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South Bucks Community forum

Alert message sent 17/10/2019 09:18:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Please find below minutes of the September meeting (The attachments in the previous message did not appear to work)

South Bucks Community Forum – 25th September 2019 Room 3 Burnham Park Hall

Chair – Graham Young (GY)

• Sue Davie
• Zoe George
• Mike Robinson
• Adam Prince
• Paula Prince
• Jane Brown
• Eva Lipman
• Max Lipman
• Inspector Brendan Murray TVP (BM)
• PS Rachel Dale TVP
• Ian Stacey admin officer TVP

Apologies – Katie Galvin

Introduction by Graham Young. Explanation of forum purpose and legislation. GY explained that the on-line survey was a better indicator of what is important to residents than just relying on the number of people at the meeting. There are normally 100-200 responses to the on-line survey which is much more than the attendance at meetings.

The survey results were circulated at the meetings. GY said that the results were similar in all wards with residential burglary, anti-social behaviour and speeding/parking being the top priorities.

There was a discussion regarding parking. Chiltern/South Bucks councils do not enforce on street parking, only car parks and meters. Buckinghamshire County Council, who are responsible for on street parking issues should be contacted for yellow line infringments.GY pointed out that parking is always an obvious annoyance but cannot be a police priority.

BM recognised parking is an emotive issue. Police can deal with parking issues if the vehicle is causing danger rather than just inconsiderate or difficult. Local authorities should deal if double or single yellow lines. Generally, police will deal with offences when the driver is with the vehicle – ‘found committing’ offences.

The fire brigade are often willing to deal with persistent problems in streets where emergency vehicles would have difficulty in passing. BM said it was important for schools to work together with parents if parking around schools was an issue to try to educate and change attitudes. This is a must better long term solution than having officers turn up at irregular times to advise/report parents.

BM said that Beaconsfield and Dorney Lake were particularly difficult to enforce parking offences as a lot of it is private property.

GY – Anti-social behaviour covers a wide area of issues from littering to drug dealing.

There was a discussion over littering. Farnham Lane was highlighted as an area where litter is a problem because it is difficult for the council to pick the litter as it has a 40mph speed limit and the road has to be closed. Waltons Lane, the road leading to Burnham Household Recycling Centre is also a problem. BM – police will deal with littering if they witness it and fly tipping is a more organised crime. This becomes a local authority prosecution and there have been some recent prosecutions where offenders have been heavily fined. Bucks County Council do have CCTV in certain targeted areas.

BM – camera or dashcam footage can help identify offenders and if reported police will respond. Always make sure it is safe to record.

GY- speeding. Discussion regarding speeding. Cliveden Road was given as an example of a bad road. Temporary speed indicators were highlighted as being useful, but only a temporary measure. BM said police would continue to encourage Speedwatch, where local people can target roads that they know have a particular problem.

Farnham Lane was highlighted as a road where there is an issue with HGV’s. The sign is advisory only and it is being used as a ‘rat run’ by local contractors.

ACTION – GY to find the cost of speed indicator signs for parish councils. With the re-organisation of Local Area Forums there may be an opportunity for funding. (GY - Burnham has a Community Speedwatch group that own a camera. They also loan it out to other groups of which one is based in Iver Heath. The TCID devices can cost up to £13K for an all singing all dancing version. However, limited capability ones can be purchased for around £3K according to Iver Parish Council)

Discussion regarding growth of hedgerows and lack of roadside maintenance. GY recommended people using the Fix My Street website.

GY – Burglary was highlighted as a priority for most areas and is usually the first priority for residents.

BM – burglary is increasing in the county and in South Bucks. Often the offenders are from outside the local area. South Bucks traditionally suffers by being close to London, Slough, and High Wycombe. Also, by being on lots of main arterial routes and by being an affluent area.

There are always peaks and troughs in the number of burglaries. The best success is through crime prevention but this is difficult to measure. Often, burglaries in South Bucks are committed by organised crime groups who may target particular groups of people or particular houses. They are ‘organised’ in the sense that the offences are not spur of the moment - kicking in doors by drug addicts looking for anything to steal.

Communities that remain alert to crime and take measure to prevent crime can help themselves. Often there are things the victim could have done to prevent burglaries like hiding keys to high value cars and it is important people ring police if they have suspicions about vehicles or people.

There was a discussion regarding a recent knife point robbery at Sainsbury’s in Farnham Common. What could be done to prevent this? Some residents are scared to use the shops late at night and Sainsbury’s have reduced their opening times. Often, the decision to not have or take away street CCTV is purely financial.

BM - the police are fairly successful in bringing offenders in crimes like this to justice. There are generally two different types of offenders for shop robberies. Organised gangs who will target the shop because of its vulnerability or for specific items – cigarettes and alcohol generally. The other are opportunist attempts, often by drug addicts. Police do tend to increase presence after events to reassure members of the public but this presence cannot be maintained.

Prevention of crime is again part of the solution and educating stores in crime reduction strategies. Armed robberies against commercial premises has changed over recent years as most stores do not carry a great deal of cash. Knives are used more because the police have been successful in taking guns off the streets.

CCTV locations are local authority decisions. They are not necessarily a deterrent to crime as most shops have CCTV which does not stop crime.

BM – crime like this are still rare in South Bucks and we are a very low crime area when compared to the rest of the country. Armed robberies have a big impact on the community because they are rare. There will always be an undercurrent of crime but we can go about our business without a constant fear of crime. Violence against strangers is particularly low mainly because there is no real night time economy.

GY – there is a lot of displacement of crime from Hillingdon. Richings Park residents raised £8500 for CCTV and ANPR. This was raised by crowd funding and various other sources can help with funding.

ACTION – GY to email people with details of Smartville Iver.

Discussion regarding assaults and violence - do the figures include domestic violence? BM said Beaconsfield has higher figures probably because Revolution is a late night bar. The victims are usually young. Often offences involving violence come through schools and institutions and although classified as violence they can increase the crime figures.

ACTION – BM to ask Katie Galvin whether domestic violence is included in the survey.

Discussion whether drug dealing is included in ASB. BM said that where the community consider that drug dealing is going on they must inform police either via 101 or report on line. It is important because warrants will not issued on just one bit of information.

Priorities - Burglary, ASB and speeding.

Date of next meeting – 14th January 2020 6pm to 8pm at Richings Park Sports Club, Wellesley Avenue, Richings Park, Iver SL0 9BN
Message sent by
Ian Stacey (Police, Neighbourhood Policing Administrator, Chiltern & South Bucks)

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