January 21, 2022 8.00 pm

How police in Lincoln are tackling anti-social behaviour, drugs and theft in the city

The NPTs engage with the local community

Anti-social behaviour, a series of criminal damage incidents, and a rise in theft from vehicle offences are among the key issues being tackled by the Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Lincoln.

The NPTs are separate to Lincolnshire Police response officers and every geographical area within Lincoln itself and across the county has their own designated Neighbourhood Policing Team, whose work is currently being celebrated as part of a national week of action from January 17 to 23.

Within Lincoln there are two Neighbourhood Policing Inspectors – Claire Hime, who covers the city centre and south of the city, and Ian Richardson who focuses on the north. The teams are made up of dedicated officers, including community beat managers and PCSOs, who also engage with communities and local schools.

Inspector Hime, who has worked at Lincolnshire Police for 17 years, spoke to The Lincolnite about the Neighbourhood Policing Teams, the successful work they have done and ongoing problems that they are tackling in Lincoln.

She said there is an ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour in the city centre, while there have also been a series of criminal damage incidents in the Foster Street area since the start of January 2022, including rocks being thrown at properties.

In the south of the city, there has been a rise in theft from motor vehicle offences. The incidents have been sporadic and mapped by an analyst, and they have happened all over the Carholme and Boultham Wards of the city. There has also been an issue of youth anti-social behaviour in the Moorland Avenue and Westwick Avenue areas of Lincoln.

And the NPTs have been dealing with a problem with commercial burglaries in the city centre. After a series of incidents, the Neighbourhood Policing Team identified, from detailed descriptions, the incidents were committed by the same person, which led to a conviction.

Sgt Nicky Duke and PCSO Debbie Adams on winter patrols on Steep Hill in Lincoln. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

Inspector Hime said: “We do proactive patrols but the public are so important. If any area has been identified as having a repeat problem it will go on our daily tasking as a focus of patrol for specific times, locations and persons of interest in that area.

“The public are absolutely the key to how we achieve anything. We can’t operate without public input. The Neighbourhood Policing Teams are all about engagement with the public and we rely on information from the community, and respond to any issues that are reported.

“I would like to say a big thank you for all the reporting there has been and encourage people to continue doing so. Please get in touch with your neighbourhood team and we will do what we can to help.”

The NPTs have been working hard to tackle various other issues including drug supply. Inspector Hime said that a lot of enforcement work was done around drug supply issues back in 2018 when it was a big problem in the city.

From this work a number of factors were identified that were contributing to the problem, and the city had a high level of rough sleepers, which she said was “disproportionately high compared to nationally” at the time. Agencies in the city came up with their own specialist responses to the issue and ever since there has been a dedicated city centre policing team to tackle any arising issues.

PCSO Kay Rowntree on cycle patrols through Lincoln. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

Inspector Hime said: “Drug supply will always be an issue in a city setting. In terms of Lincoln city centre, the issue has been vastly reduced by the work that’s been done by agencies, with the assistance of communities, the public, and businesses in reporting issues.

“People will still see things that will cause them concern and we still have dedicated resources in place to respond to them, so please do report via the usual reporting systems or with your neighbourhood teams.”

The NPTs also work with agencies including City of Lincoln Council, Lincoln Big, We Are With You and a mental health professional to provide a multi-agency response to any problem solving issue.

They also have fortnightly meetings with representation from the city council to discuss CCTV and other key issues from all the various reporting systems from various agencies.

Inspector Hime would also like to encourage the people of Lincoln to contact their relevant Neighbourhood Policing Team with any concerns or suspicious activity that they have seen. Crime should be reported via 101 of 999, or the various reporting systems, but for general information about safety and to raise concerns it is advised to contact your neighbour team – find your local team here.

The NPTs also post updates via NextDoor or on social media, such as the ‘Lincoln Police’ Facebook page.

Meanwhile, it was announced earlier this month that new CCTV cameras will be installed north of Lincoln city centre after Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner secured an additional £50,000 of funding. Inspector Hime said it will be great “both in terms of crime prevention and detection”.