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Police winning over hearts and minds of community in West Swindon
CRIME around West Swindon is one of the lowest rates in the town because bobbies on the beat are doing all they can to win the trust and respect of the community.
Getting officers out on the street and meeting with residents, getting to know their names and faces, is key to the success story of West Swindon, with crime levels at a premium low.
Tom Turner, of the West Swindon neighbourhood policing team, said: “The help of the community is essential to how we do our job, we would not be able to do it without them.
“The biggest change recently is that we have two new beat managers, and by getting out more we have got to know people in the area which has given us some very good intelligence. That is because we have built up that trust and respect.
“You will always get a spike in crime from time to time, and we cannot predict everything, as there will always be unforeseen circumstances and anomalies. One type of crime will go up and the other will go down.
“We currently have three police priorities in the area. We are focusing on theft, which is mainly security theft, things like people leaving their bikes unattended or cars unlocked. In the nicer weather it is a more common occurrence, as people are prone to leaving their bikes in parks and such places. It is more opportunistic theft, and people are leaving these things open for them.
“We are patrolling in the hours of night time making sure we haven’t got people hanging around the streets.
“The second priority is anti-social behaviour, mainly for problems around just a couple of isolated streets where we have residents reporting anti-social behaviour in the parks and play areas. It is normally people drinking late at night and causing a lot of noise.
“Lastly we are concentrating on drugs, both users and dealers. We have done very well in cracking down on this aspect through very good community intelligence.“ “I think a lot of these priorities go hand in hand. In my experience people who might be farming and using drugs will often also be the ones causing theft. Our work behind that has really been key in driving down anti-social behaviour in general.
“Only last Wednesday we had a young male arrested in the area charged with the supply of cannabis, and since July we have had three drug warrants executed in the area. Last weekend, working as a plain clothes officer, we stopped 15 people gathering late at night.
“The feeling in West Swindon is largely positive, and we do the best we possibly can to get the results they want.”
Mayor of Swindon, Nick Martin, agreed face to face policing is bringing positive results.
He said: “Officers will stand by the gates of schools and the children will get to know them, and are very involved with the local community. That is why the crime rate is quite low, if people know their policing team, they are less likely to cause crime.”
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