Category: Crime

Potential victim of trafficking safeguarded in modern slavery operation

A potential human trafficking victim was safeguarded as part of a joint operation led by Bedfordshire Police.

The man was identified by police and National Crime Agency officers at Toddington Services on Thursday (14 November 2019).

He had been dropped off at the services for further transport to begin work at a car wash.

However, officers identified some concerns around his welfare and further questioning suggested the man had been trafficked. He was then safeguarded and referred to support services.

Bedfordshire Police led the operation alongside Immigration Enforcement, Central Bedfordshire Council, the East of England Ambulance Service and the Highways Agency.

Eighteen lorries were pulled over and 12 were searched over the course of the day.

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Eyes on the road, not on your phone

Anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving will be fined £200 and six points

Bedfordshire Police is clamping down on motorists who use mobile devices and reminding them to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone.

Drivers using a mobile phone while behind the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, according to a recent Parliamentary report.

A moment’s distraction is all it takes to crash, resulting in potentially devastating, life-long consequences. Not only the driver, but their passengers, other road users and pedestrians too.

More than 1,500 people were caught using their mobile phone across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire last year, with 371 caught in Bedfordshire.

Of these, two thirds were under the age of 40. Anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving will be fined £200 and will receive six penalty points. Any driver caught using a mobile phone within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked.

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Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit opens up project bidding process

A £400,000 pot for projects to tackle serious violence and exploitation involving young people is now accepting bids for funding.

The Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) has been established to create a network of different agencies and groups to tackle the root causes of things like gang membership.

Community groups are being encouraged to bid for funding for initiatives worth up to £20,000 which can work with young people and divert them away from violence.

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Poppy to feature on police vehicles across Beds, Cambs and Herts

Poppies will again feature on a number of the vehicles in the Beds, Cambs and Herts Joint Protective Services fleet in the build-up to Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.

PC Mark Fairclough from the tri-force Road Policing Unit said: “We displayed poppies on a number of our cars last year and I am pleased we are able to do this again to remember our fallen service personnel and the ultimate sacrifice they made.”

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Bedfordshire PCC pledges almost £100,000 to revolutionise the lives of families with drug and alcohol problems

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has become the first PCC in the country to fund Family, Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) which have been proven to be 50% better than any other method of care proceedings at helping parents to shake off addiction and retain care of their children five years on.

Commissioner Holloway has agreed to provide £50,000 of funding and also to pay for a specialist Domestic Abuse Expert to support parents attending the Family Drug and Alcohol Court.

She also provided the lead Judge – Judge Patrick Peruško – with the services of her Chief of Staff to help other key partners across Bedfordshire, such as those in the NHS, Public Health, Mental Health services and Safeguarding leads of the three local authorities to work together to bring all these parties into partnership to fund and support the unique FDAC process.

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts require a parent with addiction to agree a formal rehabilitation plan and work very regularly with the Family Court Judge and an FDAC team of specialists over a 26 week period, to address their behaviour and build better relationships with both their children and themselves.

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Police appeal for information into Pegsdon cold case murder

Cold case detectives are appealing for information as part of a review into the 1962 murder of a Bedfordshire man.

Robert Allen, 70, was found with serious head injuries in his home, known as “The Hut”, in Pegsdon, on the Hitchin Road, between Hitchin and Barton-Le-Clay, on Sunday 21 October 1962. He never regained consciousness, and died in hospital on 28 October.

At the time, four people were arrested, however all were released without charge.

Mr Allen’s death has been reviewed on a regular basis, but no one has ever been brought to justice.

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Warrants at five addresses as part of county lines week of action

Two arrests were made and drugs and weapons seized in Bedfordshire as part of a national crackdown on county drugs lines.

Bedfordshire Police carried out warrants at five addresses in Bedford last week across three days of action.

Officers also offered safeguarding support to a number of people as part of the operation.

It was part of a wave of enforcement by police forces across the country, which resulted in more than 700 arrests, 681 people being safeguarded, and almost half a million pounds worth of drugs being seized.

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Handbook to cut crime in rural areas launched

A Rural Crime Handbook which gives advice on a range of issues such as fly-tipping, hare coursing and sheep worrying has been launched in a bid to help tackle countryside crime.

Put together by Bedfordshire Police’s Crime Reduction Officer with contributions from a number of partners, including the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the Environment Agency, the Home Office and local farmers, the handbook contains advice on crimes which affect Bedfordshire’s rural communities, such as modern day slavery.

It was launched at a special event at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick on 10 October 2019 as part of the Rural Crime Week of Action.

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Bedfordshire Police changes the way it answers 101 calls

The 101 service is now assigned based on the threat, risk and harm of each call. Callers are prioritised through a triage team and transferred to a relevant call handler, who will deal with their matter depending on the nature of their call and the urgency of the required police response.

This way, the public won’t be stuck in a queue for a long period of time.

The 999 service will remain the same and should be used in an emergency or if a crime is still in progress.

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