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Crime on estate down

PUBLISHED: 10:41 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:58 03 July 2010

CRIME and disorder has been cut on a Gorleston estate following a series of police operations in the space of the last few months.

Officers have successfully tackled incidents of theft and anti-social behaviour with the help of the community on the Magdalen estate.

CRIME and disorder has been cut on a Gorleston estate following a series of police operations in the space of the last few months.

Officers have successfully tackled incidents of theft and anti-social behaviour with the help of the community on the Magdalen estate.

Action taken to clamp down on previously high crime figures by the area's safer neighbourhood team has paid dividends with a series recent of arrests and convictions.

The Bradwell and Magdalen team is led by Insp Alun Gibbs who was appointed to the post in September.

He said: “When I came here last year the level of crime in the area was well above the target set. We had to look at what factors were leading to the increase in crime and did that through high visibility patrols and engaging with community.

“We found most of the anti-social behaviour was being caused within a handful of streets around Magdalen Way.

“A group of 10 to 15 individuals were causing problems within the Magdalen Way shopping centre. Another group of youths were stealing sat navs from vehicles, with much older adults encouraging them and selling the items on.

“Part of the problem was the Magdalen was very under-resourced compared to other areas like south Yarmouth.”

Armed with the results of their investigations the team launched Operation Caddington which has made a significant impact in the level of criminality on the estate.

It was the umbrella for a number of other successful operations that quickly bore fruit dealing with a number of offences.

Martin Good and Christopher Blyth were charged and convicted with theft from vehicles.

Insp Gibbs said: “Good was arrested when he was caught trying to steal from a police officer's car in Bradwell. Blyth was found in a possession of stolen mobile phone. In a very short space of time the intelligence picture increased significantly.”

Operation Cast was launched after a group of youths had been involved in a number of incidents of racially motivated anti-social behaviour at Yummies take away restaurant.

In one disturbance last August a delivery driver was attacked, and bricks, stones and bottles thrown at the police when they intervened.

In January, officers arrested a 17- year-old for racially aggravated disorder, he appeared at Great Yarmouth Youth Court in January where he pleaded guilty, was fined and subjected to a CRASBO that includes an exclusion order from various roads on the estate and from frequenting with named individuals in the borough.

In another police operation, 23 items of stolen property were discovered and two people charged with handling stolen goods.

Three families of those suspected of involvement were referred to family intervention programme working with child, youth offending, social and education services.

A group of young people were identified who were involved in the theft of motorbikes and mini motos worth £12,000 in the Gorleston area.

Following police investigations a 17 year old was arrested on suspicion of stealing two motorbikes.

“Since then the level of offending has dropped dramatically, which shows what can be done by working together with the public,” said Insp Gibbs.

“We asked parents if they knew their kids were involved in crime and lots of families were happy to engage with us. The police are the catalyst, but everybody should be coming together and contributing equally. It shows the impact you can have when that happens.”

Far from resting on their laurels the SNT are spearheading plans to place CCTV cameras at the Magdalen Way shopping precinct.

Meetings are also taking place with residents to consider putting up security gates on the stairways leading to flats above the shops. And in April the team are opening a beat base at Oriel College from where officers police the estate. The SNT is set to double in size to eight police officers and eight PCSOs in the spring.

Insp Gibbs started his career in the Metropolitan Police and was previously part of drug enforcement team in Yarmouth. He said: “It's a good, new and fresh challenge; the fact there has been such a dramatic impact in crime on the estate shows what can be achieved with help of the public and community.”

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