Local residents working with the police

Moorsholm residents are determined to help the Police stop crime in the village. Recently, crime levels have risen in the unusually almost-crime-free village of Moorsholm in East Cleveland. In an attempt to turn the tide, Councillor Steve Kay called an open meeting with representatives of Cleveland Police in the Toad Hall Arms village pub. Crime Prevention Offi cer, PC Chris Gunnell addressed a packed meeting, supported by neighbourhood policing offi cers Sergeant Fay Cole and PC Richard Sivills. In the two hour meeting, Chris answered resident’s questions about what the Police were doing about the marked increase in crime and suggested ways that residents could help the Police in their efforts to catch those responsible. The main types of crime identifi ed were vehicle theft and stealing from garages, sheds and farm buildings. Said Chris: “For the last three and a half years we have managed to reduce levels of reported crime throughout Redcar & Cleveland. Yet, partly because of stories in the media and concerns about cuts in police numbers, the fear of crime has not reduced. Against the actual trend, crime levels in Moorsholm have undoubtedly risen.” Chris explained that the Police worked off intelligence and the best source of this was the public. With the help of local residents, he was confident that the crime rate in Moorsholm would be driven down. “Vehicles play a big part in rural crime. If we can fi nd out about strange vehicles and their movements, we can piece together what is going on. It’s best if residents can give us the registration number, colour make and model, but we do not always need all these details to get success. “Even the smallest crime should be reported: 999 if it’s urgent; 01642 326326 if the immediate threat is over.”

Chris encouraged those present to join Neighbourhood Watch  and Farm Watch, which were there to provide intelligence to the Police. He also invited residents to join Ringmaster, which feeds back information by phone and e-mail to watch members. Councillor Steve Kay said: “It was a very successful and well-attended meeting. Residents were extremely forthright in their questioning and, in return, the Police did not pull their punches. “I think most people came away convinced that a working partnership with the Police can greatly reduce crime in the village. In future if anyone is thinking about committing a crime in Moorsholm, they can be certain that we shall be watching and that they will be brought to justice.” After the meeting, Farm Watch Co-ordinator and Moorsholm resident Graham Aldous said: “By their very nature, farmers and their buildings and homes are more isolated than people with neighbours right next door. That makes it even more important to have a support system to look out for suspicious vehicles and people taking advantage of that isolation for criminal purposes. “Farm Watch has been very good at proving to the Police that rural crime does exist and farmers are vulnerable. Now that we have a network of people reporting suspicious incidents, it’s proved that there are problems which sometimes need a swift response.” Anyone in Redcar & Cleveland interested in participating in Neighbourhood Watch, Farm Watch or Ringmaster should contact Joyce Oakden at Cleveland Police on 01642 302629.

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