Royston police officer says force is working on tackling tool theft increase

PUBLISHED: 12:01 30 March 2018

A police officer spoke about the increase in crime at last week's annual town meeting.

A police officer spoke about the increase in crime at last week's annual town meeting.

Archant

A Royston police officer told the annual town council meeting audience that tool thefts in the town have increased by around a third when compared with the same period last year.

A Royston police officer told the annual town council meeting audience that tool thefts in the town have increased by around a third when compared with the same period last year.

PC Peter Cook was speaking at last Thursday’s meeting at the town hall – which was also attended by county, district and town councillors, Royston town manager Geraint Burnell, and members of the public.

It didn’t take long for the recent spate of tool thefts to be addressed, and it was one of the hot topics on the night.

PC Peter Cook told the meeting: “We are currently carrying out increased evening and late-night patrols and have had a tool marking event on the heath.

“We are in process in securing funding for a second tool-marking event and I believe there’s a pot of money that has been discussed and will be dealt with shortly.

“There were 60 tool thefts in Royston last year, this year there’s 95 so it’s a definite increase.

“If you’ve got vans we have been looking out – the other day I did a patrol in rural areas and the town, going in and out of as many roads as possible.

“The A505 is our biggest thing that reduces number of officers available in Royston and the villages. Even tonight there’s been a broken down vehicle in the tunnel which we had to get most officers down to for safety.

“Our priorities are burglary, speeding and anti-social behaviour. These priorities have remained unchanged for sometime and when people express opnion what we should focus on these are high on the agenda. We are open to changing priorities and people can email with concerns.”

Barley plumber Nick White said: “I’d like to thank the police officers in Royston for laying on the tool marking event. It was well attended and a vehicle security expert gave advice to help deter van and tool thieves.

“I have spoken to the police and crime commissioner’s office to hopefully set up a meeting to discuss the epidemic of van/tool thefts we are experiencing. Tradespeople rely on their vehicle’s as a means of transport, storage, office and workshop and we are now living in fear of losing our livelihoods because of the huge rise in crime.

“The Government has reduced our hard working police forces to a point where they are struggling to cope now, and are failing decent and hardworking tradespeople.

“When people in authority call on a tradesperson in an emergency, don’t be surprised if they can’t attend as their van/tools have been stolen. Enough is enough.”

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