Category Archives: ANPR

Police op begins with a big bang

  • We’re now covering this police operation live here.

A HIGH profile police operation began with a bang with a series of dawn raids across Worcestershire this morning.

Operation Protect is the largest operation ever delivered across all communities served by the West Mercia/Warwickshire alliance.

One of our reporters, James Forrest, has been out with police this morning on drugs warrants.

The aim of Operation Protect, which involves more than 2,000 staff, is to show the commitment to protecting the public of ever single member of the West Mercia Police and Warwickshire workforce.

The operation began at 5am this morning and will see more than 40 warrants carried out alongside Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations to tackle criminals using the roads, community speed watch events, test purchase operations, schools visits to promote online safety, community engagement and crime prevention.

Individuals from all roles and positions are involved in the day; police officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), special constables, cadets, staff and volunteers.

Speaking about Operation Protect this morning Deputy Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “We want today to be an opportunity for us to open the doors on the world of policing to give you, the people we serve, a chance to see the work that is carried out 24/7 in order to protect you.

“Every single member of our alliance, no matter what their job title, plays an important role in protecting our communities from harm every day of the year.

“We are dedicated to being open and transparent. This our chance to give one clear strong message that we are here to catch criminals, prevent crime, tackle anti social behaviour and to engage with our communities to reassure them and to keep them safe. Today we are taking that opportunity.”


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Herefordshire police join major operation today

Chief Constable of West Mercia Police David Shaw and Supt Sue Thomas at 5am #OpProtect briefing in #Hereford. Photo: @WMerciaPolice

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in News

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by Paul Broome, Reporter

Major police operation in Herefordshire today

Chief Constable of West Mercia Police David Shaw and Supt Sue Thomas at 5am #OpProtect briefing in #Hereford. Photo: @WMerciaPolice

First published

in News

Last updated

by Paul Broome, Reporter

Joint operation to stop illegal scrap metal collections

Illegal scrap metal collections are being targeted.

Thames Valley Police has carried out a joint operation with Cherwell District Council to target illegal scrap metal collection in the area.

The operation took place on Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12 and was part of the national metal theft days of action, which aims to cut scrap metal theft and illegal dealing.

Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to find mobile scrap metal dealers, and conducted roaming patrols of the area.

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About 20 officers were involved from the Cherwell neighbourhood team, with 34 vehicles stopped during the operation including one vehicle seized for not having the correct insurance.

Sergeant Becky Fishwick of Banbury Police Station, said: “I am pleased with the result of the operation. We have a number of licensed scrap metal collectors who collect in the Cherwell area, but we also receive information from the community of the people collecting scrap metal that are unlicensed.

“Targeting unlicensed scrap metal collectors sends a message to our licensed collectors that we will make sure they are complying with the terms of their licence, and sends a strong message to those collecting scrap metal illegally that we will not tolerate this and will take action.”

It is an offence for a scrap metal dealer to purchase scrap metal for cash – dealers must pay by cheque or by electronic transfer and they must record transactions.

Mobile scrap collectors must have a collector’s licence issued by the local authority. Cherwell residents wishing to dispose of scrap metal should use a licensed dealer.

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To confirm whether a dealer has a licence, residents can call Cherwell District Council on 01295 227001.

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Merseyside drugs gang jailed over Welsh cocaine ring

Merseyside members of a 17-strong drugs gang responsible for smuggling vast amounts of cocaine from Liverpool to peddle in Wales were today jailed.

Four drugs crooks from Prescot, Whiston, St Helens and Birkenhead were among those locked up for a combined 59 years.

Sentencing them at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Paul Thomas said: “People like you who decide to get involved in dealing with large quantities of cocaine do so in the knowledge that if caught they will get long sentences in jail.

“You all took a calculated risk and now that you have lost that particular gamble you will pay the price.”

Operation Redcliff: John Underwood

Dyfed Powys police bugged the gang’s phones, tracked their cars using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and employed expert undercover work to smash the cocaine ring, which operated in towns including Carmarthen, Milford Haven and Pembroke.

Arrests were made in April last year after cocaine worth £50,000 was seized in west Wales.

John Underwood, 30, of Coronation Drive, Prescot, was caught with drugs in a van in Cwmgwili, Carmarthen, by police in September 2012. He was jailed for eight years.

Operation Redcliff: David Campbell

Peter Cummins, 29, from Byron Avenue, Whiston, Merseyside, was given six and a half years for his “significant role”.

Richard Houghton, 32, of Ridings Close, St Helens, got four and a half years for his role as a drugs courier.

David Campbell, 58, of Patterson Street, Birkenhead was jailed for three years. He was caught with the cocaine worth £50,000.

All pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, while Rebecca Underwood, 28, of Whiston – partner of John Underwood – was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for 12 months for laundering the gang’s money.

Operation Redcliff: Richard Houghton

Mark Tinsley, 32, of Dennett Road, Prescot was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for the community for money laundering.

Others jailed for their roles in the drugs conspiracy included former Welsh water polo international Jamie Evans, 42, of Crud y Wawr, St Clears.

Operation Redcliff: Peter Cummins

He was described as the “lynchpin” of the West Wales part of the drugs operation and jailed for eight years.

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Steely resolve to restore the Royston ‘ring of steel’

08:32 19 March 2015

Addo Addison


Calls to bring back a controversial CCTV monitoring system have intensified after a string of burglaries in Royston.

In a particularly unsettling spate reported by the Crow earlier this month, four break–ins happened in a single day, with a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer, watches, jewellery and make-up all taken by intruders.

The burglaries have prompted a public discussion to bring back the Royston ‘ring of steel’ – the name given to a cordon of security cameras which monitored all cars going in and out of the town.

Police were ordered to switch off cameras after they were deemed unlawful in 2013.

In the wake of the recent crimes, Addo Addison, a chauffeur who lives in the Templars Gate development, created the Facebook group Royston for ANPR, which had 515 new members within 24 hours of going live.

Addo said: “I set up the group to get an idea of how many people would support bringing back the Royston ‘ring of steel’ and was overwhelmed by the response.

“I think it’s mainly people who have something to hide who are against the ANPR system.

“Everywhere you go you are watched on CCTV.”

Addo, along with other members of the community, plans to raise the issue at a town council meeting next Thursday at 7.30pm in Royston Town Hall.

Gary Crook, who lives in the town, said: “I support bringing back the ANPR system. It would make me feel a lot safer at night knowing something proactive is being done.

“Some will talk about Big Brother watching, but law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about. I’m all for it.”

Royston MP Sir Oliver Heald is backing the call to bring back the ANPR system and has contacted senior police officers to discuss what can be done.

He said: “I have written to the chief constable and I’m awaiting his response.

“I am also going to contact Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd.”

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Call for reinstatement of Royston ‘ring of steel’ after couple’s home is raided during burglary spree

08:32 05 March 2015

Terry Oram stands next to the door of his house which was broken in


The victim of a burglary in which irreplaceable jewellery was stolen is calling on the controversial Royston ‘ring of steel’ to be brought back to protect the town.

Terry Oram stands next to the door of his house which was broken in

Gill Oram of Nightingale Way has contacted Royston’s MP Sir Oliver Heald with a plea to reintroduce security cameras which monitored all traffic going in and out of the town, which was sidelined after it was ruled unlawful last year.

The 61-year-old said: “When my husband told me we’d been broken into on Thursday, I felt absolutely terrible.

“When I got home I just broke down. Unless this has happened to you, you don’t understand how it feels.

“For people who said the ring of steel was against their privacy, I’d say go and talk to the people who have had this done to them. It’s a horrible feeling.”

The door window thieves smashed through.

Gill and husband Terry had a number of precious items stolen from their house in the burglary.

Thieves stole a necklace Gill’s late brother had bought for her mother, as well as rings of sentimental value and watches that cannot be replaced.

Now Gill feels unsafe in her own home. She said: “The other day Terry went out and I have never felt unsafe before, but I did then.”

Daughter Kerri is echoing her mother’s call to bring back the ‘ring of steel’.

She said: “My mother is feeling awful. It’s not just the personal items, it’s the thought of people coming into your own home, seeing pictures of the family who they are stealing from and not caring.

“With Royston being a small town, everyone knows each other and people are concerned that people are coming into the town and doing this.

“Nobody wants to feel unsafe outside their house, worried about returning home.”

Sir Oliver has backed Gill’s call to bring back the controversial automatic number plate recognition surveillance system.

He told the Crow: “I was a strong supporter of the Royston ANPR and went out with police to see it in action, when they successfully arrested a drug dealer.

“I was sad to see it scaled back following representations to the information commissioner by one local resident.

“I would like to see this reviewed and will contact the chief constable.

“The last time this happened last year, they did catch those responsible.”

Gill’s was one of two houses targeted in the same street on Thursday between 11am and 3pm, with several jewellery items also stolen at the second address.

Two homes in Byron Road were also targeted between 11am and 12 noon the same day, although it is not clear whether anything was taken from either.

All four burglaries involved theives smashing the windows of back or side doors to get inside.

A spokeswoman for Herts police said: “Anyone with information about the burglaries, or who saw any suspicious activity in the area around the times stated is urged to contact police via the non-emergency number 101.”

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Avoid being a victim of thieves this spring by securing your sheds and outbuildings

As spring approaches and the weather starts to get warmer police are warning people to lock up their garden sheds and outbuildings.

The Bracknell Forest Neighbourhood Policing Team is working with the Community Safety Partnership to raise awareness of springtime crime prevention advice.

In the first 10 days of February 54 garages were broken into.

Garden sheds, outbuildings and garages are a popular target for thieves as they are likely to contain expensive items such as lawn mowers, hedge cutters, pedal bikes and power tools.

This shed was one of the worst hit by vandals

Inspector Dave Bryan said: “We aim to raise awareness of outbuilding, garden and shed security and we will be working in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council to provide local residents with vital crime prevention advice, to help prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime during the upcoming spring and summer period.”

The teams are hosting an event at Homebase, in Wokingham Road, on Sunday, March 29, from 11am until 3pm, where they will provide security information and crime prevention advice.

Insp Bryan continued: “In addition to these events, the neighbourhood teams will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the town and the rural areas. The team will also be carrying out a series of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operations and proactively patrolling burglary hot spot areas to target known offenders.

“We will be out and about, so if you have any concerns or just want some advice and information, approach your local neighbourhood officers who will be there to assist you. We will also be sending out messages via Thames Valley Alert to residents with crime reduction advice, so I would urge people to sign up by visiting .”

Police recommend getting a sturdy lock.

Councillor Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “Our community safety team is working with local police to encourage us to consider the security of sheds, garages and outbuildings in the same way as we look after the safety and security of our homes.

“How much would you lose if your shed or garage was broken into and how inconvenient would it be if your expensive lawn mower or bike was stolen?

“With the warmer weather fast approaching and with us spending more time working and playing outdoors, it’s important to think about what we store in our outbuildings.”

The Bracknell Forest Neighbourhood Policing team and the Community Safety Partnership are asking residents to consider the following crime prevention advice:

  • Make access to areas where sheds and outbuildings are located as difficult as possible – lock all side and rear gates using a bolt and padlock or hasp and staple lock and make sure fencing/hedging is secure. Prickly plants can be used around the fence line to deter access
  • Install passive security lighting in gardens.
  • Keep sheds, garage and outbuilding locked with good quality locks – padlock alarms are available from hardware shops that sound if any attempt is made to tamper with it
  • Consider putting bars on the windows of sheds etc. to prevent break-ins.
  • Strengthen the security of sheds by reinforcing door hinges, fitting doors with non-returnable screws or coach bolts
  • Not leave tools and equipment in gardens but keep them locked away and consider securing these with cables and chains with robust padlocks
  • Have power tools, garden implements and pedal cycles security marked with a post code and house number and deterrent warning stickers placed on the shed/garage/outbuilding windows. Use an ultra violet pen or a permanent marker pen on more heavy duty items such as lawn mowers

If you see anyone acting suspiciously around a property or outbuilding report it to police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For crime prevention tips follow @TVP_Bracknell .

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