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Dosthill Co-operative (co-op) store

POLICE are appealing for information after an armed robbery at a local Co-operative store.

The incident happened at approximately 1025pm on Saturday 22 July.

Three males entered the store armed with a crow bar, kitchen knife and a metal bar.

The three men  stole cigarettes from the counter and money from the tills before speeding off from the locationin a red 63 plated Audi, possibly an S3 or an A3.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 0902 22/07/2017.

You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

DPCC Sue Arnold, DCO Graham Smout, Uttoxeter Racecourse CEO David MacDonald and Staffordshire Police Cadets.

UTTOXETER Racecourse is the latest business to support the Staffordshire Police Cadets after donating 50 tickets to the BBQ Family Fun Raceday and a voucher for a table in the 1907 restaurant.

Staffordshire Police Cadets have been busy raffling the 50 BBQ Family Fun Raceday tickets in order to raise funds for the cadet units. The event, which takes place on 30th July, will include a great British BBQ and family entertainment including a Burton Albion shoot out, Wildlife displays, assault courses and inflatables.

Uttoxeter Racecourse have also invited the cadets to attend the Beer Festival Raceday on Saturday 18thNovember to promote the cadet programme and do a collection to raise funds for new units.

The Staffordshire Police Cadets have in return offered their services to Uttoxeter Racecourse and will be available to provide assistance at raceday events, including traffic management and assisting members of the public.

Mrs Arnold said: ‘This is wonderful news for the ongoing success of the Cadets in Staffordshire and I would like to say a big thank you to Uttoxeter Racecourse for their generosity.

‘The money we raise from raffling the BBQ Family Fun Day tickets, the table for four in the 1907 restaurant and the collection day will allow us to plan activities and training for the cadets. This will help the scheme to be as effective as possible, and allow more and more young people the opportunity to become a Cadet.’

David MacDonald, CEO of Uttoxeter Racecourse, added: ‘Uttoxeter Racecourse are proud to support Staffordshire Police Cadets. Their work is providing the youth of the county with skills they will need in future years.

‘It is humbling to hear stories of youngster’s lives being transformed since joining the cadets, getting themselves back on track and giving them a new found confidence and a purpose.”

 DPCC Sue Arnold, DCO Graham Smout, Uttoxeter Racecourse CEO David MacDonald and Staffordshire Police Cadets.

DPCC Sue Arnold, DCO Graham Smout, Uttoxeter Racecourse CEO David MacDonald and Staffordshire Police Cadets.

The Staffordshire Police Cadet Service was launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis in 2013 to strengthen links between the police and young people and promote good citizenship. Seven successful Cadet units have been launched so far including a unit in Tamworth.

The Police Cadets work towards several nationally recognised qualifications including team-working and citizenship. Many of the Cadets have found that through the scheme they are becoming not only more confident and outgoing, but that they are also benefiting both socially and academically, all while helping to build links between the police and young people.

Businesses are invited to become Patrons or Sponsors to help fund uniforms and equipment for the Cadets. In return for becoming a Patron, businesses’ contributions are recognised through publicity, a framed certificate and other opportunities. More information is available at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-cadets

 

POLICE were called to a serious road traffic collision in the Tamworth area shortly before 11am yesterday morning. (19 July)

A blue Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle and a white Citroen Relay van were involved in the collision on the A4091 at the junction with Salts Lane, Drayton Bassett.

Sadly, despite the efforts of paramedics and members of the public, the 25-year-old motorcyclist from Birmingham was pronounced dead at the scene. Specialist officers are working with his family.

The 47-year-old van driver was treated for minor injuries by ambulance staff at the scene.

An investigation by Staffordshire Police's Collision Investigation Unit is underway.

Anyone who saw either vehicle before or during the collision is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 224 of 19 July.

Our thoughts are with all that have been effected by this tragic incident.

Police collision investigation unit

WARWICKSHIRE Police is issuing a further appeal for witnesses after three young people were killed in a road traffic collision at the weekend (Sunday 16 July).

The collision occurred at around 4.40pm on The Common, between Merevale Lane and Waste Lane near Atherstone. A grey BMW three series travelling along The Common towards Bentley, left the road and collided with a tree.

An 18-year-old woman and two men, aged 18 and 19, who were travelling in the BMW, received fatal injuries in the collision and sadly died at the scene.

An 18-year-old man was taken to hospital by air ambulance, he remains in hospital at this time with injuries not believed to be life threatening.

The four young people are all from the local area, their families have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

An 18-year-old woman, travelling in another vehicle at the time, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. She has been released under investigation and enquiries are ongoing.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedSergeant Carl Stafford from Warwickshire Police said: “We continue to urge anyone who witnessed the collision, or saw the BMW or any other vehicle travelling shortly beforehand, to contact police as soon as possible on 101 quoting reference 282 of 16 July. We request that the privacy of the families is respected at this very difficult time.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered a car that had collided with a tree and four patients.

“Unfortunately, it became apparent that nothing could be done to save three of the patients, two men and a woman, and they were confirmed dead at the scene.

“A fourth patient who was a rear seat passenger in the car, a teenage man, was treated for neck, chest and abdominal injuries, as well as a suspected pelvic injury. He was given pain relief and transported to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire with the medic from the air ambulance travelling with him to continue treatment en-route.”

At Tamworth Informed our thoughts are with all that have been involved in the collision, in particular the family and friends of the teenagers.

run hide tell

COUNTER Terrorism police – in association with the Foreign Office and ABTA – The Travel Association – have launched a new four minute film outlining what to do if caught up in an attack.

Whilst the chances of being involved in a terror attack remain low, holidaymakers travelling abroad this summer are being urged to watch a new video designed to help keep them safe in the event of an incident.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, FCO Minister for National Security and Counter Terrorism says, “We want people to be safe so they can enjoy their holidays. As well as reading and taking note of our travel advice and taking out appropriate insurance, I encourage people to watch this film before they go away.

“While there is no specific information that British holidaymakers will be targeted this summer, it sets out some simple steps we can all take to minimise the impact of an attack if one does take place.”

Detective chief superintendent Scott Wilson, National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, says: “The chances of being caught up in a terrorist incident are still low but sadly we have seen atrocities take place in the UK and abroad. So it is important everyone stays alert and knows what to do if the worst was to happen.

“We want people to think of this in the same way they do the safety film airlines show before take-off. They don’t expect anything bad to happen but it is a sensible safety precaution to show people what to do.

“And find out in advance the local emergency number. For EU counties it is 112.”

Nikki White, Director of Destinations and Sustainability from ABTA adds: “We recognise the importance of raising awareness and providing clear guidance for our Members and their employees. We know that customers would look to those staff working in their hotels and resorts to take the lead and respond quickly to an emerging situation.”

the West Midlands police campaign

A TRUCK driver has been handed a hefty fine after being found guilty of a dangerous overtake on a cyclist – the first court conviction in West Midlands Police’s operation to protect riders from “close-pass” motorists.

The 60-year-old Birmingham man was convicted of driving without due care and attention having squeezed past the experienced cyclist on a Black Country road last November.

He denied the offence – caught on camera in Tipton’s Park Lane West – but was landed with fines and costs totalling £1,038 and given five points on his licence after being found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 30 June.

West Midlands Police’s #GiveSpaceBeSafe scheme was launched last September and sees plain clothes cops pedalling the region’s busiest roads on the lookout for motorists who pass too close for comfort.

But in addition to running regular operations the force has also prosecuted more than 300 offenders using helmet- and dash-cam footage provided by members of the public.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedPC Mark Hodson from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) said: “Most offenders watch the footage, accept their driving was below par, and elect for a driver improvement course or an offer of three licence points and £100.

“This was a clear case of a close-pass: the cyclist was nearly forced into the kerb and the actions of the truck driver could easily have caused a very serious collision. He maintained his innocence, though, and has now been convicted in court.

“Our advice to drivers overtaking cyclists and other vulnerable road users like horse riders is to be patient, plan your overtake, and give plenty of room – the Highway Code says drivers should give the same room as when overtaking another vehicle which is about 1.5-metres or an open car door’s width.

“A few seconds delay to ensure a safe overtake is nothing compared to the consequences of a poorly planned and executed overtake can be.”

Almost 200 offenders have been pulled over during police close-pass operations. Most have been allowed on their way after being given an on-the-spot educational input on safe overtaking using a specially designed floor mat.

However, 13 drivers went on to be prosecuted and two had licences revoked at the roadside for failing eyesight tests.

West Midlands Police has seen reports of close-passes halve since the scheme was introduced – and 16 police forces the length and breadth of the country are now considering embracing what UK Cycling described as the “best cyclist road safety initiative ever”.

The 56-year-old cyclist, from Wednesbury, affected by the HGV close-pass said he started using cycle cameras after being knock-off his bike by a hit and run driver in 2015.

He added: “I was seriously hurt and it took six weeks to recover – and what made matters worse for me was that we couldn’t trace the driver.

“It helps me greatly to cycle on the roads knowing that, should anyone endanger me, West Midlands Police will act upon it…it gives cyclists the confidence and reassurance that such dangerous driving will not be tolerated.”

Click here for more information on how to complete a ‘standard of driving complaint’ and submit camera evidence.

police car and fire engine

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis today launched an eight-week public consultation on the future of how fire and police are governed in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The public, staff of both organisations and local authorities will all have a chance to give their views on possible plans for the two emergency services both to be governed by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in the future.

Police are already governed by the PCC, but this move would mean the fire and rescue services would come under the office too.

An independent report suggests it would improve the way the two services work together, speed up delivery of new ideas, be better value for money and provide the room for investment in the two services.

Mr Ellis said:

‘This consultation is all about how police and the fire and rescue services are governed in future, so that we can build on their good work and make sure both services are financially sound with extra investment available to keep us all safe and secure.

‘It is important our police can adapt to changing crime in an ever more complex world and that our fire and rescue service expands the expertise and specialisms they have developed around the prevention of harm in addition to their core responsibilities.

‘From a practical point of view, I want more of the overall budget both services have to go towards frontline operations in local areas across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

‘Part of achieving that would be to bring the support and administration functions that each service currently has into a combined function both would use. It would free up at least £3 million every year to support frontline services and provide helpful consistency in order to work better together.’

At present 21 councillors from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire carry out the governance of the fire service, on a part-time basis, through what is called the Fire and Rescue Authority.

Local police services used to be governed in a similar way until 2013, when locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners took over responsibility. It has been evidenced widely that this has been effective and so Government has now asked each Commissioner to consider bringing the governance of their area’s fire and rescue service alongside that of policing.

The independent report concludes that bringing the governance of the fire and rescue service alongside policing is sensible and pragmatic. It would also save £2 million on the current costs of fire governance over the ten years the business case sets out.

Mr Ellis added:

‘I broadly agree with the independent report’s findings and also think aligning governance will bring certainty and stability for the longer term for both services.

‘I would encourage everyone to have a read and give their thoughts through this surveywww.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/have-your-say.’

The consultation will run until September 4.

POLICE mobile phone warning sign`

Police are urging motorists to avoid deadly distractions at the wheel.

A national targeted mobile phone enforcement and education campaign is running this week (10th – 16th July) to crack down on people who continue to flout the law.

The campaign is taking place across the UK and serves to remind motorists that the penalties increased earlier this year for those caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.  Both the fine and penalty doubled; from £100 to £200 and from 3 to 6 points.

Using a mobile phone while driving is a potentially fatal distraction and has been an illegal offence since December 2003.  However, there are still motorists out there who believe it is acceptable to continue to use a phone behind the wheel.

Studies show that drivers using a mobile are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards. Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or a text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a collision.

The increase in the fine and penalty could mean that a newly qualified driver could lose their licence if caught using a hand held mobile phone within two years of passing their test.

A recent 2016 annual report on motoring, by the RAC, suggests the number of motorists who illegally use mobile phones while at the wheel is rising.

1,714 motorists were surveyed and 31% of motorists said they used a handheld phone behind the wheel compared with 8% in 2014. The number of drivers who said they had sent a message or posted on social media rose from 7% to 19%, while 14% said they had taken a photograph or video while driving.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedChief Superintendent Stephen Cullen for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “Improving the safety of our roads is a year-round commitment for our officers. Although mobile phone enforcement is already part of our daily operational activity, we will be stepping up our efforts over this week to crack down on motorists who are blatantly ignoring both the law and the dangers involved in order to raise awareness of the change in legislation”.

“Many motorists are already aware that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media, and applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. With smartphones becoming more and more embedded into our daily routines, we are all aware of how useful they can be. However, it is unacceptable to allow yourself to be distracted by them while driving, and officers will ensure any motorists doing so face the penalties involved.”

“We are urging people to think about the consequences of their actions and ask themselves how they would feel if they caused a collision and injured, or killed, somebody else simply for the sake of making a call, reading a text message or checking social media.”

Staffordshire Police Safer Neighbourhood Panel

PEOPLE in Tamworth are being urged to step forward to join an independent panel to influence policing in their communities.

Anyone aged 18 and over in Tamworth is able to join their local Safer Neighbourhood Panel to help hold the Local Policing Team Commander to account as well as look at wider criminal justice and community safety issues in their area.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire Matthew Ellis, who launched the Safer Neighbourhood Panels in 2015, said:

Speech Bubble, Tamworth Informed‘This is a real opportunity for people in Tamworth to play a part in holding those responsible for policing in their area to account and I’d urge them to get involved.

‘I make no apology for believing that truly local policing, and the public playing a part in influencing that, is vital.

‘The spotlight and scrutiny on local policing performance that these panels bring is invaluable in adding to the rigour I have introduced to overseeing policing.’

John Mitchell, Chair of Tamworth Safer Neighbourhood Panned added:

Speech Bubble, Tamworth Informed‘If you would like to have greater insight into the work carried out by the Tamworth Police Team in dealing with crime, and protecting residents of Tamworth from criminality, may I encourage you to consider joining the Tamworth Safer Neighbourhood Panel.

‘The Tamworth Police Team Commanders are only to wiling to make their work transparent, and you are also given the opportunity to ask questions on any aspect of their work.

‘As well as having a greater insight, you will also be given the opportunity to scrutinise the work of the police in areas such as Stop and Search and the use of Taser to ensure they are following the correct procedures.’

Safer Neighbourhood Panels are established in Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent, Cannock, Lichfield, Newcastle, Stafford, South Staffordshire and Staffordshire Moorlands and East Staffordshire.

Local residents and members of the business community sit on the panels to influence local policing and community safety, scrutinise the work done by police in their area, give feedback to communities and examine the impact of community resolutions and restorative justice.

The PCC is interested in attracting people from all walks of life who are able to represent the views from a business perspective. This is a voluntary role but travel expenses will be paid.

Anyone interested in applying to join their local Safer Neighbourhood panel should register their interest atwww.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-neighbourhood-panels/ or contact Jan Matthews, the Safer Neighbourhood Panel co-ordinator for Tamworth, on 01543 500404.

THE Police and Crime Commissioner’s office has won a bid for vital funding to tackle the heinous crime of female genital mutilation in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Home Office pledged £15 million across England and Wales over the next three years to tackle violence against women and girls and organisations were invited to bid for specific projects.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s office (PCC) led a bid on behalf of partners, including the police, county and city councils, health and key voluntary women’s groups, to secure funding to tackle FGM.

This was not because of the high prevalence currently of the issue across the county and city, but a desire to prevent it from escalating.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold, who led an awareness campaign on behalf of PCC Matthew Ellis, welcomed news of the successful bid.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth Informed‘This is a great result for the county and in particular the women and girls of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

‘Female genital mutilation is a hideous practice and it’s a crime. It invariably goes unreported and results in tremendous psychological, as well as physical, pain and suffering, which can and does traumatise girls for life.

‘This isn’t just a problem for women in affected communities – it’s an issue which we all need to face and it’s why I’m delighted the PCC’s office has been successful in securing this important funding, which could really change young girls’ lives for the better.’

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold

FGM, sometimes called female circumcision, involves the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It usually happens between the ages of four and ten and can have serious consequences for a woman’s health and in some instances lead to death.

It is practised in 28 African countries and some in the Middle East and Asia and affects migrant communities in the UK.

The OPCC-led project hopes to work closely with the National FGM Centre model and learn from the good practice and evidence base they have produced.  It will involve project officers, who will support and work closely with social workers. Working with parents to prevent FGM will be a key aspect of this role.

The funding will also help create ‘community champions’, who will forge trusting relationships and foster changes in attitudes and practices within the community. There will also be training to improve knowledge, skills, referral practices and give confidence to those who do and may come face to face with individuals they suspect have undergone or are at risk of FGM.

Specialist services will take a victim centred approach and will support, through counselling and other therapeutic interventions, potential victims and/or actual victims of FGM. There will also be campaigns produced in collaboration with survivors and professionals.

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