Introducing the new Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for North Kesteven

	Introducing the new Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for North Kesteven, Rachel Blackwell

I’d like to introduce myself as the new Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for North Kesteven and tell you some of my plans for the time ahead.

I joined Lincolnshire Police in January 2000 as a 22-year-old probationer and have worked in Neighbourhood Policing area for the majority of those 22 years, with some time on Response and in Custody at Lincoln.  Previous roles include Neighbourhood Inspector for both Skegness and the Coast, and more recently for Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping, so I arrive to the post with a good understanding of the issues that affect us most.

What does our team look like at the moment?

The team I’ll be responsible for is made up of 2 Sergeants, 4 Constable Beat Managers and 9 PCSOs. The NK Team is split between bases at North Hykeham and Sleaford Police Stations – but the geographical area we are responsible for is vast, and we have a lot of ground to cover. Our success depends on a strong working relationship with North Kesteven District Council – and since taking on the post in the Summer I can say that I have been hugely impressed by their responsiveness, awareness and management of the key issues and cases on the area, and the commitment to getting stuck in together to make it one of the safest places to live, work and visit.   

I know the area well, and I’m looking forward to leading the team. Coming to the role, my plan has two main goals to focus on:

  • The issues that are causing most harm
  • Issues affecting the quality of life of our residents.

What will that look like? 

Individuals and families who make the lives of others around them a misery will be focused on with early intervention by us along with our partners. We often get involved in incidents where I feel that some callers could be doing more to help themselves in the first place, but prefer that Police resolve their differences before attempting to themselves. Take as an example, a report of a dispute between neighbours whose border hedge has grown out of control. Or another call where one man is placing a wheely bin so as to cause a neighbour inconvenience when getting off his drive. It is a tough position, but we will take a hard look at the circumstances of each call for service, and ask “does this really need the Police to resolve it?” My expectation is that a caller will have tried to sort things out amicably themselves or considered civil action.

Offenders who pose a threat or risk to the wellbeing of our community sit high on my agenda. My time in this area has shown that there is much we can do in terms of doggedly pursuing the very small minority of offenders that sit within otherwise quiet and enjoyable residential areas. Those offenders can very quickly make others’ lives a misery as they have no concern for committing crime or behaving threateningly / with menace. In my initial period in post, I have seen the area teams get to grips with these people and will take swift, decisive action to make sure that we take action, pursue prosecutions and get them removed.

Hotspots & Repeat Calls. Every week and every month, that will look slightly different. Our work will be to identify emerging problems and get to work quickly to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand. Youth related disorder persists as an enduring issue across North Kesteven, and I am tuned in to areas where this needs further policing activity. Equally, there is a pattern in some small pockets of our community where drug dealing exists at a street level, and dealers are taking residence in the homes of vulnerable people to do this, when they ordinarily live out of our county. We have recently enacted 4 significant drug warrants, making several arrests and seizing significant quantities of Class A drugs and cash.

Our daily business continues alongside all of our “hotspot” work, and the reality is that this is a demanding juggling act. My officers have to balance their visible patrols and engagements with attending to reported crimes, managing investigations, case managing local neighbour disputes and regular meetings with our community partners to ensure we are working together to tackle local problems and concerns.

Ultimately, our work should be designed around how we can best allow our residents to feel safe in the area we live and allow you to feel confident in your local police.

To do that, we need to better understand what our communities want us to focus on. We need to take on board the views and concerns of as many of our community residents and businesses as possible.  I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck in.

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