This week, we told people about the five new PCSOs that will be joining the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Redcar and Cleveland, which is part of the renewed plan that I launched to strengthen neighbourhood policing.
Often, people online will respond to this news by telling us that they don’t see police officers walking along their street, or they don’t see a police patrol car where they live.
Visibility is important to build public confidence, and the way in which our neighbourhood teams work and talk about what they do, will help with that over time. However, crimes often happen behind closed doors and in private spaces, and our teams are working to protect local communities from all the threats that they face.
We have safeguarding specialists, intelligence analysts, officers dedicated to convicting online sexual predators, firearms experts, search specialists – this list is a snapshot of the teams and units tackling crime in local areas.
This week, our teams have had some great successes at court and in tackling crime and protecting vulnerable people in homes and on our streets.
You will have seen the media coverage of conviction of Keith Hall for the manslaughter of Rachel Wilson. We are awaiting sentencing and I wish to offer my sincere sympathies to Rachel’s family who have acted with such grace and dignity since Rachel’s disappearance in 2002. I hope that the conviction brings a small amount of closure. I am proud of the investigation team who have acted with such tenacity over nearly 20 years to secure this important conviction. It’s an important point of principle to state that Cleveland Police will fight for justice however long it takes.
Jonathan Moorby had an additional 14 years added to his sentence after being involved in a ‘commercial’ operation which flooded the region with Class A drugs. He had continued to run this operation while on the run in Thailand, and we were successful in bringing him back to the UK and placing him before the courts. The case, known as Operation Spoonbill, has seen 27 people convicted, receiving sentences of 262 years in total.
On Friday, we launched Operation Endeavour, a month-long campaign to tackle organised crime groups – just yesterday we made arrests, recovered a suspected stolen vehicle, drugs, cash, a quad bike, and motorbike after targeting four addresses in the Middlesbrough area.
Over £126,000 of drugs have been seized so far, warrants have been carried out across Cleveland, 26 offences have been identified and we’ve made 17 arrests.
Our teams have dealt with 11 missing people who we have graded as high risk and in need of the most intensive police action to find them. The support from the community has been overwhelming in helping to find these people. We received thousands of calls and messages in our search for two missing girls (I’ve deliberately omitted their names for their privacy) and the appeal was shared widely across social media.
Heroic members of the public also intervened in a violent incident at a school with the assistance of some school employees. We have charged a number of people in connection with the alleged incident and are providing reassurance support to the school and the wider community.
Firearms officers were deployed to seven serious violence incidents in our local communities, with all resolved safely and perpetrators arrested into custody. Our neighbourhood policing teams continue to support these incidents by assessing the impact to communities and offering community reassurance.
These convictions, seizures, arrests and incidents are a brief snapshot of the work happening every day to make Cleveland a safer place. Whether that be from the work of our frontline, other specialist teams, or through joint operations.
I want to make sure that people know about the work we are doing across the board to keep their streets safe, and let them know that we are there, whether that be on visible foot patrol, or tackling crimes that happen behind closed doors.