Images of Felixstowe

February 2015
As a Special Constable can you:
  • Stay calm in a crisis
  • Communicate clearly
  • Resolve disputes sensitively and appropriately
  • Think laterally and solve problems
  • Plan and take the initiative
  • Be tolerant and work well in a team
  • Act with integrity
  • Treat the public and their colleagues with respect and courtesy
  • Be honest, fair and impartial
  • Volunteer 16 hours a month of your time
As a Special Constable you will:
  • Be given full training
  • Fight Crime, Protect the Public
  • Work with Regular Officers and Specials at everyday policing
  • Patrol Bedfordshire's communities
  • Assist your local community
  • Attend public events
  • Learn life and police skills
  • Experience everything
  • Have training and development courses
  • Be part of the Bedfordshire Police family
  • Love. Every. Second. Of Policing

Your Local Policing Crime Reduction Team are committed to reducing crime in the Stotfold area.  You can contact the team using the mailto:LPT.SheffordStotfold& email address.

Bedfordshire Ploice LogoTo report a crime or incident or request an appointment with either a Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer, call Bedfordshire Police on Tel: 101

You can now arrange an appointment to have one of the team visit you at home at a time that is convenient to you to discuss a number of issues


This year the budget for Bedfordshire Police is £102.8million. That sounds like a lot of money until you remember that budget will have been reduced by £19million by 2015 due to the government’s 20% cut to the police grant, a further £24million a year is lost to the Force because Whitehall doesn’t give us what their own funding formula says we need, and the amount we pay locally for policing through the council tax is well below the national average. So Bedfordshire Police is a rurally funded force that faces some distinctly metropolitan challenges.

Bedfordshire Police staff and officers have therefore performed remarkably well reducing recorded crime across the county by 15% in the last year (1899 fewer across Central Bedfordshire as a whole) at the same time as going through significant re-organisation and a reduction in the number of police officers due to the budget cuts.

The government will unveil a new spending review shortly, which is expected to herald yet further police cuts. I am opposed to such cuts but my role is to deal with the world as I find it rather than as I would wish it to be.

So the challenge for the future for Bedfordshire Police, and indeed for all of us, is how do we keep our communities safe at a time when the budget is still be shrinking?

The answer is that we need to forge a closer and stronger partnership between our local communities and their police and all recognise the police cannot and never have been able to fight crime on their own. Wherever we live in the county we all have a duty to support the police if we want our communities to be safe, whether this means passing on information about criminal activity, being prepared to support the local Neighbourhood Watch, Street Watch and Speed Watch scheme or, for the most committed, volunteering as a Special Constable so that each community has a visible policing presence.

There must be a genuine partnership, so Bedfordshire Police will work hard to value the support communities and volunteers give. Whereas in the past such close partnership has always been desirable, in the future it is clear that it will be absolutely essential, which is why this is such a priority for me as your Police and Crime Commissioner.

New Chief Constable Named Colette Paul

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins has revealed the identity of his proposed candidate for the post of Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police.

Following a rigorous interview process, Commissioner Martins announced that he is proposing the appointment of Colette Paul, who is currently Deputy Chief Constable of South Wales Police, to the Police and Crime Panel when it meets on 4 June 2013.

The panel is responsible for reviewing the proposed appointment and recommending to the commissioner whether or not Ms Paul should be appointed.

The panel also has the power to veto the appointment.

The Commissioner said: “This was a difficult decision as all the candidates were of a particularly high calibre – and a very important one.  However, I firmly believe that we have selected the individual best suited to the needs of Bedfordshire Police and our local communities, in line with my overall objective of a safer Bedfordshire.

“Colette impressed us all with her infectious energy and enthusiasm,” added the Commissioner, “and I very much look forward to working with her to deliver my Police and Crime Plan.”

After the announcement, Ms Paul described herself as ‘over the moon’, adding: “I’m absolutely delighted. Bedfordshire is wonderfully diverse county with lots of complexities, which will make it a really interesting place to work.

“I’m looking forward to working with Olly Martins and the senior officer team, to ensure the delivery of the kind of service that the public of Bedfordshire expect and deserve.”

In line with the new legislation, the outcome of the selection procedure will now go to a confirmation hearing of the Police and Crime Panel, thereby enabling the robust nature of the recruitment process to be publicly scrutinised.

Mr Martins was helped in his task by a highly experienced selection panel, which in itself reflected the significance of this appointment. Sitting alongside the Commissioner were the former Chair and Independent member of the Police Authority Peter Conniff and Carolyn Dhanraj MBE JP, an independent member from the College of Policing.  They were supported by former Chief Constable and Chief Executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency Peter Neyroud CBE QPM. He is renowned for his innovative approach to policing and agreed to act as a special advisor to the panel.


12th March 2014

Parked car

Lock up your vehicles


  • Lock vehicles
  • Set alarm
  • Never leave anything on display

Bedfordshire Police are asking residents to ensure they lock vehicles after recent thefts where vans in particular were targeted.

Thieves broke in to vans to steal power tools, sat nav's, parts and even loose change leaving vehicle damage in the process.

Replacing lost mobiles, bank cards is a real nuisance and can be avoided by emptying contents from your vehicles. Here are some top tips:

  • use a steering wheel lock, alarm or both!
  • leave a sign that says no tools are left inside your van.
  • use strong boxes that fit in the back of your boot for loose tools/items that can easily and quickly be removed.
  • check insurance details - home contents policies sometimes do not cover sat nav systems as classed as vehicle accessorries.
  • mark your property and register it on

If you have information regarding a vehicle crime, contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.



13th February 2013

Stars of Beds Police Celebrated at Annual Awards Ceremony 

Officers, Staff, Specials, Cadets and Volunteers from across Bedfordshire Police were recognised for their hard work and achievements at the Annual Awards Ceremony at Police Headquarters in Kempston on Friday 8 February.

The winners of the 17 award categories, which cover the many diverse activities and recognise the outstanding work achieved by individuals and teams at all levels within the Force, were celebrated at the event hosted by Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock.

He was joined in giving out certificates and trophies by Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins and Chief Superintendents Det Chief Supt Clare Simon, Chief Supt Mike Colbourne and Chief Supt Mark Turner, as well as Steve Lowe, Editor in Chief of Local Sunday Newspapers, which sponsored the Community Officer/Team of the Year Award.

The winners were surrounded by family, friends and colleagues in recognising those who have gone over and above what is expected of them and gone the extra mile in our bid to fight crime and protect the public.

Mr Hitchcock said: “Everyone within the Force has a special role to play and are key to the success of the organisation. This is why it is so important to recognise those who have gone over and above what is expected of them. The evening was a great success. It was fantastic to recognise, value and celebrate all of our winners, who have shown an amazing commitment to Bedfordshire Police and the public we serve and I am honoured to work with you.”

The event was managed on a small budget paid for by sponsors and of no cost to the organisation.


Chief Constables Crime Fighter of the Year Award - PC Karl Heywood: Karl has made a significant contribution to investigating crime at Bedford, leading to exceptional victim satisfaction and a very impressive 74% detection rate that clearly surpasses others. His focus on completing timely and comprehensive case files ensure that the majority of his cases proceed to court, with a high proportion admitting their guilt.

Police Officer of the Year – PC Louise Cox: During her four years Louise has earned a reputation as being a sharp investigator who goes the extra mile to gather and present good evidence. She works in a challenging area and holds her own in every category of policing, but stands out from the crowd when it comes to genuinely putting victim care to the top of the agenda. Louise’s attention to detail and supportive style are just as effective when supporting colleagues and has been selected as a skills coach.

Police Staff Employee of the Year – Joint Winners - Parjinder Basra and Audrey Campbell: Parjinder is central to Bedfordshire Police with a practical, trustworthy and calm approach and has a strong moral and ethical standing. He strives daily to improve the efficiency, reputation and ethos of the Force. Parjinder excels in his own role yet still makes time to coach and mentor others in their roles. Parjinder has tirelessly campaigned for the Force’s appropriate response to the needed budget cuts and has worked endlessly on Option 10 which would never have come about without him.

Audrey’s contribution over the past 12 months has been highly significant. She has excellently project managed considerable cultural, structural and organisational change. Audrey has demonstrated huge resilience as any major change initiative will come with its own unique challenges. In addition, Audrey has contributed to the active design of the solutions by never accepting the ‘status quo’ and looking at things with a creative eye. Her strengths lie in: planning complex change; negotiating and influencing at all levels; and motivating specialist and multi-disciplinary teams / individuals have been key to her success over the last year.

Police Community Support Officer of the Year – PCSO Jan Mahoney: Jan has forged strong links with the various mosques, local councillors and building links with schools and the younger people within the Queens Park area over the past few years. Her attitude and behaviour towards delivering public confidence helps in reducing concerns and allows the diverse and vibrant community of Queens Park to be properly informed instead of relying on ill-judged rumours.

Special Constable of the Year – SC Ewan Colquhoun: Ewan has provided fantastic support to Bedfordshire as a Special Constable, but more importantly to the community he serves. He has assisted his ‘regular’ colleagues by always putting himself forward whenever he is available. He provides essential reassurance and support to the local community of Midland Road, Bedford. His almost constant visible presence has prevented and detected crime, as well as provided reassurance to the residents, shoppers and business owners. Ewan’s commitment has done a great deal to maintain and on occasions enhance the reputation of Bedfordshire Police in a challenging area.

Cadet of the Year – Hannah Moss: Hannah is a new Head Cadet and instantly took command and lead of the cadet division without hesitation, something that is undoubtedly hard to do amongst your peers at the age of 17. Hannah has now settled into her leadership position where she instantly manages and completes the organisational tasks that the instructor team set her without fail. Hannah’s commitment, passion, willingness and enthusiasm to assist her cadet colleagues are a credit. She constantly goes above and beyond the requirements of her in her role and has taken on a much larger management role than a Head Cadet is meant to.

Volunteer of the Year – Derek Borino: Derek has become an essential part of the team, being a friendly approachable face at the enquiry desk at Futures House, in Marsh Farm, Luton. He also visits Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators, bridging the community links in the North and West areas. It is well known in the community that he is a member of our team and people approach him when he is out and about to ask his advice or support. Derek has also been a great ambassador for Bedfordshire Police during the recent community tensions in the area following a major crime, reassuring residents and sign posting them to the PCSOs for further support where necessary.

Investigator of the Year – DC Tim Worden: Tim is a modest individual who possesses an inner determination and tenacity which ultimately leads to positive outcomes for the Force. His investigative mindset, attention to detail and positive attitude is a real inspiration and blueprint to others. The consistently high level of investigations he conducts, has led to a substantial increase in detection levels in the south of the county, making a real contribution to public confidence.

Outstanding Leadership Award – DCI Nick Bellingham: Nick has been instrumental in building and running the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) policing teams and is responsible for developing the Force’s Prolific and Priority Offender (Intensive) scheme, known colloquially as ‘PI’. Nick has overcome numerous technical, procedural and budgetary challenges to deliver these initiatives. Through his leadership the Force continues to make significant performance improvements as offenders are diverted away from crime through partnership working.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Insp Dave Minney: Force Control Room Inspector Dave Minney joined in 1983, and as a young police office he found himself in the thick of the national miners’ strikes and the hunt for the infamous Bedfordshire serial rapist known as The Fox. While working as a traffic Sergeant he nearly lost his life when he was hit by a drunk driver. However, he was determined not to be medically retired and battled his way back to fitness before moving into the Force Control Room. Over the years his expert knowledge of policing and procedures has greatly benefited Bedfordshire Police and other forces, which have called on him to assist with everything from the London bombings to the East Asian Tsunami. Most recently he played leading roles in Operation Missouri and Operation Jersey (EDL demonstrations), which have resulted in him receiving significant recognition for his work and role within the FCR. He was also involved in one of the most successful policing events of the decade – the UK tour of the Olympic torch.

Customer Service Award – Vic Harris: Vic has demonstrated consistently strong customer service to the public and internally to staff. The quality of service has been given without any bias and he consistently searches for a solution for the customer. Despite a drop in resources, thanks to Vic’s support the unit has delivered strong performance ensuring that 90 per cent of complaint letters are investigated and responded to within 28 days. Vic appreciates and listens to the concerns raised by the customer engaging with them in a polite fashion and always in a way aimed at resolving the matters regardless of their complexity.

Diversity Award – Richard Denton: Richard has over the last year delivered many outstanding achievements and successes involving one of the most positive, precious yet vulnerable groups in society – children and young people. Overall, the full depth and breadth of Richard’s contribution demonstrates his outstanding achievement in promoting safety, deterring young people from crime, assisting victims of crime and getting active participation in policing from children and young people.

Outstanding Team of the Year (Business) – Facilities Team – North and South: The Facilities Team has ensured that our operational day to day functions in all areas have not been affected during the reorganisation of office spaces or locations, allowing the Force to continue with its operational successes. This could not have been achieved without the commitment, competency and ‘can do’ attitude of this team. Their efforts and professionalism have been recognised personally by all that have been affected by moves.

Outstanding Team of the Year (Operational) – Integrated Offender Management Team: The IOM Team works with more than 20 agencies to reduce re-offending by the county’s most prolific offenders. IOM provides an infrastructure for partners to work within, as one integrated team with the same goals. The multi-agency team works from Bedford, but covers the whole of the county. IOM works with the most persistent re-offenders to address the root causes of their criminal behaviour and helps them make life changes that will break their cycle of re-offending. The partnership working achieved an overall 6% decrease in crime across the borough to which the IOM scheme contributed particularly in areas of serious acquisitive and violent crime.

Community Officer/ Team of the Year (voted by the public) – Luton North/West Local Policing Team: This was awarded by the public of Bedfordshire via an article in Local Sunday newspapers. Luton North/West Local Policing Team has a firm, fair and friendly approach which has built trust and cohesion within the community, giving priority to supporting victims, developing initiatives and supporting voluntary groups.

Investigative Team of the Year – Priority Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team – Luton: A dedicated team of police and council staff that has been put together to crack down on ASB in Luton. To date, the team have dealt with more than 296 cases and over 85 per cent of these are now resolved. The victim assessment matrix created by the ASB Team has been used to assist the Force Control Room with their triage process. The team has also contributed to a nine per cent reduction in ASB in Luton within the last 12 months.

The Jon Henry Shield – PC Paul Falcon and PC Richard Bowness: PC Falcon and PC Bowness demonstrated outstanding bravery, courage and professionalism in the face of danger while working in Luton. Despite both being subject to what appeared to be serious attempts to injure them, they continued in pursuit of dangerous offenders and eventually detained them alone. Due to their efforts, both offenders were charged with two counts of robbery, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, kidnap, two counts of possession of a bladed article and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.


22 January 2013

Wartime Memories Sought for Specials’ Centenary

Bedfordshire Police is seeking wartime memories from friends and family of volunteers to mark this year’s 100th birthday of the force’s Special Constabulary.

The centenary is being celebrated across the force and the Bedfordshire Police Museum has chosen to focus on a group of colleagues who volunteered during the Second World War in the hope of building a treasure trove of memories and artefacts from this time.

During the War the force was considerably strengthened by the recruitment of Reserves. There were different categories including full time paid War Reserve Police Constables, full time paid members of the Women’s Auxiliary Police Corps, and the Special Constabulary who were unpaid volunteers. Sadly force records from this time are sparse so attempts are being made to bolster them through the public appeal.

Keith Jackson, a former police Inspector with Bedfordshire Police who now volunteers himself, running the force museum, is driving the appeal to raise awareness about this important part of the organisation’s history.

“The centenary is a very proud moment for the force and all its volunteers” he said. “By the end of the war the authorised establishment of the Bedfordshire County Special Constabulary was over 1100 men and to put that figure into some sort of perspective, the authorised establishment of the Regular Constabulary was only 162! Sadly the force records concerning the Special Constabulary are quite sparse so one of the ways of marking our 100th birthday is to gather as much information as possible about the war time service of these volunteers.”

“Bedford and Luton were separate forces at that time with their own Special Constabularies, and between 1939 and 1945 every village and town also had their own Specials. They were local men who gave up their free time to fight crime and protect their communities. Whilst the minimum requirement was to work a four hour shift at least fifty times in a year, some of these men gave considerably more often completing between 120 and 150 duties a year in the larger industrial areas.”

“To mark the centenary we want to pay tribute to all those who volunteered then and now so I would be grateful to receive any information from former Special Constables who are still alive, or from their descendants. Anecdotes, recollections or documents from the time will be invaluable. Equally, any donation of artefacts to add to the Force Museum collection would also be gratefully received. Please do help us bring this time in our history back to life.”

To get in touch with your memories email or write to Keith at Bedfordshire Police HQ, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedfordshire MK43 9AX.


24 January 2013

Force Backs Stolen Catalytic Converter Campaign

Crimestoppers Campaign Lost Cat Poster

Bedfordshire Police is backing a new Crimestoppers’ campaign to tackle the issue of stolen catalytic converters or ‘Lost CATS’ across the eastern region.

There has been a dramatic increase in catalytic converter thefts in the last three years, which can run into thousands of pounds for a victim to replace and can be extremely inconvenient. A catalytic convertor is part of the exhaust system and thieves steal them for the precious metals they contain.

The aim of the charity’s campaign is to encourage the public to play their part in giving information about this type of crime – with metal theft as a whole costing the UK economy around £770 million per year. Although metal theft in general is seeing a steady decrease across the eastern region, due to various measures introduced by police, the theft of catalytic converters is still on the increase and can often be connected to other forms of serious and organised crime.

Chief Inspector Shane Roberts says the force is working hard to target people who illegally trade or carry scrap metal. He said: “We are playing our part encouraging members of the public to contact us or Crimestoppers with any information relating to catalytic converter thefts, or any type of metal theft, so we can act robustly and bring offenders to justice.

“We will also be encouraging members of the public to etch their catalytic converter, so if recovered it can be traced back to them. Etching kits are particularly useful for businesses with a number of vehicles to protect.

“Theft of metal wrecks the national infrastructure, affecting utility supplies, rail and phone networks, causing hundreds of pounds of damage and replacement costs when stolen from homes and businesses. When vehicles are attacked and catalytic converters are stolen, this causes huge disruption to individuals and family life. People cannot get to work and lose money as a result, children cannot get to school and any personal plans are wrecked-notwithstanding the cost of replacing and hike in insurance premiums.

“We are all facing tough times financially and any theft of metal causes people personal misery and trouble. Bedfordshire Police takes this very seriously due to the impact that this crime has on people’s lives.”

View Crimestoppers’s posters which are being placed across the county in hotspot areas:


Visit Stay Safe Metal Theft Page for  further advice

For More information on metal theft please visit the British Metal Recyclers Association (BMRA) site at




16 November 2012

New Police and Crime Commisioner Named

On Thursday the 15 November the people of Bedfordshire elected Olly Martins as their Police and Crime Commissioner.

Following the election result Chief Constable Alfred Hitchcock said “I am pleased to welcome Olly Martins as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire.  I look forward to building a successful partnership with the Commissioner to fight crime and protect the public”

The Crime Commissioner  will take the oath on Monday (19 November) and will formally take office on Thursday (22 November).


31 July 2012

Nuisance Vehicles Will Not Be Tolerated This Summer

People who think that it is acceptable to ride motorbikes, mopeds, scooters or mini-motos in a dangerous way across public land could be in for a shock when they have their means of transport seized and destroyed as part of a summer crackdown on nuisance vehicles.

The summer holiday and plenty of sunshine mean that youngsters are enjoying the parks and public areas across Bedfordshire but a small minority are ruining people’s enjoyment by breaking the law and riding motorbikes off-road often without crash helmets, insurance or tax.

Local Policing Teams across the county will be stepping up patrols during the summer months as well as taking full advantage of Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 which gives them the ability to stop anti-social motorists and warn them about their behaviour as well as issuing fines. Where necessary, officers also have the power to seize vehicles and have them destroyed. Anyone caught riding on pavements or roads illegally will also be dealt with for motoring offences such as riding without a licence and having no MoT or insurance.

PCSO Joshua Tonkin of the Kempston Safer Neighbourhood Team, warned: “I want to make it quite plain we will be stepping up patrols and will be taking firm action against those people who flout the law. Residents across Bedfordshire should not have to worry about vehicles tearing up and down the streets in which they live or in the alleyways or parks surrounding them.

“Over the past month we have had an increase in motorbikes being ridden by the river and on footpaths around Kempston. These riders need to realise that this is unacceptable - not only is it an offence, but it is also extremely dangerous for others.

“Local officers have increased patrols in Kempston and will be dealing with offenders robustly. These riders need to understand that if they ride there motorbike in a park or somewhere else that they shouldn’t they will receive a warning or have their motorbike seized. I encourage members of the public to report any anti-social riders by calling 101.

“Parents can also help by understanding that children should only ride machines in supervised conditions and on land where the owner has given prior permission. Mini-motorbikes should certainly not be ridden on pavements or roads.”



05 July
Police Launch Competition To Help Youngsters ‘Stay Safe’

Bedfordshire Police is inviting young people aged between 11 and 18 to put their creative skills to the test with a performing arts competition designed to highlight the dangers and consequences of committing street robberies.

The ‘Stay Safe’ competition requires entrants to create a three minute performance video in which they sing, dance or act and is being supported by the charity Crimestoppers, which has recently launched a website designed to allow young people to give information about crime 100% anonymously as a safe alternative to the Police.

Finalists will see their videos posted on Bedfordshire Police’s website where the public will be invited to vote for their favourite in each of the three categories. Winners will receive a cash prize, which will be presented at a ‘showcase’ at the force’s headquarters in December.

The competition is part of the force’s drive to fight crime and protect the public while making offenders feel less assured. Street robberies are often committed by young people on young people and some may not even realise their actions constitute an offence. It is this misguided view youngsters are being encouraged to explore and highlight in their video.

Richard Denton is the force’s Children and Young People Development Officer & Schools Co-ordinator, and says some youngsters are naive and do not realise the significance of their actions. He said:

“ Reducing robbery is a priority for the force but many people don’t realise what constitutes an offence. Robbery is when you use or threaten to use force to steal. It’s more serious than theft and you can be guilty of robbery even if you are just part of a group that robbed someone and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Bedfordshire Police hopes that portraying this message through song, dance or drama will bring home the reality of crime and make young people think twice about their actions. We are delighted to be linking up with the Crimestoppers youth brand ‘Fearless’ website as giving information about robbery and solving robbery is as important as preventing it.

We really hope schools and clubs will see this competition as a fun and inspiring way to teach young people about consequences around this often violent and intimidating offence while harnessing their creative talents.”

Entries must be received no later than 26 October 2012. The winner from each category will receive £100 worth of high street vouchers. For more details about the competition go to


26 June 2012

Police Seek Witnesses to Stotfold Distraction Burglary

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a home in Stotfold was targeted by distraction burglars on Friday 22 June.

The incident happened between 11am and 12.50pm at a house in Princes Street, Stotfold when an offender knocked at the door claiming to be from the water board. The 84-year-old male victim allowed the man into his property and he then carried out an ‘inspection’ while telling the victim and his wife that a water main had been illegally dug up in the area.

Two other offenders entered the property and have gone upstairs where they have stolen a substantial amount of money and numerous bank cards before the three left the house and drove off in a dark hatchback vehicle.

The three offenders were all white males and were smartly dressed in dark coloured suits with black ties and black shoes.

Detective Constable Barry Kibble, who is investigating the burglary, said: “These offenders appear to have deliberately picked on an elderly couple and taken advantage of them. The victim has been left extremely distressed by what has happened and we really need the public’s help in identifying the offenders. 

“I’d like to hear from anyone who was in any of the areas at the time of this incident or anyone else who may have information – however small or insignificant they think it is – that could help us. Don’t dismiss your information as unimportant – even tiny details which don’t seem relevant now might become useful later on in the investigation.

“We would remind everyone to be extremely cautious about anyone calling at their home, to always use a spy hole and door chain and to insist on identification. If you are in any way suspicious, dial 999.”

If you have information relating to this incident, contact DC Kibble, in confidence, on 01234 275212, the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at


21 June 2012

Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour in Bedfordshire is Down

Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock has today (Thursday 21 June) welcomed a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) on the policing of Anti-Social Behaviour.

Commenting on the report Mr Hitchcock said:

“Bedfordshire Police welcomes the findings of the Inspection and the survey, which was carried out last year, as it confirms our plans for improvement in tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). Some of the areas highlighted have already been addressed with the introduction of the new policing model, which focuses on local policing issues and driving down crime. I am also pleased the HMIC has recognised our success in fighting crime and protecting the public, by acknowledging; ‘a strong reduction in overall crime, and is committed to ensure that future improvements in its response to ASB mirror the improvements it has achieved in driving down crime’.

Excellent results have already been achieved in Bedfordshire, which has resulted in overall crime falling by 6.5% (2822 fewer offences), with burglary down 20% (800 fewer homes) and violent crimes are down with the most serious offences down 34%. In relation to ASB, we have seen public confidence in police and partners ability to deal with it rise in every quarter of the last year as measured by the British Crime Survey, and the number of people who are victims of ASB have reduced by almost 8000 over two years.

We are not complacent however, and by continuing to work with our partners through a range of programs as well as taking forward our internal structural change program and through the increased resilience gained via collaboration with Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire we are committed to continuing to improve our performance over the coming months.

Victims being satisfied with the service they get from Bedfordshire Police is a priority for us, and I will always apologise to anyone who feels they may not have had the response they expected. Officers, PCSOs, staff and partners work tirelessly to support victims of ASB, and use current IT systems to identify the most vulnerable. New IT which has been obtained by the force will be operation in the next year and this will enhance the service.

The HMIC has also indicated areas of good practice by saying; ‘In Luton, the force and Borough Council have funded a priority ASB case management team. This is co-located multi-agency team which is providing an excellent service to victims of ASB and is recognised as good practice.’ There is a planned roll out of this method across the force.

Against a backdrop of budget cuts, Bedfordshire does have to prioritise what crime and incidents it investigates and serious ASB remains a key priority for us and our partners. Some aspects of ASB fall out of the remit of the police but are picked up by the three Community Safety Partnerships that are well placed to help individuals with long term problems.

Finally, Bedfordshire Police continues to drive down crime and support all our communities where we can around issues of ASB. We are already committed to a plan of additional improvements around ASB including innovative IT solutions and the new policing model, which was only launched in October last year. We are confident that these changes will help us continue to fight crime and protect the public.”



13 June 2012 

Did You See Car Fire?

A car worth about £10,000 was burned out and the owner’s house damaged last week at a house in Stotfold.

The car, a grey Skoda Octavia was set on fire between 10pm and 10.30pm last Tuesday night, June 5, while it was parked outside the owners’ house.

The flames damaged the guttering and the driveway of the house at Olivers Lane, which is not visible from the main road and up a quiet lane. However, there is a footpath nearby and investigating officer DC Amanda Durrant would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anything out of place or suspicious last week in the area. 

“The owners are really quite shaken up by the experience, and understandably so as they have no idea who might do this for what for – and the car was close to their house and the incident could have been much worse,” she said.

“It’s a quiet area and I’m hoping that someone might have seen someone unfamiliar hanging about, perhaps on the footpath or outside the house.”

Anyone who can help should contact DC Durrant direct on 01234 275121, or call independent charity anonymously Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. You don’t have to give your name but could still receive a cash reward.

Bedfordshire Police Logo

13 June 2012

Neighbourhood Watch (NW) Advertisement

We would all like our neighbourhood to be a safe and secure environment and NHW can certainly contribute towards this aim. NHW exists to

- Help cut crime, the opportunities for crime and the fear of crime
- Encourage community co-operation and foster good neighbourliness
- Provide support to your Local Policing Team


NW is an independent voluntary organisation supported by, but not run by, the Police. The most important element in the organisation is the Individual member.  Residents in a street or any other small area can get together to form a Scheme and Schemes can be grouped into Areas, as determined by convenience or geography.


Schemes are very easy to set up, with one or more co-ordinators per street. As a guide 20 houses are about the maximum number for a Scheme, but the number can be as flexible as necessary, as long as it is manageable. If you are interested in joining NHW and/or setting up a NW Scheme please contact the following email address This will pass your message on to the appropriate Area Co-ordinator who will then contact you to take your interest further.


As part of the introuduction to NW and how to set up a NW Scheme there is a briefing/ training session lasting no more than 2 hours. This can be given at any venue chosen by you, determined only by the number of possible participants.


Things will only improve if YOU help.



8 June 2012 

Neighbourhood Watch AGM Invitiation

Dear Resident / Co-ordinator / Area Co-ordinator

I'm pleased to invite you to the 2012 Neighbourhood Watch Conference & AGM on Thursday 21 June at Police Headquarters, Woburn Road, Kempston at 7.30 - 9.30pm. Refreshments are served from 7pm.

We are delighted that the Chief Constable, Alf Hitchcock, has agreed to be our keynote speaker.  He will talk about fighting crime and protecting the public. There will be an opportunity to ask Mr Hitchcock questions too. Alf is a keen supporter of Neighbourhood Watch.

There are other interesting presentations, plus a chance to meet Chief Inspector Mark Upex who has the responsibility for policing in the Bedford Borough area.

Please find your invitation attached. As this is a very popular event, please can you book your place/s by ringing 01234 275165 or email

I look forward to seeing you on the evening.

Colleen Atkins, Chair

Bedford & District Neighbourhood Watch.


07 June 2012
Did You See Vitara in Stotfold?

Detectives are dealing with an incident which took place over the weekend where a man was flagged down and his car stolen in Stotfold.

The 22 year old man was driving his green S-reg Suzuki Grand Vitara along the High Street at a few minutes past midnight, early hours of Saturday morning (June 2) when a man flagged him down and asked directions to Arlesey. When the victim wound his window down to talk, the man leaned in, grabbed the car keys and then three other men appeared armed with metal bars.

They opened the car doors, jumped in and demanded money from him. At this point the driver  managed to run away from the car and the four robbers drove off in it.

At about 2:30am the same morning, the Vitara crashed through the wall of a ground floor flat on the High Street, Henlow and two persons were seen running away. Although the flat was unoccupied at the time, the occupants of other flats in the building had to be evacuated due to concerns over the building’s structure being unsafe.  

The robbers can only be described as four white men, one was large built and all were wearing dark clothing.

Det Con Andy Boston, based at Greyfriars Police station in Bedford, would like to hear from anyone who saw the incident at High Street, Stotfold, or at Henlow, or saw this vehicle at any point between the two incidents.

Det Con Boston can be reached direct on 01234 275340, or anonymously via independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name but could still receive a cash reward by using the Crimestoppers number. 


21 May 2012

Delivering resources for largest ever pre-planned operation; the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

With just 67 days until the start of the London 2012 Games, Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary have been working with national colleagues to help resource what will be the largest ever pre-planned policing operation, while also ensuring that core policing for our communities continues.

Overseen by AC Chris Allison, the National Olympic Security Coordinator, 52 forces have worked together to resource the 105-day long national policing, which begins on 4 June and runs until 16 September.

Officers from a variety of Beds and Herts joint units, as well as local policing officers from both forces will support the operation by providing assistance for a total of 99 days. Final planning for their deployments is underway, but the majority of officers will assist the Metropolitan Police and Dorset Police, which have the largest Games operations.

The commitment from both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire forces combined varies each day, ranging from a maximum of around 75 officers to as low as just 1 officer on other days. In total, but not on one day, around 232 individual officers from Beds and Herts will contribute to keeping the Games safe and secure.*

While the majority of officers travelling to police the Games are general beat officers, providing their usual professional service and working alongside the public, there is also a requirement for some specialist skilled officers to assist such as motorcyclists, firearms and protection officers.
Both forces have adopted a range of measures to maximise the number of officers available to assist with the Games but also to continue policing across their own force areas.

Assistant Chief Constable for Beds and Herts  Joint Units, Steve Devine, said: “We are delighted to be able to play our part in the national response to this ‘once in a life time’ event and for those individual officers who are working to support the Games it is an honour to serve. Our priority, of course, is maintaining our core policing responsibilities in Beds and Herts while supporting the Olympics.  We will ensure residents and visitors to our area continue to receive the service they expect and deserve.”

AC Chris Allison, the National Olympic Security Coordinator, said:

“Chief Constables and forces have worked together, contributing fairly to meet the incredible demand of the Games. I’m happy to say that every force has played its part. It’s down to the continued cooperation and assistance of forces and the enthusiasm of officers, that we have been able to meet this extraordinary resourcing demand.

“All 52 forces are playing a role to deliver a fantastic summer of celebration, yet our planning has also ensured that our core policing continues, keeping our communities safe. In addition, we maintain our regional resilience, able to manage major incidents or investigations and respond to contingencies outside of the Games wherever necessary.

“The summer of 2012 will be a busy and challenging time for the British police service, but with confidence and pride I can say that we have the officers we need to keep the Games and our wider communities safe and secure.”



14 May 2012

Do You Know Where Your car Keys Are?

Bedfordshire Police are reminding residents to take extra measures to ensure that they don’t become the victims of car crime.

In recent week there has been a slight increase in burglaries across the county where thieves are looking for car keys to steal the homeowner’s vehicle.

For most people, a car is the most expensive possession that they own and for this reason it is important to take steps to combat car theft and reduce the chances of being a victim of crime.

Newer cars generally have a security system in place which makes it almost impossible for the vehicle to be stolen without the keys. For that reason, thieves are committing burglaries specifically to steal car keys and any other valuables that are nearby.

To help reduce the risk of car theft, Bedfordshire Police is urging motorists not to leave their car keys or valuables anywhere where they can be easily seen from outside or within range to be ‘fished’ through the letterbox.

Number plates are also a target for criminals who then attach them to their own vehicles to commit offences like the theft of fuel from filling stations that are covered by CCTV. Bedfordshire Police regularly hosts ‘Your Number’s Up’ events where tamper-proof screws can be installed to vehicles free of charge thereby reducing the threat of theft.

Residents are also being urged to register with the UK National Property Register at where they can log any items such as mobile phones, computers, bicycles, appliances and jewellery. Immobilise will record serial numbers and also allows the user to upload pictures and a brief description of the item.

The Immobilise database is linked directly to a number of police systems across the UK which makes it easier for officers to trace the owners of any recovered items as well as identifying items that have been found on suspected criminals.

Another measure that residents can consider is security marking their property with Ultra-Violet (UV) pens or chemical DNA marking solutions which can also be used on jewellery.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Reduction co-ordinators continue to actively target the problem at the moment but anything that can be done to prevent the problem in the first place is invaluable.

Other measures that residents can take to reduce the threat of burglary include:

  • If you have a garage, use it
  • Ensure security lights are working and your car is locked and alarmed
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously, telephone the police
  • Join a Neighbourhood Watch or Street Watch scheme

If you have information relating to any burglaries or vehicle crime, please contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at


25 April 2012

Operation Jersey – May 5th Protests Update

Bedfordshire Police and Luton Borough Council are committed to a protest free town on Saturday 5 May.

St George’s Square will be kept free for the residents of Luton to use and town centre shops, including The Mall, are being encouraged to stay open for ‘business as usual’ despite the large numbers of protestors expected and associated police presence.

Bedfordshire Police says the decision to deny both the English Defence League and the opposing protest group, We Are Luton, access to St George’s Square has been justified following insistent requests from the community that very significant disruption to the normal life of the community should not occur again.

Other suitable locations close to the town centre have been identified for both protest groups to assemble and march however. These have been carefully selected following detailed negotiations with everyone affected in order to achieve the aim of the policing operation, which is to provide public safety while facilitating legal protest and to satisfy the requests of the community to maintain access to Luton town centre for the majority of the public, and to allow businesses to trade as normal.

Detailed conditions around when and where the protests can take place will be communicated in advance of May 5th to ensure those involved are clear about what is expected of them. However, the arrangements so far will allow for the EDL to assemble and march in the Park Street area and for the We Are Luton to meet in Wardown Park and also facilitate a march. Details of the exact road closures will be advertised before May 5th.

A large policing operation, codenamed Jersey, will be in place with forces up and down the country committed to providing mutual aid support across the Bank Holiday weekend. It is anticipated that the size and scale of the operation staged will be the same as in February 2011.

The support of licensees across the town is being sought in order that a ban on alcohol sales can be agreed between 12 noon and 5pm. The idea of a ‘dry’ town for five hours is designed to reduce the opportunity for crime and disorder.

Bedfordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Richer said: “There is a legal right to protest and assemble in this country. A march or procession can only be banned by the Home Secretary if there is a credible and likely threat of serious public disorder by the group wishing to protest. On this occasion the criteria are simply not met and all partners agree there is no credible case to be made for a ban. The restrictions we are imposing are designed to prevent serious disruption to the normal life of the community on a bank holiday weekend.”

Leader of Luton Borough Council, Hazel Simmons said:

“Recent conversations with many people in Luton conveyed the impact of reduced business and disruption to our town centre caused by previous EDL demonstrations. It is clear that the majority of people in Luton do not want the EDL or any other protest group causing this sort of disruption again. Whilst we accept that people have the right to protest, I do not feel that it should be at the expense of Luton’s reputation and social cohesion or prevent people from going about their normal daily lives. This is a tough economic climate and we should support our businesses so that they can trade as normal over the bank holiday weekend. Luton Borough Council will continue to work with the Police to ensure that the demonstrations pass peacefully with the minimum of inconvenience.”

To subscribe to updates on the day, text the word POLICE to 88020. *Text messages to 88020 are charged at your standard network rate. Full terms and conditions.


20th Feb 2012
Courses to create MORE good young drivers

Sixty young people from across Central Bedfordshire recently took part in the MORE 16 and MORE Drive courses to improve their driving knowledge and skills.

Three workshops, covering driving skills, maintenance and safety, were run by vehicle inspectors and collision investigators from Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service, Three Shires Driving School and Millbrook’s proving ground and offered real-life experience from professionals at the top of their field.

The MORE 16 programme gave 16 year-olds their first taste of driving on a Millbrook track, whilst also offering guidance to parents on choosing a driving instructor and on how to help their teens when practising. Parents attending even receive a high-speed passenger ride around a track with a Millbrook pro-driver with competition history in motorsport such as rallying or racing.
MORE Drive offered 17 to 24 year-olds, who have already passed their driving test, the chance to drive on a skid pan and experience ABS braking systems. As well as practising emergency stops at speed to demonstrate the distance it takes to stop at varying speeds.
Twenty-year-old Dani Page who attended the MORE Drive course said: "It was a great way to learn about real dangers on the road and how to deal with these situations when faced by them. I now have a greater knowledge of a wide range of hazards, how to control a car in a skid and in emergencies to what to do in the event of an accident.

"This knowledge was gained from hands on experience with professional drivers and demonstrations from Police collision investigators and the Fire and Rescue Service. It has changed the way I view things and given me an insight in how easily an incident can occur and what I could do to avoid any situation that I may encounter."

Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services, said: "The MORE programmes are a great way for our young people to learn new skills and improve their driving ability.
"I am delighted that demand for the courses has been so high. Everyone who attended took away useful new skills and a better appreciation of what it means to be a safe and responsible driver."
We will be running the courses again on the 3 and 4 March and it would be wonderful if as many of our young people as possible could attend."

For more information on either the MORE 16 or MORE Drive programmes, or to attend the events in March, email

MORE 16 and MORE Drive are supported by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with their Highways Service provider Amey.


Your Numbers Up – Don’t Let Thieves Get Away With it 

There is a growing crime trend whereby car number plates are being stolen to be used in crime. This may be:

  • To evade speeding/parking fines
  • To sell a stolen car
  • To carry out illegal activities i.e. not paying for petrol and avoiding ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras.

Protect your number plates and come along to one of our number plate securing events. This is a free service to secure your car number plates. 

The next events in your area will be held on: 

Saturday 10th March, 2012
Shefford Farmers Market 9.00am – 12 noon

Tuesday 3rd April, 2012
One Stop Shop, Clifton 2.15pm – 3.15pm
Rectory Road, Campton 3.30pm – 4.00pm 

Saturday 14th April, 2012
Shefford Farmers Market 9.00am – 12 noon
Village Hall car park, Meppershall 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Saturday 12th May, 2012
Shefford Farmers Market 9.00am – 12 noon

If you have any issues that you would like to discuss or you would just like
to pop by and meet your Local Policing Team please drop in.

For more details :

LINK [County_shefford_Stotfold_Arlesey_Surgery_spring2012.pdf]


08 February 2012
Police Deliver on Promise to Drive Down Burglary

Police in Bedfordshire have honoured their pledge to tackle the crimes that matter most to the public, latest performance figures show.

Last year, Bedfordshire Police Authority ran a number of consultation exercises to gather feedback about the crimes which ranked highest on residents’ lists of priorities for the Force. In one survey, 41 percent of respondents said they wanted police to concentrate on cutting domestic burglaries rates in the county which have a devastating emotional impact on their victims. In a later questionnaire, a quarter of residents again placed domestic burglary as their top concern, significantly higher than any other single offence. As a result, Bedfordshire Police Authority ensured burglary was listed as a top priority in its Strategic Plan and that action was drawn up to target this type of crime.

And now latest figures show the Authority and Force’s efforts to address burglary rates across the county are already bearing fruit. Two fewer burglary offences took place in the county per day between April and December 2011 (from 10.7 per day in 2010 to 8.4 in the first nine months of this year). Meanwhile, police are also detecting a greater number of burglary offences, from 16 percent between April and December 2010 to 20% in the same period last year.

Overall crime also fell at a rate of almost five fewer offences per day, from 119.5 between April and December 2010 to 115.2 in the same period last year. In addition, robbery rates – which also featured high on the public’s list of priorities – also saw improvements as well as its detection rate.

Penny Fletcher chairman of Bedfordshire Police Authority’s Performance Scrutiny Committee said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and show the public that we have not only listened to them but are also delivering on the actions we outlined in our Strategic Plan. Our communities play a huge role in the way we set our policing agenda and these results show that making the effort to tell us what you think can have a real impact on our operational decisions.

“Both the Police Authority and the Force are constantly striving to improve the service the public receives whether this is in the way we deal with victims of crime or the way we listen to the problems which concern our communities. By closing the gap between public expectations and performance we will hopefully improve satisfaction levels in local policing and ensure confidence continues to grow in the Force.

“Bedfordshire Police has maintained its improved national rank positions in all of its priority detection categories compared to last year which means our communities are not only safer, they are also receiving a better service in the investigation and detection of the crimes which take place in the county. By continuing to place the needs of residents at the heart of our decisions, I am confident we will continue to bring further reductions and service improvements in the future.”

Further consultation this year has again identified domestic burglary as an ongoing concern for residents and as such it will feature prominently again in this year’s Plan

22nd December 2011
Simple Steps to Reduce Heartache of Burglary

With Father Christmas getting set to do his rounds at the weekend, Bedfordshire Police is urging residents to take a few extra actions to prevent heartache should anyone be the victim of crime over the festive period. 

At a time when expensive gifts are being exchanged, criminals seize on the opportunity to commit burglaries in the hope of scooping brand new items that they can then sell on.  

Residents are being urged to register with the UK National Property Register at where they can log any items such as mobile phones, computers, bicycles, appliances and jewellery. Immobilise will record serial numbers and also allows the user to upload pictures and a brief description of the item. 

The Immobilise database is linked directly to a number of police systems across the UK which makes it easier for officers to trace the owners of any recovered items as well as identifying items that have been found on suspected criminals. 

Another measure that residents can consider is security marking their property with Ultra-Violet (UV) pens or chemical DNA marking solutions which can also be used on jewellery. 

Inspector Jim Hitch of Bedfordshire Police said: “No one likes to think about being the victim of crime at such a happy time of year, but unfortunately there are people out there who prey on people at this time of year for that very reason. 

“Registering your items with Immobilise only takes a few minutes and is completely free of charge, but the benefits of it could be priceless. By taking photos of your items, you would also providing the police with great intelligence – if you have jewellery, then place the item next to a ruler when taking the photo so that it is clear how big the item is. 

“Bedfordshire Police is working tirelessly to combat the threat of burglary in the run up to Christmas and beyond but I hope that residents take the time to register and mark their belongings to make sure anything stolen really is ‘too hot to handle’.”  

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Reduction co-ordinators continue to actively target the problem at the moment but anything that can be done to prevent the problem in the first place is invaluable. 

Other measures that residents can take to reduce the threat of burglary include: 

  • Keep vehicle keys out of sight at night
  • If you have a garage, use it
  • Ensure security lights are working and your car is locked and alarmed
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked
  • If you see someone acting suspiciously, telephone the police
  • Join a Neighbourhood Watch or Street Watch scheme

If you have information relating to any burglaries, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011. 

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at  

20th December 2011  
Police Warn Against Making Allegations

Bedfordshire Police is reminding residents of the dangers of making false allegations and wasting police time. 

During December, detectives have investigated three separate robberies which turned out to be false claims. Each of the incidents required officers to take statements, undertake door-to-door enquiries and view hours of CCTV footage before the truth was discovered. 

On Thursday December 15, a 49-year-old woman claimed that she had been robbed of money and her mobile phone after visiting the Post Office in Shortstown. Officers attended the scene and carried out an area search for the two ‘offenders’ but when detectives later questioned the woman, she revealed that she had made the allegation up. 

At around 10.30pm on Friday December 2, Bedfordshire Police received a report that a man in a wheelchair had been robbed in Goldington Avenue, Bedford. The man claimed that three teenagers wearing hooded tops and carrying a knife had stolen £200 from him. Detectives carried out a large search for the offenders, but again the crime report was found to be false. The same applied to a report from a 14-year-old boy who claimed that he was assaulted and robbed of his mobile phone on Monday December 5. 

Detective Sergeant Gary Maxey of the Serious Crime Investigation Team at Bedfordshire Police, said: “We always take any report of robbery extremely seriously and will do all that we can to capture the offenders as quickly as possible. Unfortunately we have seen a number of incidents this month where people have purposefully made up claims and wasted quite a considerable amount of police time. 

“I’d like to remind residents that making false allegations – whether they be robbery or any other crimes - and wasting police time is a serious offence which could result in the person making the claims being prosecuted. In these cases we quickly established that stories just weren’t adding up and were able to warn the claimants about their actions.” 

To report any crime please contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at 

2 November 2011
Specials Thanked for Regional Support During Public Disorder

Special constables contributed 19,495 hours across the region to the policing response during widespread public disorder in August.  

There are more than 2,200 Specials in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and they played a key role in maintaining community stability.  

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hopkins, Eastern Region Specials lead, said: “Once again, this demonstrates how Special constables are part of our everyday business and how we can rely on them for support. The number of hours they contributed was outstanding and their regional support was invaluable.”  

Nigel Green, Eastern Region Specials Coordinator, said: “I would like to thank all officers for their support during the operation. Across the region there were 70 arrests made during the disorder by Special constables.

We rely heavily on Specials not just for general policing but during major events. Without their help the regular police force would be further stretched. Specials are volunteers. They give up their time to reduce crime and the fear of crime. They come from a variety of backgrounds and do all of this to police the local communities for no pay.”  

During the disorder Specials carried out front line duties at key locations, including reassurance patrols.  

For more information about Specials or if you’re interested in becoming a Special, visit our Single Volunteering Unit page.

 Bedfordshire Police Logo


Media release
9 November 2011
Resilience forum urges motorists to carry emergency kits following M5 crash

Following the tragic M5 car crash which resulted in seven fatalities and over fifty people being injured last weekend, a local resilience forum is urging residents to carry emergency kits in their cars. 

To read the full article please use the link below

Thank you for your support

Wanted - Gary Burke

Gary Burke – Wanted
Following an appeal on last week’s BBC Crimewatch programme, police are making a direct appeal to Gary Burke of Luton to contact officers.

Burke, aged 23, from Osborne Road, Luton, was due to be tried for conspiracy to supply class A drugs last year. However, he failed to answer bail or attend court for the trial, and there is a warrant for his arrest outstanding.

Burke’s photograph was featured in last week’s Crimewatch show and produced good quality new information from the public which detectives are currently working on.

Det Sgt Zara Brown, who is the investigating officer for Burke’s case, said: “We are actively investigating new leads as a result of the programme, but we are still keen to hear from anyone who has further information about Gary Burke’s whereabouts.”

“It may be that Gary himself does not know how serious evading a crown court trial is and does not realise that the situation – far from going away – is actually becoming worse for him the longer he prolongs it,” she said. 

“If anyone knows where Gary is, you can contact us in complete secrecy, or you can contact us via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, anonymously. You don’t have to give your name, but can still receive a financial reward,” said Det Sgt Brown.

Information can also be given directly to officers via the force control room on 01234 841212

Lift the Handle, turn the key
This is the simple message being given to residents by the Community Safety Partnership to reduce the risk of burglary.

Following the success of Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Peak which aimed to reduce burglaries during the winter months, Central Bedfordshire Council and its partners are now passing on a clear message to communities, ensure your properties are secure all year round.

By securely locking UPVC doors - along with keeping valuables out of sight – burglaries around the area could be prevented particularly as the evenings are getting longer, the weather starting to warm up and people spending times in their gardens thinking their houses won’t be a target.

All too often police get reports of people who have come in from the garden to find someone has slipped through a front or back door and grabbed easily removable items such as handbags or wallets – or even keys along with the family car.

Most thieves are lazy opportunists and if they see a door left wide open, or possibly unlocked with the owner engrossed elsewhere, they will not hesitate to take advantage of the situation.

Another very common method of entry is whereby offenders will smash a window or a pane of glass close to the door lock, reach in and open the front or rear door from the inside. This is made possible if a key has been left in the back of the door, the door only has a simple latch lock and no deadlock, or if a lock exists but is not used.

Whilst it is important to implement measures to protect your property from burglary it is also very important to be able to escape quickly in the event of a fire.   Therefore, keep a window key in every room and ensure that door keys are easily accessible near to your front and back doors.  You should also develop and practice a fire escape plan for your home and make sure that all members of the household including visitors know how to quickly and safely evacuate the building.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services at Central Bedfordshire Council said: "By taking very small and simple steps we can help reduce the amount of burglaries that take place around Central Bedfordshire. The summer is a time when people are out and enjoying the weather, but everyone needs to be vigilant and take measures to ensure that they do not become a victim of crime."

Other ways to deter burglars include:

• Fit outside security lights and put gates across side passages;
• Leave lights and a radio on when you go out;
• Double check fences and boundaries for weak spots;
• Fit security features such as window locks, patio door locks and a burglar alarm;
• Never leave keys under mats and flower pots, it’s the first place burglars look;
• Keep an eye out for strangers in your street, especially if they are selling property door to door. If you are suspicious, call the police; and
• Help protect your neighbourhood by joining Home Watch, or becoming a co-ordinator.

Bedfordshire Police Online - Community Messaging (Ringmaster). This is a free to use computerised crime messaging service which offers details about crime and events in the local area. You can receive information via email direct to your computer, view messages online or by phone at a time to suit you.

You can join Ringmaster by applying online at website or phone 01234 275288 or 01582 394023 if you live in Luton and an application form can be sent by post.

BEDFORDSHIRE’S new Chief Constable has publically thrown his weight behind an initiative that enables residents to organise high visibility civilian patrols in their own neighbourhoods.
Alf Hitchcock, who joined the force at the beginning of this year, has written an internet article that describes Street Watch as having “huge potential” nationally.
In a front page comment on Mr Hitchcock says: “It is a great way for the community to work with the police and make Bedfordshire even safer.
“Street Watch is community empowerment in action and its benefits are clear – crime and anti-social behaviour prevention, reassurance and increased community cohesion.
“Street Watch has huge potential nationally and I am proud that the citizens of Bedfordshire have been so keen to form local schemes and lead the way on this.”
Mr Hitchcock spoke out as the wheels were put in motion to launch the tenth Street Watch scheme in Bedfordshire since April last year – making it one of the most successful  projects in the country.
A public meeting to rally support was held at Shillington Village Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday (March 31), just a week after another successful scheme was launched in Clifton.
Street Watch, which was originally launched in Hampshire and Surrey, involves local people taking it in turns to patrol communities in high visibility vests to provide reassurance and talk to residents.
It is emphasised they are not doing the job of police officers or PCSOs and have no more power than ordinary citizens. Instead the purpose of Street Watch is to prevent crime by increasing visibility, maintaining effective communication and reporting to police and increasing feelings of safety and community spirit.
Each scheme relies on Street Watch finding coordinators and volunteers prepared to give two hours each month and keep the national web site up to date with what they are doing and where. They also have to be vetted at the same level as police volunteers.
Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant Lisa Johnson, who has helped oversee the Bedfordshire project, said: “Street Watch is a classic example of the community and police working in partnership to reduce crime and increase feelings of safety.
“In Marston Moretaine – our first scheme – we saw a 12 per cent decrease in anti-social behaviour and a six per cent decrease in overall crime between May and November 2010. While we cannot positively attribute all this to Street Watch, it is plain the scheme has had an extremely positive impact on the village.
“We would urge anyone interested in setting up a similar scheme in their area to get in touch.”
Anyone interested can contact Sgt Johnson direct on 01582 473333, through the main switchboard on 01234 841212 or email