A number of constituents have contacted me in relation to a recent spate of car crimes in the Kings Reach area of Biggleswade. I have raised your concerns with Bedfordshire Police and received an informative response from Assistant Sergeant Rachael Welch. Please do continue to report any crimes to the Police in order that they deploy their resources accordingly.
"Dear Mr Burt
I would like to reassure you that my team are doing the very best job they are able to complete with competing demands on their time.
The structure of our team is such that officers are based out of several stations around the North of the county to allow for a prompter response to calls when needed. This gives rise to the need for having officers based at Riseley police station as well as Biggleswade, Ampthill (fire station) and Kempston (HQ)
We have two community teams for the north of the county, the urban and the rural. Urban covers Bedford and Kempston, and the rural covers everywhere else North of Silsoe.
We have as a team over 140 towns and villages to police, but we have assigned more Community resources to Biggleswade, Potton, Sandy and Shefford than any of the other 5 areas for the North of the county that we cover.
Whilst Biggleswade is not a police station that members of the public can attend to report crimes, we do have response and community police officers and staff based from there so we can attend jobs more promptly than if coming all the way from Kempston.
We prioritise the response given to all calls made to the police and this is done based on the threat harm and risk to the public.
If you would like a visit from an officer within Biggleswade please do let me know and I will try to facilitate this.
Incidents can now be reported in person at Kempston HQ or over the phone on 101 or through the internet at www.bedfordshirepolice.co.uk and obviously on 999 in an emergency, so whilst some smaller stations are now not open to the public, Beds police are moving with technology to allow for quicker access to their services.
Over the past few months we have completed high visibility policing in Biggleswade, with surgeries in the town centre to address a spike in burglary offences, which thankfully has now subsided, and completed partnership working with British Transport Police to complete bike marking and offering other security advice in and around the train station in Biggleswade and Arlesey.
We have also recently resolved an anti-social behaviour issue in Maythorn Park which has taken a lot of resources to complete, but have been able to stop all ASB in that area.
There was also a theft from motor vehicle (TFMV) event in Biggleswade Market Square – Mobile Police station parked and Officers were on foot approaching people to provide TFMV crime prevention and talked through spate in incidents and a crime prevention talk at Biggleswade Baptist Church, literature provided off of the back of this 1 hour talk.
In response to the recent Theft from Motor Vehicle series we have been completing a lot of high visibility policing which all occurred on one evening. This has included speaking with members of the public and issuing information/advice around protecting property and gathering information to assist with the investigation.
Since this action, we have not had any further reports of Theft From Motor Vehicles in The Biggleswade area.
There are also future events related crime prevention related events including one planned at Sainsbury’s Biggleswade on 20th September in partnership with the crime reduction team.
We have been working in conjunction with CID to help provide a response to the ram raid in Souldrop, with officers providing the victims with extra support and reassurance, and issuing crime prevention advice. We have increased patrols in the area and have been liaising with residents around the issues they are facing in the villages. CID have taken the lead on the investigation and this is continuing.
We use social media to communicate with our communities via twitter @northbedspolice which you are welcome to follow for our latest updates, along with beds alert. Beds alert allows you to receive emails on the areas which you feel are important to you, such as community safety etc.
We also have a community priority meeting which your local councillor will attend, having liaised with the community, they identify to us what their priority is for the local police to deal with. Currently this is relating to drug dealing in the area, and we have been completing a lot of work around these issues, which perhaps the local community will not immediately see as is localised to particular houses/streets.
We do have days of action which we complete on a regular basis in the areas where required, based on the crime demands in the area. If Biggleswade or other villages have a crime spike in a particular area or we feel proactive policing is needed in that area then we will look to work with partner agencies to complete the necessary actions required. We do have two days of action planned in Biggleswade this month which will also be completed.
I can assure you my team are working tirelessly to protect the public from crime and disorder with the resources we have. At this time there are no plans for further officers to be given to our team and based on the demand we have been allocated all the officers that are deemed necessary by the force to complete our work.
We always welcome support from neighbourhood watch and other voluntary functions and if you feel yourself or others in your immediate local community would like to assist with this or like further information on this then we would happily signpost you to them.
Rachael Welch 1388
A/Sergeant Community North Rural
Biggleswade Police Station"