THE St Austell neighbourhood policing team were busy with a week of community engagement events last week in aid of Neighbourhood Policing Week 2024.

This week of action is an opportunity for police forces up and down the country to celebrate the achievements of their neighbourhood policing teams, and to reach out to local people to reveal more about the work officers are doing to protect and safeguard the community.

Whilst neighbourhood policing teams across Devon & Cornwall Police engage in a range of community activities on a daily basis, this account illustrates the variety of community-focused activities the St Austell neighbourhood policing team were involved in during the week.

During the first day of Neighbourhood Policing Week, the neighbourhood policing team and Specialist Officers were joined by police dog Reggie to conduct a Misuse of Drugs Act search on multiple rooms within a house of multiple occupancy within the town centre.

Falmouth Packet: Emergency services in the townEmergency services in the town (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

After a thorough search of each room, the team (assisted by Reggie) successfully located and seized a quantity of drugs which resulted in one arrest.  

Day two and day three saw the ‘No Excuse’ roads policing team patrol roads in the area. Over the two days, the team issued four tickets for offences including driving with no insurance and driving with no MOT. In addition, the team stopped two drivers who tested positive on a drugs swipe, who were both taken to custody.

Day three saw a number of arrests for a range of offences including drug-related crimes, burglary, fraud, and shoplifting. Through carrying out these arrests, the team successfully seized a quantity of drugs, and recovered some items which were stolen in a commercial burglary of a shop in East Hill, St Austell.

Later in the week, an arrest was made of a driver of a motorbike who had been causing multiple issues in the area including driving in an anti-social manner, failing to stop for the police, and driving with fake registration plates. This resulted in the motorbike being seized.

Multiple safeguarding and welfare visits were carried out on vulnerable members of the community who may have previously been brought to the attention of the police as victims of crime, or those who may have complex needs requiring support.

Falmouth Packet: Police dog Reggie during the Misuse of Drugs Act searchPolice dog Reggie during the Misuse of Drugs Act search (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

The dedicated visits were to check on people who are vulnerable to crimes including cuckooing, which is where criminals befriend a vulnerable person with the aim to take over their home and turn it into a base for their illegal activities, such as drug dealing. Following these visits, the team were able to assess each individual, address any urgent concerns, and refer those who were in need of further support to partner agencies for additional help.

Inspector Matt Trevivian said: “Neighbourhood Policing Week 2024 has been hugely successful in St Austell. We have reviewed a range of local policing issues, such as anti-social behaviour, motoring offences, and safeguarding visits, as well as carrying out educational talks in local schools and attending community meetings and pop-up events amongst our day-to-day activities. Anti-social behaviour is at the forefront of our activities in St Austell, and it is something we are prioritising at the moment.”

Neighbourhood Policing Week is a national event which ran from 22nd January – 26th January 2024. It recognises the work that neighbourhood policing teams do every day across the country to actively protect their communities from criminal activities.

“We want to encourage members of our community to engage with us to help combat any issues which we may be unaware of, or help us secure evidence to reduce crime in our community” added Inspector Trevivian. “Information about upcoming meetings and events can be found on our website”

Falmouth Packet: Seized motorbike, which had been spotted committing a number of offencesSeized motorbike, which had been spotted committing a number of offences (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

Members of the neighbourhood policing team were joined by partner agencies including Safer Cornwall, Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, Harbour Housing, and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team in a successful community safety drop-in event at White River Place.

Whilst this drop-in event was focused on providing reassurance and support for concerns about anti-social behaviour, this was also an opportunity for members of the public to discuss anything relating to their community and local safety concerns.

Helen Toms, Community Safety Officer from Cornwall Council, said: “Neighbourhood Policing Week has been a great opportunity for our local teams to highlight and promote the vital day to day work they do in the community.

"The Safer St Austell partnership was involved in hosting the community safety and anti-social behaviour pop up event in the town centre which gave us a great opportunity to talk to members of the public about our work, their concerns and answer any questions they had.”