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LOCAL NEWS UPDATES
Last updated Monday 18th September 2017

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Appeal: Did you witness a road traffic collision in Rushton Spencer?

We attended the scene of a fatal road traffic collision on Beat Lane, Rushton Spencer, in the early hours of the morning on Sunday 17 September.  

The incident involved a single vehicle, a Vauxhall Combo van, that left the road and collided with trees. 

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, the 31-year-old man who was driving the van, sadly died at the scene.

Specialist officers are supporting the man's family at this difficult time.

The road was closed for six hours whilst a detailed examination of the scene was carried out. 

Officers from our Collision Investigation Unit are now asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact 101 quoting incident 86 of 17 September.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

South West Peak Community Grants Scheme
Opens Second Round for Applications

The second round of the community grant scheme for the South West Peak is now open for applications. Grants from £500 to £10,000 are available to community groups to fund up to half of the costs of projects that will enhance, protect or celebrate the heritage and countryside of the South West Peak Landscape area.

Projects funded in round one of this grants programme have included the printing of a book detailing old gravestones, repairs to an 18 th Century church, and a group learning traditional wool processes.

The South West Peak Community Grants scheme is offering a total of £300,000 in grants over the next three years to support the dreams and ambitions of community groups throughout the South West Peak to enable them to run projects and activities that benefit the area and its varied landscape.

Community Grants are available to constituted community groups, registered charities, social enterprises, parish councils and schools who are working on projects that develop and promote the built, natural and cultural heritage of the area. The qualifying area stretches from Lyme Park in the north to Waterhouses in the south, and from the outskirts of Bollington in the west to the edge of Hartington in the east.

The grants scheme is managed by Support Staffordshire and is part of the South West Peak Landscape Partnership scheme, a multi-agency project led by the Peak District National Park Authority with the support of a £2.4M grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The closing date for round two of this scheme is 16 th October 2017. To find out more and get an application form please contact Sally Bentley, South West Peak Community Grants Officer at Support Staffordshire on 01538 381356 or email sally.bentley@supportstaffordshire.org.uk

Advice: Car Key Burglaries

We are reminding residents to be on their guard and to review home and vehicle security following a number of burglaries where offenders have targeted the property with a view to stealing the keys and vehicle at the property.

We would urge residents to ensure their property is secure at all times, including all doors and windows and that items of value and keys are stored away out of view.

Offenders often target properties with high value/high performance vehicles on the driveway however this is not always the case! If keys are visible through windows and doors then offenders will break in; take the keys and make off in the vehicle.

Let's not make it easy for them!

If you have any information which could assist us with our enquiries, please contact us on 101 or anonymously via crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert


Mental ill-health and policing – what's the true picture?

I must confess that before being elected as Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner it wouldn't have occurred to me that mental health issues and policing are quite so inextricably linked.
Less still would I have imagined that in the UK, in 2013, society would be routinely placing individuals with mental health issues in police cells when no crime had been committed, simply because there were no appropriate healthcare facilities available.
I admit that is a somewhat simplistic view of an immensely complex subject. After all, if I was walking down the street and saw someone distressed, acting irrationally or potentially putting themselves in harm's way, I too would call the police in the first instance.
The urgency of that situation probably means they are needed initially but once things are under control the police are not equipped, nor best placed, to take responsibility for that person for any longer than is absolutely necessary. They need healthcare support and too often people can even end up criminalised in the justice system when they shouldn't be.
In 2014 I kicked off work to understand the scale of the issues police faced. The ‘Staffordshire Report' provided detailed analysis over an eight week period of all police incidents involving mental health. It illustrated, case by case, the human aspect and the pressures on police officers, often in the middle of the night, dealing with individuals who have some sort of mental health condition.
It found 15% of total police time here was spent dealing with mental health related incidents. Wellbeing of all individuals is paramount to policing but it is not wholly unreasonable to question the thousands of hours of police time spent supporting people in that situation when other services should be.
New thinking, extra investment from my office and renewed effort across all agencies since then means that the number of individuals ending up in custody in those circumstances has reduced by over 80% in Staffordshire. Our work also stimulated other areas to focus on this very human and very practical issue as well as catching Government's interest, resulting in new laws, joint concordats and national action.
I am the first to praise Staffordshire Police, healthcare professionals and everyone involved in achieving the goal I set which was to substantially reduce the number of people ending up in a cell who shouldn't be there. In short using police custody as a ‘place of safety' because no healthcare facilities are available now happens less here, and also across the country.
However, whilst this is genuine progress the situation may not be quite as it seems. The challenge for policing in relation to incidents involving mental health is much wider than simply the custody issue. At the sharp end, officers are still saying with certainty that they spend more time than ever dealing with incidents involving some aspect of mental health. So what is going on?
The lack of consistency locally and nationally around what constitutes a mental health associated police incident is not helpful. Not being clear about the length of time police officers spend dealing with each incident involving mental health may well be masking an even more complex picture.
The evidence suggesting police officers often spend hours waiting in A&E with people in their ‘care' or comforting individuals in distress, is compelling. Not relying on police cells, as happened historically, is a big and humane step forward but it's clear that officers are regularly going beyond their responsibilities, and expertise, by spending policing time filling gaps in some other public services.
I've seen first-hand that collaborative working between police and health agencies has improved, no question on that. Although that does vary geographically across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Police are also now better trained to recognise mental ill-health and whilst the availability of crisis care beds is generally better now in Staffordshire that too varies geographically.
The wider pressures on policing are growing because of societal change, threats that emanate from countries far away and new types of crime in an internet connected world. It means our police have little or no capacity to pick up extra responsibilities that other agencies should be dealing with.
Understanding wider issues around the increasing number of young people suffering mental ill-health, the impact of so called legal highs and the widening spectrum of social and practical pressures that are often labelled mental health is crucial to policing and our society.
All this feels a bit déjà vu. It takes me back to 2014 and to me it is clear that a new piece of work is needed to

update the one I commissioned back then. That will start soon and I'm also hosting a meeting of mental health professionals and leaders where I expect discussions to be honest all round, forthright and informative. It is so important that society continues to accept and embrace the challenges mental health brings to all ages and all backgrounds. The signs are there in relation to understanding and being compassionate towards this highly complex, very human area of public work, but they ebb and they flow.
To deal better with the lasting problems that the mix of mental health, policing and criminal justice can bring we must have a true and comprehensive picture. I am hopeful that part two of the work I kicked off in 2014 will help once again to provide that.
photo:-PPC Matthew Ellis visits a mental health suite at St George's Hospital in Stafford


Criminal Damage and Theft from Parking Machines

Over the weekend two parking machines have been targeted in the Leek area. Those being on the Stockwell street car park and also California car park on Vicarage Rd.

If anyone has seen or heard anything connected with this then please contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting serial 142 of 11/09.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

Burglaries on the Westend of Leek

There have been a number of Burglaries that have taken place in the following areas,

North Avenue

Westwood Road

Westwood Terrace

These have taken place over night on the 10/09/2017

The main target of these burglaries appears to be mountain bikes.

If anyone has any information contact Staffordshire Police on 101.

Police Contact Advice:

Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents. Calls to 101 have a fixed cost of 15p per call.
If you are calling about the above, please tell us that you are responding to a message from Staffordshire Smart Alert

BOARD GAME FUN AT DAISY HAYE

A friendly board games club is inviting new members to their taster event on Wednesday 6 th September. The Daisy Haye Residents Association warmly invites you to grab a coffee, have a chat and get involved with the board games available at their weekly board games group.

The group meets on Wednesday afternoons from 2.30pm until 4pm. They usually play a whole host of games including Tri-Dominos, Scrabble, Ludo, Snap and many more. Resident, Dot (second left in photo) comments “board games are a great way to interact, socialise and meet new people.  It is light hearted fun for all ages and abilities.”

If you are interested in the event there is no need to book, please turn up, bring a friend and get involved.
Residents enjoying the board games – left to right – Sara Stevenson, Dot Lander, David Edwards, Anson Moss (back of head belongs to Godeleive Peacock)

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