Inspector Jane Horrobin on tackling crime in the Forest of Dean
Inspector Jane Horrobin talks about policing in the Forest of Dean:
POLICING in the Forest can be very challenging, and with a 200 square mile radius, a lot can happen.
Overall, the Forest remains a low-crime area and a safe place to live. But, as with all places, there are those that act outside the remits of the law.
The Forest is split into Response teams – who react to emergency calls – and the community teams, who tackle more of the long-term problem-solving issues in partnership with other agencies such as the council, housing and social care agencies.
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In order to provide a proactive response, there is a dedicated team called Operation Rapier.
These officers actively develop the intelligence submitted by local people about local issues. Common themes are issues relating to drug use or anti-social behaviour. In the last month, four drugs warrants were executed and nine arrests made for various offences ranging from drugs supply to commercial burglary and assault.
Operation Rapier also performed plain-clothed duties to disrupt crime relating to theft from retail premises and motor vehicles. In addition, two prolific offenders were remanded to prison for three and five months for theft-related offences.
The current trends in the Forest at the present time are theft, especially shoplifting, but also theft from motor vehicles.
There has been a spate of thefts of catalytic converters and this is because people sell them on for scrap.
As a result, we do regular inspections at the scrapyards and inspect their books, which we are legally entitled to do.
The yards must record accurate details of those bringing in scrap for sale. It is really important not to leave goods on display in vehicles, lock items away and out of site in garden sheds, otherwise it is easy pickings for the opportunist thief.
Operation Rapier is a proactive team of Forest officers, absolutely committed to tackling issues that matter to local people in the Forest.
If the public are concerned I would urge them to contact the police and, wherever possible, positive action will be taken.
We will strive to increase confidence and satisfaction, and keep people safe from harm.