Blues and twos; marked cars rushing to a scene; lights flashing; sirens wailing. Those might be the images conjured up by the mention of response policing, but that’s not always the case.
Intelligence-led proactive policing is a huge part of the work our teams do to keep those that live and work in the Humberside Police area safe, and that includes our response officers.
As part of Response Week 2022, PC Buckley spoke about an example of how these proactive policing methods are helping to make the streets of Grimsby and Cleethorpes safer.
“One Friday night shift, myself and a colleague were tasked with plain-clothed patrols. There were no specific objectives other than conducting patrols in targeted hotspot areas.”
Hotspot locations are small areas of a neighbourhood where intelligence has revealed patterns of criminal activity or crime.
“Our intel team had provided information about burglaries and weapons offences in a particular area of the East Marsh and had also informed us that known drug-users were gathering nearby,” said PC Buckley.
It didn’t take long for these plain-clothed patrols to reap rewards.
“We overheard a conversation in a vehicle nearby. The people asked if we were waiting for someone, and we had a brief chat before they moved off. As they drove off, we heard them mention an address and say ‘go there, that’s where they are’.
“We were intrigued! After walking round the corner to the address, we saw the vehicle again. Another car showed up soon after. Two men got out of this one and went into the address. Now we were really interested.
“They came back out five minutes later so we approached them and identified ourselves as police.”
The men were searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and a substantial quantity of suspected Class A substances and a large amount of cash were uncovered. They were immediately arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.
“As we were in plain clothes, we didn’t have the usual equipment such as bags, gloves etc. and so uniformed officers were requested. They soon arrived and assisted us in carrying out searches of the property and vehicle.
“Nothing was found but, due to the nature of the incident, further searches of the men’s properties were conducted. One of these searches resulted in weapons and drugs being seized.”
This may not be the approach that is expected from response officers, but with weapons and a substantial quantity of drugs off our streets, it demonstrates how important this method is in helping to improve our communities.
“Proactive policing like his is good,” added PC Buckley. “But to make sure it’s worthwhile, you know you have to get results when you do it, and generally results that are a bit different to the ones you’d get in uniform.”