On the beat and getting results

On the beat and getting results

Published by Justin Gladdis at 8:00am 30th March 2019.

Pair of uniformed officers working hard in Weymouth to tackle crime

Patrol officers in Weymouth have spent hundreds of hours on the beat this year working hard to improve community safety.

Two uniformed officers, Karoline and Sam, have been focusing their patrols on the town centre, the Esplanade, the train station and the Rodwell Trail.   
 
Since the start of 2019, Karoline and Sam have issued 27 verbal warnings, seven Community Protection Notices, carried out three alcohol seizures, made 10 name and address requests and undertook the removal of seven lots of abandoned property.

The specially trained officers are employed by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, who worked with Dorset Police, the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, British Transport Police, Dorset County Council and Weymouth BID to set-up the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.  
    
Karoline, who along with Sam, has been getting to know the community and business owners, said:

"Our role is to deter anti-social behaviour and reassure people. We have been busy and there are only two of us. Our time is sometimes taken-up dealing with incidents, so please give us a chance and remember we are trying our best, but we cannot be everywhere at once!

"We are very visible and people want to talk to us, which is great, although it does mean it can take a long time to get around the town centre. Please do come and talk to us though, especially if anything has made you feel unsafe, you can speak to us or email us."

Anyone can email the patrol officers. From 1 April their new address will be: patrol@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk  any emails to their old address will be automatically forwarded.

Now the warmer weather is approaching Karoline and Sam will be out on their bikes, which will allow them to cover even more ground.  

Sam added: "We have been working to get to know people, I think we are building up a good rapport with local people, traders and the homeless community. We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, but our job is not just to issue fines, it is more complicated than that.

"For example, we may see people who are in crisis or suffering from mental health problems or addiction, so it may be better for them and the wider community if we spend some time helping them find the services they need. Every day is different."

The patrol officers never know what they will have to deal with. Practical incidents they have managed recently include assisting the police with a suspect package on the Esplanade on 22 March, clearing up syringes, they have also had to remove nine people from Weymouth Train Station and four from public toilets.

They have also assisted paramedics with two overdose cases, helped a group of children one after one had been assaulted, located a person who was reported missing and helped a homeless man get emergency dental treatment.    
 
The special training the officers undertook is very thorough. It included extensive security checks and vetting, fitting equipment such as body armour as well as providing detailed training so officers can carry out some police and council enforcement powers, such as issuing fixed penalty notices, and enforcing the Public Space Protection Order.
 
The order gives officers certain powers such as being able to require people to surrender alcohol in designated areas. The officers will also be able to gather evidence and be involved in the enforcement of Community Protection Notices, which place restrictions on individuals that persistently act in an anti-social manner.

The patrol officers will continue their work from 1 April when they will be employed by Dorset Council.