Residents will soon see North Kesteven’s new inspector in charge of neighbourhood policing out on the beat, keen to get to know his patch.
After 15 years in the force, Insp Ian Richardson transfers from Lincoln, where he was a police incident response inspector, to replace Insp Marc Gee who has shifted to be in charge of response locally.
Insp Richardson is responsible for the neighbourhood police teams based at Sleaford, Bracebridge Heath and North Hykeham stations.
He said: “I am responsible for the performance within North Kesteven and if there is a series of crimes it is for me to put measures in place to bring that to a conclusion.”
His role involves working in partnership with organisations such as the Anti-social Behaviour Team at the district council. which he sees as key. He said the district is a big area to cover: “I am working my way around all the team and will be going out to find where they work.
“I attended Metheringham Parish Council with the Police and Crime Commissioner last week and you soon pick up a trend on what you might need to look into.”
Insp Richardson accepted that crime in the district has risen – up 13.76 per cent in the last year, but insisted: “North Kesteven has been fortunate as the safest area in the country for the last four years. There is no room for complacency and always room for improvement.”
Although below national crime averages, he had identified areas where he would be targeting efforts. “If there is intelligence that someone is dealing drugs, we need to look at that and deal with it, but we need several strands of information,” he said.
“I am going to do a lot of work with the licensing team in Sleaford around identifying any problems with drugs on licensed premises.”
Work was ongoing to tackle theft from work vans, while he explained that the only way to approach thefts from rural areas was to build a picture from reports to target their limited resources.
He said: “It is about working smarter with partner agencies. We often become social workers and mental health practitioners. It is about getting that person into the right care environment as soon as possible.”
Often a bugbear has been the delay in a crime victim receiving a visit from an officer to take statements. A new system offers to speed things up with the chance to book an appointment to come into the police station to talk about it at a time to suit.
Insp Richardson said: “I would hope in a year’s time the work behind the scenes will be reflected in reduced crime figures.”