More speed checks planned on roads across Doncaster: police column

It may not always hit the headlines – but speeding and parking issues are rated among the biggest issues that the police deal with by the Doncaster public, writes Insp Lynne Lancaster.

By David Kessen
Monday, 04 March, 2019, 07:08
P.C.S.O. Leanne Dobinson operates a speed gun on Dronfield High Street.

Although it may not always have the same profile as some dramatic investigations, it is an issue that affects many people day in day out.

Research has shown that the public view it as an important issue that affects them.

That was echoed recently when we ran our first online police community meeting on social media. The idea was to give people who may not ordinarily attend one of our community meetings a say.

They main issues raised were related to speeding and parking, with the places where issues were raised ranged from Wheatley to Rossington.

Following this we are going to step up our action. We will be doing a speeding operation in each of the areas we serve in Doncaster Central every week. That will mean we are doing six a week.

That will mean our officers will be visible on the roads each week.

In the town centre, people say they are already noticing an increase in police visibility, as we have been taking successful action to deal with ongoing issues there over aggressive begging and abuse of spice.

We have just run a survey, called Your Voice. We sent out questionnaires and asked people to respond.

The results are encouraging In the town centre area, it showed 27 per cent had seen an officer at least once every two weeks. That compares to about 17 per cent in Doncaster as a whole and 16 per cent in the force as a whole.

It’s good to see that people are starting to notice us. The issues in the town centre have not gone away but they  have greatly reduced. A lot of the work now being done is by the council’s complex lives teams, who have had some great successes.

There are three in particular that I am aware of who have been living on the streets for a long time who are now setting in homes. I know of one who brought chocolates in to the complex lives team to say thank you.

On Tuesday, we arrested two men who had no fixed address and had recently been released from prison.

In the early hours of the morning, they were arrested after a break-in at the Yorkshire Grey on Hall Gate.

They had been spotted by our CCTV operators who thought they looked suspicious. They followed their movements on the cameras, and our officers then arrested them on Hall Gate. Bottles of spirits and a charity box had been stolen. Both have been charged with burglary.

CCTV is an extra set of eyes and ears for us that can be a great help.

With that in mind, it is helpful that we are getting new CCTV cameras in Hexthorpe. We have had cameras there in the past, but the ones that we had there have become obsolete and needed replacing. CCTV have two benefits – you hope that people will be aware they are likely to be caught if they break the law  there, and if someone does break the law, there is potential evidence from the cameras.

We have recently seen drugs raids on houses which have recovered class A drugs. Officers had obtained warrants. Two ounces of a class A drug were seized in a raid on Samuel Street in Balby, as well as £4,500 cash. Three people were arrested and put on police bail.

And on January 31, there was a raid on Coronach Way, Rossington. On that occasion, 24 wraps of cocaine and £2,000 in cash were seized.

There have been other drugs related action too. We had the force’s drugs dog in the town centre on February 18, in the evening. There were 40 people checked after the dog had thought it had detected drugs, and four were cautioned for possession of drugs.

We also had a raid on a house on Parkinson Street in Wheatley Hall Road. A large quantity of spice was found, and four people were arrested.

But also found were two pedigree dogs – a daschund and a French bulldog. The people we arrested said they did not know who the does belonged to. One of the dogs had been chipped, but its most recent owner had not updated the database which matches the chips with the dogs’ owners.

It means we don't who owned the dogs. They are being well looked after in the mean time.

But this shows the importance of getting your dog chipped, and keeping the information up to date.

Finally, we ran a knife arch at Doncaster College on February 11. No knives were found, which was reassuring for the college. We did however find cannabis and a youth has been referred to our youth offending team.