Bassingbourn & Melbourn Area Survey – have your say!

The Bassingbourn & Melbourn Panel Meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday 15th October. Residents are invited to join their local policing team at Melbourn Village College where an update on local crime and disorder will be provided along with updates on work carried out in the last quarter.

Have your say about what the local Police team prioritise over the next three months. Please complete our survey!

At the last meeting residents asked us to:

Tackle road safety issues including excess speed and obstructive parking, thereby providing support to active Speedwatch schemes
– Address concerns from across the Neighbourhood relating to misuse of ‘green spaces’ including drug use

A profile document with the full update will be posted online at the end of this week.

Police car rammed

We are appealing for witnesses or information after a police car was rammed last night.

The force control room received a report of two suspicious vehicles, one driving without lights in Gamlingay at about 3am today (Sunday). Officers attended the scene when a Teleporter and a cream Mini Clubman was heading along Long Lane.

The Teleporter drove towards a police car and rammed it into a side road. The driver made off into the Mini before turning into Church Road and headed towards Potton. The area was searched and the Teleporter has been recovered which is now being examined by police. Both officers suffered minor injuries. Sergeant Paul Rogerson said: “I would like to hear from anyone who was in the area and maybe saw the police car being rammed or saw the vehicles leaving the scene. “Both officers’ welfare is in hand and neither required medical treatment. “I believe these vehicles were due to commit a ram raid before officers were alerted. Therefore, I’d ask the residents in the surrounding villages to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police. “Anyone with information should call Sgt Rogerson on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Local Panel Meetings – Swavesey & Comberton areas

Local meetings will take place for two Policing areas next week. The Comberton and Swavesey Panels will both meet to discuss local issues. Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend and let us know how you would shape local policing priorities for the next three months. If you can’t attend you are welcome to tweet us your views @southcambscops or email us via the local pages of our main website

Swavesey area- Swavesey

Covering the villages of Swavesey, Longstanton, Willingham, Over, Bar Hill, Boxworth, Lolworth, Dry Drayton, Girton, The Papworths, Fen Drayton, Conington, Elsworth, Knapwell and Graveley.  Sgt Paul Rogerson will present updates from the last quarter at the Pavillion, Over Rd Longstanton on Tues 20th Aug.  Last quarter you asked us to prioritise:

  • Criminal damage in Papworth and Willingham
  • Speeding enforcement in Girton and Swavesey
  • Online engagement in Willingham

The meeting starts at 7:30 PM. You can download the last quarters Crime and Anti- Social behaviour update here: Swavesey panel update aug 2013

Comberton – Cambourne

Covering the villages of Comberton, Cambourne, Bourn, Caxton, Croxton, Eltisley, Caldecote, Childerly, Kingston, Toft, Barton, Coton, Granchester, Madlingly, Comberton, and Hardwick. Chief Inspector Darren Alderson will chair the meeting, and present updates from the Comberton area. Over the last three months the local team have been focusing on:

  • Speeding and parking
  • Anti-social behaviour around green spaces

The meeting will be held at South Cambs District Council chambers, from 7:00pm, the local report for this area can be downloaded here: Profile Comberton Aug 2013.

Op Armitage – Preventing stack and farm fires

Partnership working has led to a large reduction in stack fires in South Cambridgeshire.

In 2008/09, there were 15 incidents in the district, compared with just three minor incidents involving small quantities of straw lat year (2012/13)

Jim Meikle, Community Fire Safety Officer for Arson Reduction in South Cambridgeshire, aims to keep incidents to a minimum this harvest. However, residents need to stay alert. He said: “There are only limited resources to cover all of the rural areas during this time, therefore I would like to appeal to the farming community, neighbourhood watch groups and the rural community to be our eyes and ears during the harvest period.”

We would like to know as soon as possible where stacks are located so we can provide advice and suggestions on how to best protect them.

We would also like to know the locations where young people are meeting in the vicinity of stacks so that we can engage with them and ensure they understand the risks about starting a stack fire.

Finally, we would also like to know where suspicious vehicles and people are seen around the stack storage areas so risk can be mitigated before a fires occurs. If you believe a fire is about to be set, or see anything suspicious call 999.

Information can be forwarded either by dialing 101 and advising police operators of the situation who will circulate that information. Or you can e mail or leave a message for Jim Meikle by calling 01223 367201.

Follow your local teams on twitter @cambsfrs @southcambscops

Carrying out speed enforcement checks

Speeding is a concern raised with us at every public meeting, and we are often asked to carry out speed checks in South Cambs villages.  Enforcement work by police officers is one approach to tackling speeding drivers alongside engineering (changing the road layout) and education (changing driver behaviour).  There is often an expectation that police officers should be able to carry speed enforcement on any given stretch of road, but this isn’t the case.  Some roads are just not suitable for roadside checks as Pc Moss describes below.  In such circumstances, agencies might look to one of the other options to address the problem. 

Pc Moss has written a short diary piece describing the practicalities we have to take into account when officers carry out speed checks which I hope you find informative (although there are not too many trade secrets divulged!).  He was accompanied by Pc Nightingale who has recently joined us on completion of her initial training, and both set out to target speeding at locations raised with us by local residents. 

If you have any feedback on the article then “tweet” us, send us an e-mail via the Force website, or come along to your next panel meeting.

Chris Savage



My Name Andy and I have been Policing South Cambridgeshire for a while now;  several years on rural at Histon, some city centre in Cambridge and a stint on traffic for four years for my sins. Now I am in the new Station at Cambourne.

Speeding is a common problem, particularly in rural areas. It is not necessarily speed itself that causes accidents but rather inappropriate speed for the location or conditions; In snowy weather 10 MPH could be too fast, outside a school on at kicking out time, regardless of the weather, 30MPH may be a risk. Whilst common sense applies, a speed limit is a MAXIMUM allowable and not a target to achieve. 

On Thursday this week, I was tasked to do some speed checks in some areas of concern raised by local South Cambridgeshire residents. Ever keen to rise to the challenge, I started early and picked up the LT20-20 Laser speed detection device, (as it`s is not so commonly known, honestly!) and headed out.

First thing to do was check the Calibration certificate on the laser to ensure it was in date and then a check on the scope alignment and accuracy of the laser at a designated range in the yard, followed by a check of the Police vehicle I was using. Lights, tyres, oil and water all ok; kit in the back including cones and signs all in order and I then I headed out. On the way I picked up my colleague, Anna who was tagging along and we made our way over to Barton road in Haslingfield. 

This is a good location: it is a 30 MPH speed area with a long line of clear sight. Guide lines indicate that an Officer must be not less than 2/10th of a mile, (about 300 meters to those less aged than me) inside the speed limit to give drivers sufficient time to adjust to the new road environment. From a safety point of view If I am going to be stepping into the road to stop a car which is exceeding the speed limit, I want to be seen early and give the driver enough time to stop safely without risk to other road users. This is a major consideration: doing speed checks and stopping cars in the wrong location can pose a risk to everyone and defeat the object. National speed limits in rural areas are particularly difficult in this sense. Even if you manage to stop a speeding car safely, ( bear in mind in this case it could be travelling at 70 or 80 plus miles per hour and standing in front of it with one arm raised dressed all in yellow is just asking for trouble) you have no where for the driver to park while you deal with them without adding to the hazards on the road. 

Anyway, back to Haslingfield. Laser checked for alignment again at the road side, fine weather, great visibility, good line of sight, safe place to park cars near the curb and we were off.

Forty five minutes later, one driver reported for excess speed, several warnings issued, numerous cars checked for insurance and MOT, we headed off to the next location. 

This was to be Station road in Harston. On the face of it, another good location; a school inside a 30 MPH limit, cars approaching from a National speed limit area and footpaths to both sides. Even as I was putting on my hat and coat I could see cars whipping past in excess of the limit.

But it was not to be. The only safe place to park the Police vehicle, with sufficient line of sight for oncoming cars was less that 150m inside the 30MPH limit. It just wasn`t enough. (300m is the guideline as you recall). Still, several drivers were spoken to and reminded that there was a school only 50m away and the road wasn`t a race track. 

Even as we did the checks, Anna and I were aware over the radios that several “jobs” had come in and our colleagues were being pressed to manage, so we volunteered for one not too far away and headed to that, leaving Harston behind. 

A little later that shift, I checked the laser again for accuracy and alignment in the yard as is necessary for evidence purposes and put it away for another day. 

The next day was to be that other day.  Once again, Laser, car and kit all checked and I headed off to pick up Anna. Not such a good day today, it was raining. It was June of course and Wimbledon fortnight so not much of a surprise but it was a hindrance. Laser speed checks and rain don`t mix well. For a start it`s wet and the back of my neck has a particular aversion to cold wet rain, but more importantly, it can sometimes, in very heavy rain, effect the ability of the device to “lock on” to a car. It doesn’t mean inaccurate speeds registered but rather the device just saying “Error” all the time. 

Onwards and upwards as they say, so off to Cambridge road in Coton this time. Another good location with safe parking and a good line of sight in a 30 MPH limit. Laser checked and we stood in the rain. The laser was fine and I am pleased to say no one was exceeding the speed limit today; my favourite result. Lots of people saw us, so the message clear and if no one was exceeding the limit it, our work there was doing its job. 

Once again, as the morning progressed, more and more “jobs” came in so we resumed from Coton to back up colleagues. 

There are lots of other locations around South Cambridgeshire with speeding problems for me to look at, so if you see an old Policeman in yellow don`t forget to wave. I`m sure you won`t be going too fast will you?

Comberton panel – Have your say

The next Comberton area panel meeting is to be held at Comberton Village College on Wednesday 22nd May at 7:30pm.

This is a chance for residents to talk to local officers and influence local Police priorities for the next three months.

Sgt Capes will provide an update on our current priorities which are:

1) To address speeding and parking concerns, across the Neighbourhood, as identified at the Panel Meeting

2) To address the ASB related concerns in Caldecote, Hardwick and Cambourne including drug use in public spaces.

If you can’t make the next meeting why not complete our online survey:

You can download the documents for the meeting here:Profile Comberton May 2013 v1


Fatal road collision Meldreth -Update

Police are investigating a collision in which a 15-year-old motorcyclist died.

The collision happened at about 8.25pm on Friday (May 10) on the A1198 between Bassingbourn and Royston.

It involved a Suzuki RM125 motorbike and a green Nissan Primera.

The rider of the Suzuki, 15-year-old Benjamin Coxhall, of West Way, Meldreth, suffered serious injuries in the collision and was taken to hospital. However, his condition deteriorated and he died the following day.

The driver of the Nissan, a 40-year-old woman from March, was uninjured.

Police are trying to determine exactly what happened and would like to speak to anyone who saw the collision or either vehicle involved just prior.

Anyone with information should contact the PC Simon Burgin in the roads policing unit on 101.

Rave prevention – We need your help!

May bank holiday is fast approaching and recent intelligence has led us to believe rave sites are potentially being identified in South Cambs.  The South Cambs region had three raves in four months at the end of last year and due to the recent good weather and our rural landscape South Cambs is an ideal candidate for another visit.

Police will be patrolling our rural countryside to proactively prevent such illegal events setting up over the holiday period and we are asking the community for their assistance too.

Please call the police if you see any rave associated, suspicious activity for example;

–       Gates & padlocks being removed or cropped.

–       Changes to farm buildings/fields access points.

–       Suspicious or out of place individuals near said gates, barns or fields.

–       Unusual or increased traffic in rural locations, particularly in hours of darkness.

–       Vehicles accumulating at service stations.

–       Social networking rumours.

The impact on the community and demands on Police resources are significant.  If Police and the Community work together to prevent a rave before they set up, this sends a clear message to the organisers that this illegal activity is unacceptable.

There have also been a high number of gas cylinder thefts over the past week from businesses such as hospital sites and farm buildings.The medical cylinders in particular can contain nitrous oxide and have previously been used to intoxicate individuals on the rave scene.

Please be extra vigilant at this time with your gas cylinders ensuring that they are securely stored and have identification markings where possible.

This is a timely reminder to all that you know your own communities and what is outside the norm. If you suspect that a rave may be setting up over the weekend – please call us immediately on 101 or 999 if you witness any offences being committed.

Update: antisocial driving in Papworth

anti driving 

Residents of Papworth will be aware that between January and April 1st 2013 a dispersal order was in place for the parish to control anti-social motorists. The order was put in place for three months having been authorised by Superintendent Paul Fullwood. Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team gathered statements from over 30 people who had complained about noise and disruption caused by large groups meeting in the village. Our work with local residents, businesses and councillors gave us a clear picture of the misery and annoyance caused by these gatherings.

The order was believed to be the first use of this kind in the UK, in trying to tackle the problem of so called “boy racers”. Orders of this kind can only be instigated after consultation with the district authority and authorisation from a senior Police Officer, and any order put in place must be reviewed every three months.

The order proved to be successful; in the three month period only one report was taken about vehicle nuisance. Whilst the order has been in place the Safer Neighbourhood Team has been contacted by a number of individuals who are involved in organising car enthusiast meetings to discuss the problems. It has provided an excellent opportunity to try and resolve some of the longer term issues.

In April 2013 the order was reviewed and the decision was taken not to renew it. Having consulted again with local councillors and residents we believe that it is now appropriate to instigate longer term plans to combat the problem. A dispersal order of this kind cannot be indefinite, so for the future the Safer Neighbourhood Team remain in contact with a number of local residents who provided information for the initial order. Should a problem occur again in the future the team will be able to swiftly re-evaluate the need for a new order. Residents who witness anti-social driving should report it immediately to allow officers to attend. In the longer term residents’ reports help build a more accurate picture, and justification for any new dispersal order should it be required.

Gamlingay panel meeting Thurs 18th April 2013

The Gamlingay panel meeting will be held this Thursday at 7:30pm, Gamlingay Village College.

Come and talk to local officers and hear what we have been doing to make your neighbourhood safer. You will also have an oppertunity to tell us what issues you would like police to look at over the next three months.

If you can’t make the meeting email us or tweet us before the meeting @SouthCambsCops

You can download a full report which includes Crime, ASB and priority updates here Profile Gamlingay April 2013 v1