As we all look forward to a relaxing and peaceful Christmas, the festive season is proving to be a busy period for Greater Manchester Police. This new column will provide a monthly update on local crime trends from Inspector Mark Coulson and his team of police officers and PCSOs at Altrincham Police Station.
Although burglaries from dwellings have been in decline over recent months, the mix of darker afternoons and a lapse in home security have combined with a spike of burglaries within the area.
The majority of the burglaries are taking place early afternoon/evening hours with access being gained via back doors and windows. To reduce your risk, some very simple steps can be taken including setting your alarm whenever you leave (even for a short amount of time), using timer switches to turn lights on/off and locking windows and doors at all times. Setting up a Home Watch scheme is also a great way of everyone working together to keep an eye out on neighbouring houses.
At Christmas, avoid displaying presents that can be seen from outside your home and dispose of packaging carefully, otherwise you will be displaying a shopping list outside your home to potential burglars that you have brand new TV, laptop, computer etc.
Fake £20 notes are in circulation within the Altrincham area with recent victims including users of auction sites and retail outlets in Altrincham.
The quality of the fake notes was high but the serial number was the same on all bank notes. One male has been arrested but investigations are ongoing and unfortunately the bank notes are still in circulation. Double-check all bank notes and if you’re not sure refuse them! Call 101 to report any fake notes.
Anti-social behaviour continues to be the number one reported crime in Altrincham. Some progress has been made in respect of securing criminal behaviour orders and civil injunctions against known individuals, but the process to apply for these relies on information from the public so a complete evidence package can be made when applying for orders.
You may recall the wanted male featured in Altrincham Today in terms of suspected criminal damage to ticket machines at Altrincham Metrolink station. This mindless vandalism proved costly to repair the damaged machines but thanks to information from the public, the male has now been identified. This proves that your calls do make a difference in fighting crime in Altrincham!
Additional resources are in place on the run up to Christmas around Altrincham town centre and licensed premises with extra patrols to reassure everyone that they can have a great night out in a safe environment. Automatic number plate recognition patrols (ANPR), targeting vehicles linked to burglaries, and extra patrols around Post Offices to coincide with winter fuel payments to our senior community are also in place.
The “None for the road” campaign has been launched to target drunk/drug drivers. If you’re planning a night out, plan ahead on how you’ll get home, nominate a non-drinking driver or pre book a taxi and don’t drive if you have consumed ANY alcohol or drugs.
Everyone has different tolerances to drink and drugs, so GMP always recommend “none for the road”. If you suspect someone is planning to drive drunk/drugged Call 101 or 999 if the driver has already left so that GMP can save lives!
Christmas can sometimes cause additional tensions and stress within families and friends but GMP take domestic abuse very seriously.
GMP’s aim is to work with partner agencies to help stop the abuse so victims can regain control of their lives and move forwards to a safer, happier future. Over the coming weeks GMP’s support will be enhanced with specific domestic violence vehicles staffed by police and expert partner agencies ensuring an enhanced response to all reports.
In addition, GMP will be launching a new initiative in which follow up meetings are undertaken to build relationships, identify underlying issues (alcohol, drugs etc) and creating a clear intervention plan supported by police officers, victim support, PCSOs and other specialist agencies.
It’s important to break the silence and talk to someone – friends, family, GP, colleague, neighbour – as many abusers rely on silence to continue the abuse. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or are worried about a friend or family member, always dial 999 in an emergency.
We always knew that Altrincham residents were very charitable but this year’s Christmas Hamper appeal has been overwhelming. All of the officers at Altrincham Police Station would like to thank everyone for their incredible support and donations that will make a real difference to the vulnerable and isolated members of the Altrincham community.
GMP officers will be working over Christmas keeping you safe & secure. If you need them in an emergency dial 999 or 101 for non emergencies. I hope you have a safe and peaceful Christmas and I look forward to updating you next month on new operations and initiatives from the GMP team at Altrincham.