Police respond to concerns over future of neighbourhood policing

An update from Councillor Geoff Smith following his letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner last month.

Following the Crosspool Forum meeting in July I wrote to the Police and Crime Commissioner, and various Sheffield police commanders about concerns that had been expressed about the future of neighbourhood policing.

I have been contacted by one of those I wrote to, Inspector Deborah Pickering, who is responsible for policing in the south west of Sheffield. She was unable to give me any definite information at this stage but she did make a number of comments.

First she said that South Yorkshire Police is fully committed to neighbourhood policing with local police constables and police and community support officers responsible for a particular area and known in the locality.

Second she referred to the closure of Crewe Flats where our neighbourhood police officers are based at present. She said that because of cuts to the policing budget there was some rationalising of police stations with some closing. She said that it was almost certain that Crewe Flats would close with a likely closure date of early January.

She also said that she was committed to police officers being based within reasonable distances of where they were working but could not at the moment say where police officers for Crookes and Crosspool would be based. She seemed sympathetic to my view that Woodseats would be too far away.

I will be meeting Inspector Pickering in September when I hope to be given some more definite information which I will report.

Contact details for Councillor Geoff Smith

Bullet points from Crosspool Forum Open Meeting, 26 July 2012

Below is a bullet point summary of Thursday’s meeting you can also download a PDF copy (74KB).

Bullet points from Crosspool Forum Open Meeting, 26 July 2012

25 Crosspool residents, Cllr Geoff Smith, and 7 members of the Forum Management Committee attended. A  guest gave a  presentations :.

Matters arising

from April meeting –  none.

Police report

PCSOs Phil Whitaker & Tony Hizam. (for  Louise);

  1. Fire incident, Tapton School, caretakers’ lodge.
  2. Watt Lane burglaries – thieves targeting houses with Audis & BMWs, to get the car keys.
  3. Car air bag thefts (so the steering wheel is taken as well) – again same make of car. Residents are advised to cover the wheel with a disc lock. Available at cost from Ecclesfield Police Station (321 The Common, A6135) or motoring shops.
  4. Tavern Garage complaints; the service station appears to be exceeding its working hours & overlapping the pavement & highway – dangerous equipment such as a hoist used too close to pedestrians. Cllr Smith will liaise with PC Atha & the Council about this.
  5. Ongoing & new police ‘ops’ – Crosspool & Fulwood anti-burglary & car crime; and next week the start of a force-wide scrap metal collecting van operation.

Letter from Deputy PM Nick Clegg and responses

After a recent Meeting at Hallam Football Ground Ian Hague presented Mrr Clegg with some pertinent local questions. Emailed responses having been received, these are as follows:

  1. Government policy on school catchment areas? Sadly the higher number of Lydgate Primary School catchment children this September than the places physically available has meant 48 children will not get their first choice. (In 2013 there appear to be far fewer children of this age range, but from ’14 on the problem may arise again).
  2. Local roads – shocking state of; Cllr Smith said any immediate concerns (potholes etc.) are still to go to Streetforce.
    The PFI Highways initiative will not start until later this year and will, after liaison with the utilities in any given area, be operationally-driven.
    The first 5 years  will cover bringing the Sheffield highways network up to standard; pavements, street lighting, road reconstruction & tree management etc., cost 2billion (£800million (Council) & £1.2 billion (Government), & be followed by continued maintenance throughout the remaining 20 years of the contract . Residents will be able to a certain extent suggest replacement trees for any removed as causing obstructions. We must accept this will be “incredibly disruptive” to the city.
  3. Public Transport – getting people back on the buses! Some £56 million is going into local transport, & there will be new low-carbon buses – but not necessarily on the no. 51 route. In Oct the route will change slightly (avoiding Mappin St) & First Buses has pledged to have more buses & drivers available to match the timetable. It is known there are 6 Crookes buses, & 3 Fulwood ones, to every Crosspool/Lodge moor no. 51.
  4. Historic buildings? Jeremy Hunt (Culture Secretary)replied to Mr Clegg & Cllr Rob Frost but just said although he has a duty to compile a list of buildings of special architectural or historical value, this did not necessarily prevent their alteration or demolition. ( There appears to be nothing more to be said about Moor View Farm, Manchester Rd,  at the moment).
  5. Monopolies Commission & a new Sainsbury’s at Broomhill? A question as raised as to why Sainsbury is apparently being granted permission to build another store here.
  6. Vernon Tce bus shelter – as the site is too narrow this can never go ahead.

Councillors and SWCA report

Geoff Smith was asked to look into why Veolia will only accept card payments for the purchase of green waste bagsthis year.

The ‘20s Plenty’ scheme has decided to designate the ‘Steel Bank area (Crookes, Commonside, Walkley) for the signage to make it a 20 zone, though this may take a year to implement.

Events

Crosspool Festival Week – Rev France Eccleston said this had been very successful – & we had two dry weekends!-  Some £1524 was raised for the Ryegate Child centre Fund. Residents were asked to contact the committee if they wish to help nest year – the Open Gardens scheme will need a new organizer.

The Summer Fayre;  Ian Hague said  thiswent well – £726 was made, all to go back to the community. The Union flags in the precinct have proved very popular –  these were erected for the Jubilee and will stay up until the Olympics are over.

The Car Boot Sale was a wash-out this June, but it is hoped another can be held in September.

Disco – after the success of the Christmas one Ian is hoping to hold another.

Computer course; this has proved very popular again; Ian expects to hold more in Sep 2012 – names to him please. There will be a beginners’ course, advanced (internet) course, & possibly desk top publishing course.

Guest speaker

Kate Hill telling us about FunMeFit
Kate Hill telling us about FunMeFit

Kate Hill gave a presentation about her website – FunMeFit – a portal for the whole of Sheffield to get active, &  to share their activities on. She hopes to run a Fun Day on 16th Sep at Hallam Cricket Club to fund-raise for this.

 AOB

  1. The Crosspool bench (outside Guidos & by the bus shelter) is broken and badly needs repair; Tammy Barrass (SWCA) agreed to see if this could be  done .
  2. Manchester Rd roadworks (beyond Valleyside Garden Centre).  There have been chicanes & traffic lights for some weeks.but work is due to end by October.

The next Open Meeting will be Thurs, 25th October 2012. 7pm, St Columba’s.

Download minutes from Crosspool Forum Open Meeting, 26 July 2012 (PDF, 74KB)

Minutes from Crosspool Forum Open Meeting, 26 April 2012

Below is a bullet point summary of Thursday’s meeting.

Download April 26 2012 Open Meeting bullet points (PDF, 78KB)

Matters arising

Benty Lane junction still ongoing – information expected soon.

Police report

PC Louise Atha – team now part of “SWSNA” (rather than Broomhill Safer Neighbourhood Area); but still the same officers working the same area. Recent items of interest:

  1. Coop Travel armed robbery – ongoing CID enquiries;
  2. armed response op, Manchester Rd, one arrest.
  3. under-age alcohol purchases; of 17 premises tested 3 failed
  4. bogus callers – list available of phone numbers to check their identity
  5. burglaries & pedal-bike thefts – reminder to keep access locked!
  6. schoolchildren fighting in Crosspool – ongoing enquiries
  7. allotment break-ins; shed alarms now fitted & new gate; Operation Herbaceous in place. Anti-social behaviour down by 4% in this area!.

PCSO Garry Hizam – BlackBerry number 07584 617 200; he can call at residents’ homes with his Hermes unit to register possessions.

Insp. Deborah Pickering – new insp. For the team introduced herself.

Guest Speaker:- Andrew Peat

Andrew Peet (Neighbourhood Watch, Fulwood).

As it is better to deter burglars from targeting your house in the first place, once secure locks have been fitted the most sophisticated (& police backed) tool is a ‘glitter glue’ type liquid that can be used by householders to mark laptops, ceramic, jewellery, cameras, satnavs etc etc. People were asked to sign up with Andrew or Pat Wilkins – or later via Ian Hague – so a large order can be placed with the company SelectaDNA, for kits at £25 a time.

Each kit has a totally different ‘fingerprint’, and will mark up to 75 items permanently., with ‘readers’ able to then trace the item back to its owner of stolen. Large door/patio window stickers then advise potential criminals that a particular house is not worth breaking-into, and hopefully eventually insurance companies will take this into account when setting premiums.

Hillside Harvest

Nick & Eleanor Rousseau, & Claire Gregory, spoke about their grow-you-own cooperative, run from on 7 allotments on Hagg Hill. The last year & a half have seen them learn by experience, how to keep the mice off, how to make use of weeds for fertilizer, & how to grow a ‘permaculture’ system that works in harmony with nature & is low maintenance. They have a rota of local members who go together to work the land, and teach school groups etc how to do this in a sustainable fashion.

Councillors’ report

Cllr. Geoff Smith said:

  1. Hadfield Reservoir – unlikely to be on the final list of proposed building sites – no plans to decommission it. Lydgate – awaiting response that Nick Clegg requested about this.
  2. Vernon Tce; sadly this is now a ‘dead issue’
  3. 20s plenty road campaign; one 2o zone will be put in place in the SWCA area – but not necessarily in Crosspool.
  4. Moor View (Gosney’s )farm; despite very worrying letters to the effect that demolition will take place on 30th April, Geoff was positive no application had even been received to do this, & Kate Mansell (planning) knows this is an important heritage site for Crosspool.
  5. Green garden waste; from 23rd April people can purchase clear sacks at £1.20 each & once filled can telephone for 5-10 to be collected by the Council. This is just for 2012, as in ’13 the Council hopes to introduce green bins. (Flytipping is recognized as a possible isse because of this).
  6. Recycling; once the black bin become a fortnightly collection people can choose which blue bin to use for which recycling – as long as they do not mix their waste.

Events

Crosspool Festival; now in its 3rd year Sally Turnbull listed some of the events happening int he week 6th to 15th July – well dressing, open gardens, barn dance, organ recital, street market, cricket club open day, Tavern & Plough events, walks, harp recital, birds talk, gardeners’ question time, tea dance, harp recital etc! Residents will get a programme through their letterboxes in June.

Summer Fayre (14th July) – new events incl. Punch & Judy, American marching band & sumo wrestlers! Helpers please contact Ian Hague.

Car Boot Sale (16th June). – but not if its wet!

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – look out for flags & flowers in the precinct!

 AOB

  1. Ian Hague was thanked for his organization of the recent Salford Quays trip; it is to be hoped they can be more!
  2. Paula Stacey is re-opening the Crosspool craft shop.
  3. A new Crosspool Women’s s Institute group has started – see Twitter (Or Paula)
  4. Computer course; names to Ian Hague please if you would like to join the new courses.
  5. Event for 21013; it is hoped to mark Sheffield’ first-ever bus route – being the 51 to Crosspool – early in 2013. Watch this space!

The next Open Meeting will be Thurs, 26th July 2012. 7pm, St Columba’s.

Download April 26 2012 Open Meeting bullet points (PDF, 78KB)