO’s appeared on Aycliffe Radio to introduce themselves and explain what they and the team do. We have been carrying out both uniformed and plain clothed patrols, the latter in relation to increased shoplifting in the town centre. As a direct result of this, two offenders were caught in the act (we love days like this!!), and one is now serving a prison sentence.
You may have noticed on our Facebook page (shameless plug, please follow us!?) that we are sometimes mapping our patrols. We wanted to show the community that we are out on foot, even if you don’t see us. We have also been enforcing Dispersal Orders in the town centre in relation to increasing Anti-Social Behaviour which I’m pleased to say had a really positive impact and more patrols and orders are planned. We are also working with other agencies to create a community garden and increased youth provision in the Western area, this is under the umbrella of a Time Limited Project (TLP) which brings the Police together with agencies likes Livin, DCC, GATC, Junction 7 and The Hub of Wishes to problem solve around issues in the area.
This is at an early stage at present, but a survey has already been completed in the area, and a community engagement event is planned for Tuesday 19th February 2019 between 1500 and 1900 hours in Silverdale House (watch this space for further information).
In January this year, there was very little in the way of residential burglary (someone actually entering a residence to steal). There were a few garages/sheds entered and a few ‘business and community’ burglaries and enquiries are still ongoing into these. We had very little vehicle crime, in the ones reported we very quickly had a suspect identified, arrested, charged and remanded to court (big thanks to our colleagues in CID for this one!).
What was more concerning for me was an increase in youths getting into trouble using the internet. We have received a number of reports from concerned parents over their child’s use of pages like ‘Snapchat’, ‘Instagram’ and ‘WhatsApp’. There are many agencies out there, including the police and schools offering advice on internet safety (Tuesday 5th February 2019 was Safer Internet day – https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2019), please talk to your kids regarding the dangers, it’s so important and may prevent your child from becoming a victim!
Until next month, take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and your community!
Sergeant 1430 Andy Boyd
Newton Aycliffe NPT