Police set to return to police stations in Doncaster towns and villages: police column

Plans are in place which will see police officers returning to some of Doncaster’s biggest towns and villages, write Ch Supt Shaun Morley.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 7:50 am
Lisa Sadler, of St Leger Homes, resident Edwin Pearson, council officer Julie Bibby, PSCO Annette Flavell, and council officer Theresa Stothard, at Edlington Police Station, last year

While there has always been a police presence across the borough, many parts of Doncaster where we have had police stations have not had locally based teams operating from those bases.

But that is now set to start to change.

In the new year, we will bring a local team of officers back to Edlington Police Station. They will be a team of community officers, who will be based at Edlington Police Station, and will be doing community policing work from there.

In recent years, as numbers of officers have fallen through austerity, the Edlington area has been policed by members of the Doncaster West community policing team, based in Mexborough.

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Edlington will still be part of the Doncaster West team operating under the Neighbourhoods Inpector for that area. That neighbourhood team also has officers based in Adwick.

But we feel that Edlington needs its own full time policing team, so we will be putting that in place, based in the village, hopefully from the end of February.

We need to get some work done on the Edlington Police Station building first to make sure all the security that we need for a modern neighbourhoods police station is in place.

Funding is already in place for more officers, and our ambition is that that over the next three years we will be back at pre-austerity levels of policing in terms of the number of officers that we have.

We have already been given 20 new posts. A review of community support officers will also mean additional Neighbourhood officers being posted to Doncaster.

The first visible signs of this will the at the new team in Edlington.

The plan is to increase the officers in our neighbourhoods, and to place officers in those communities. Further into the future we would like to re-establish a team based in Rossington as well, and hopefully other parts of Doncaster too.

Doncaster West has complex geography and it is important that we can respond to the communities that need us the most.

We have chosen Edlington as the first community to bring back its own community team due to the calls we get for our services. There is a policing need there, particularly in terms of antisocial behaviour issues. There is a clear policing need and a requirement for problem solving.

We aim to assure people of an appropriate response. I think the right thing to do as we as we expand our resourses is to put teams in the areas where there is the biggest policing need.,

We have started to see significant numbers of officers currently being trained up in our tutor unit in Doncaster Central, and that has been the case for the last couple of months, and that will be the case for some time.

*Last summer, there was concern that Doncaster town centre had significant issues in terms of begging and antisocial beviour. Since then, we and our partner organisations such as the Complex Lives team at the council, St Leger Homes and Aspire, have worked hard to address the problems. We have worked hard to stop the supply of drugs to vulnerable people on the streets of Doncaster.

A year ago, we had over 100 people living rough on the streets. The last figures we have seen had shown it as reduced to 11. Begging and antisocial behaviour are not issues that have completely gone away, but there have been significant improvements. My personal view is Doncaster has one of the best integrated approaches to this sort of issue regionally and nationally.

*Last week we launched a trial scheme to tackle anti-social motorcyclists in the borough.The Green Lane Warden scheme is the result of extensive partnership work between officers from our Operational Support Unit, the local authority and the Trail Riders Federation and was sparked by concerns about misuse of ‘green spaces’ and off-road riding in the Doncaster area.This is a scheme we are promoting alongside Doncaster Council.

The wardens will provide a high visibility presence in the areas where we have reports of ASB related to off-road bikes and quads. The wardens will be patrolling, advising people about rights of access and reporting incidents to the council and the police. They will in essence be the eyes and ears of the authorities, thereby increasing the chances of being reported when riding illegally.

From our point of view nuisance motorcyclists are a significant issue, and one that people see in their neighbourhoods on a day to day basis, so it is a big priority for our teams.