December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 30, 2013
Anti-social behaviour, fuel thefts and preventing criminal damage will be the focus for Holt’s newest police officer.
PC Nick Smith, 31, from north Norfolk, is the Holt Safer Neighbourhood Team’s (SNT) new beat manager.
And despite only starting a month ago he praised the community of Holt and the surrounding 23 villages and called it “fantastic”.
Mr Smith, who grew up in North Wales and spent three years in the army, said: “It is very different here but they both have their natural beauty, which is great.”
He has been with Norfolk police for six years, his first job being a response officer at the Bowthorpe station in Norwich for a year.
Mr Smith has spent the rest of his career as a response officer at the Fakenham police hub, covering Fakenham, Wells and Holt, which involved being called out to any kind of emergency.
He said being in the response team would help in his new role because it would allow him to be more “robust” with people and engage with the various issues.
“Within the response role it was very much going from job to job, whereas the SNT role will be more pro-active and long-term. It will involve setting up initiatives to preventing crime from happening in the first place,” he added.
The SNT team, based on Norwich Road, includes Sgt Tony Toynton, PCSO Guy Slade and PCSO Rachel Howard.
They pick up the crime concerns at community Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) meetings, held every three months, which help form the three main crime priorities.
For the next three months Holt SNT will be focusing on anti-social behaviour around Holt, preventing fuel thefts in rural areas and tackling a predicted increase in criminal damage.
Mr Smith said: “The same as in any rural community, there are challenges with regard to rural crime.
“Rural crime is massively diverse and the landscape can make tackling it challenging, with regard to looking for suspects.”
It is expected that fuel crime, in particular oil thefts, from homes will become an issue over the next three months because of colder weather.
There was a rise in criminal damage in Holt, including graffiti and car vandalism, this time last year.
One way Mr Smith hopes to target anti-social behaviour is working with councils, social services and groups including the Holt Youth Project, which he said had brilliant links with the police.
The next Holt SNAP meeting is on November 20 at the Holt Youth Project, Old Station Way, at 7pm. To contact Holt SNT call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.