From early next year, the new Inner South Safer Neighbourhood Team will police across the three Inner South wards. Belle Isle and Middleton will move from the Rothwell team to join the existing Holbeck team, which covers Beeston, Cottingley, Holbeck, Hunslet and Stourton.
Inspector Chris Bowen, speaking at Thursday’s Beeston Community Forum, explained that the team would increase from the current level of 18 PCs, 18 PCSOs and 3 Sergeants, to 27 PCs, 23 PCSOs and 7 Sergeants.
He said that he intended to use five constables to focus on a single patch each and work on longer term solutions to each area’s problems. They will work with partner organisation and draw up action plans. He also intends to shake up the partnership tasking meetings to short weekly meetings.
Bowen reported that most crime statistics are down in the area. He said they are significantly lower than when he last worked in the area. For example there were 166 house burglaries in the last six months, down 10% on last year, but in 2000 it wasn’t uncommon for there to be 15 burglaries a day.
He said he was concerned about burglaries from sheds and garages and urged everyone to make sure their shed had a lock on it. He also reminded residents to mark their property, citing the arrest of a man with 11 lawnmowers in his flat. If every lawnmower had been marked, the man could have been charged with all the offences and the mowers could have been reunited with their owners.
Finally he encouraged residents to ring in any incidents they are concerned about on the 101 number. Even if the police can’t intervene then and there, the intelligence built up from reported incidents helps them patrol more effectively in the future.