Specialist police team launched to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2024 - 19:51

Devon & Cornwall Police has introduced a new policing team which will work closely within communities to tackle specific short and long terms problems affecting local people and businesses, including antisocial behaviour (ASB), drugs, and spikes in crime.

The Neighbourhood Support Team (NST), will be deployed across South Devon. They will work alongside communities and neighbourhood police officers to target suspects, reduce offending and prevent crimes from happening in the future.

Chief Inspector Miranda Pusey, who leads the neighbourhood police teams across South Devon, said: “The dedicated resource is an absolute asset to our policing teams across South Devon. The NST police officers work in a different way to those who respond to emergency 999 calls and 101 reports; this team are called in to help solve short- and longer-term problems which are affecting whole communities. This can range from anything to an increase of vehicle thefts in a particular area, drug dealing in known locations or ASB in high footfall public areas.”

The role of the NST is to provide an increased presence in neighbourhoods as a reassurance to local communities and to deter crime. This is achieved by conducting high visibility foot patrols, house-to-house enquiries to encourage residents to report issues, and targeted enforcement activity, such as stop searches, to disrupt criminal activity like drug dealing.

“Problem-solving and preventative police work like this already takes place across communities, led by the local neighbourhood officers. But with the additional support from the NST, it means our neighbourhood officers can amplify the positive impact of the work that already takes place in local areas - making a positive difference, quicker,” Insp Pusey continued.

Sergeant Matt Gill, who heads up the NST, said: “I am looking forward to seeing what we’ll be able to achieve as a team. We know long-standing and reoccurring crimes like shoplifting have a far-reaching impact on the everyday lives of people and businesses, so it is vital we continue to proactively disrupt and deter offending from happening; that’s exactly what our team is here for.

“And, as a message to our community - we know that you may choose not to report crime or ASB to the police as you believe nothing will happen as a result of the report. However, I hope that by showing the proactive action taken by the NST, it will show you that we are listening, and we are stepping up our activity to target criminals and make our communities safer.

“But, without your reports it makes it harder for us to understand crime trends such as hotspot locations, days and times. So please, continue visiting our website to report a crime or pick up the phone to call 101. Your reports are an essential step in helping us make communities safer.”

In addition to the NST in South Devon, there are three other NSTs that are operational across Devon and Cornwall, covering key areas of the force.

If you have any information or concerns about crime in your area, please report it to Devon & Cornwall Police online via the website or by calling 101. You can also report information anonymously to Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555111. Your information could help save a life. If a crime is taking place, call 999.