Through the eyes of a Community Beat Manager: Newland Ward
PC Wayne Mellors works within the North Hull Neighbourhood Policing Team, more specifically within the ward covering Newland Avenue and the surrounding areas. He’s done this role for two years, and has spent most of his career policing North Hull, firstly as a PCSO for 11 years and now as a PC for the last four.
Newland Avenue is a vibrant, bustling part of Hull that has a strong residential and business community. It is unique to other areas of Hull, as it consists of people who have lived in the city for a few months (students), but also people who have lived in Hull their entire life!
Sadly, criminals and those who behave anti-socially can use densely populated areas as their playgrounds, however the local team are working hard to tackle the residents’ priority issues and have seen many criminals, and their organisations, disrupted in recent weeks.
PC Wayne Mellors said: “Over the past two years I have worked closely with the community around Newland Avenue, as well as the local authority and our other partner agencies, to tackle the issues concerning them the most.
“Through Humber Talking; graffiti, begging and drug activity were highlighted to us as being the primary concerns, which has informed the activity we’ve been taking.
“A total of 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs, or possession with intent to supply drugs, from cannabis to heroin in the last two months. These arrests have all come from stop and searches in the area whilst out patrolling.
“A further two people were arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis, after a warrant found 200 cannabis plants across two properties.
“We continue working closely with the local authority and Newland Residents Association in relation to graffiti that has been popping up across the area. So far, four people have been arrested and dealt with for criminal damage, two specifically on this ward.
“We are progressing several further investigations to continue rooting out those who are destroying the beauty of the area, and I would encourage anyone who witnesses graffiti taggers in action to call us, so that we can take appropriate action. Graffiti often goes unreported, but can have a huge impact on the community, which is why I would urge people to get in touch with us.
“Another issue we work to robustly tackle is street drinking and begging. Newland Avenue is subject to a Public Space Protection Order, meaning those who are drinking on the street and acting in an anti-social manner can expect to be challenged by officers and have their alcohol seized.
“We have worked with our licensing department previously to ensure license holders and shops are not serving people who are too drunk and behaving inappropriately. Understandably as the Covid restrictions ease, we will continue to monitor this and work with premises to ensure people are able to enjoy themselves, but are being safe, sensible and considerate of others at the same time.
“With those begging on the streets, we in the first instance try to engage with them and understand more about their situation. Where people have unfortunately found themselves homeless and are struggling to get out of that situation, we work with partners such as Emmaus and the local authority to help and support them in any way we can, and are pleased to say that many of these people now have their own accommodation and are doing well in life.
“However, not all beggars are homeless and instead try and exploit local people to fund their habits. It is possible for these people to be charged with begging offences, which has been the case for one man earlier this year who was persistently causing issues. A Community Behaviour Order is now in place to prevent him from coming back into the area for any reason.
“A further three people are also subject to Community Protection Notices in relation to this activity and I am pleased to say, they have not breached these orders.
“Again, I would urge the community to report these offences to us so that we can investigate. Whilst these people may not necessary be violent or aggressive, their behaviour can make people feel anxious and unsafe, which we can’t tolerate.
“Whilst we have made some significant progress on tackling the concerns of the community, we understand there is still more to do, and that not everything can be solved by policing.
“When I’m not speaking with victims or suspects of reported crimes, I’m looking at long term problem solving with partners and the community through patrols, meetings or information sharing.
“Together with our partners, and through receiving information from residents in the area, we can build better solutions by way of engagement, enforcement or community based initiatives, mainly aimed at early intervention and crime prevention.
“Your local team are dedicated to making Newland Avenue and its surroundings a safer place to live and continue to be actively embedded within the community. We are continually on patrol either by foot, bike or car in the area, so please do come say hi and speak to us about any issues you are experiencing if you see us out and about. Otherwise, you can report any information via our 101 service, 999 in an emergency or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you would prefer to report anonymously.”
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