Sawston/Linton Area Panel Meeting 23rd of October 2014

Come along to our next panel meeting for the Sawston and Linton areas which is to be held at the Fulbourn Institute, Home End, Fulbourn on Thursday the 23rd of October at 7:30pm. Attached is a copy of the profile prepared for the meeting which outlines the work carried out over the past 4 months in relation to the priorities set at our last meeting in June. These were burglaries and speeding. If you feel we should continue with these priorities or focus on something different come along and have your say. We would love to see you there.
Please note this meeting was supposed to be on the 16th of October but has been changed at short notice.
Sawston Panel October 2014.doc

Register your local speeding concern.

Speeding is regularly raised as a concern at our local panel meetings and we have encouraged local residents to speak to their Parish Council if they feel there is a particular problem in their village, and to consider setting up a speedwatch made up of volunteers who are trained to carry out speed checks. A number of these schemes are now in existence and they are doing a great job reminding drivers of the need to keep to the speed limit. To support these schemes and address community concerns about speeding we have set up a system whereby anyone can ask for a police speed check by using the link below:

You will be asked to give the location, any particular times when vehicles are regularly speeding and what the speed limit of the road is. We cannot carry out checks on roads where the limit is over 50 miles an hour for officer safety reasons. Once the speed check is carried out we will feed back the results to the relevant Parish Council and if appropriate speedwatch to help identify whether further road safety options should be considered.

Public meeting dates for 2014

Local Policing Panels for the South Cambridgeshire area are changing.

From February 2014 there will be three Panel areas, focused around our three Police Stations at Histon, Cambourne and Sawston. These meetings will be held three times a year for each area to allow the public to influence their local Policing priorities.

****(Follow this link to find out which panel area your village is in: Panel areas 2014)****

Histon Panel  (combined area for Histon and Swavesey panels)

February 12th 2014                  Cottenham Village College

June 11th 2014                         Swavesey Village College

October 15th 2014                   Orchard Park Community Primary

Sawston Panel  (combined area for Sawston, Linton & Fulbourn panels)

February 13th 2014                  Sawston Village College

June 12th 2014                         Linton Heights Junior School

October 16th 2014                   Fulbourn  venue TBC

Cambourne Panel (combined area for Bourne, Gamlingay, Melbourn panels)

February 11th 2014                  Bassingbourn Village College

June 10th 2014                         Gamlingay venue TBC

October 14th 2014                   Cambourne Village College

(All meetings will begin at 19:30hrs)

Meetings will follow a familiar format and will now be available to download afterwards. You may add your own view to the local consultation process by attending in person, or completing our online survey:

Histon area

Cambourne area


Operation Oaklands – Tackling crime in South Cambs

Tomorrow the South Cambs Safer Neighbourhood Team start a 30 day campiagn to reduce burglary and vehicle crime across the district.

This operation will be a campaign rolled out on the streets of our communities to prevent burglaries, shed break-ins and vehicle crime. We will target a community each day, flooding villages and towns with uniform staff to spread our crime prevention message.

Op Oaklands is focused on increasing home and vehicle security and reducing the potential reward for criminals. We are a vast rural community in South Cambs, and our crime patterns do not fit an identifiable pattern, as seen in an urban environment. Crime prevention and intelligent patrol are the key to success.

We will be posting regular information about the opertation and some of the tactics we are using on our Facebook page, twitter account, here on our blog and talking to our ecops and NHW members.


Officers on the ground will be offering residents shed alarms for just  £7.00 – these are a simple and effective deterrent.

Below are the dates we will be visiting communities over the 30 days. If you would like advice on home, shed or vehicle security and don’t live in the villages listed below, please call 101 and ask to talk with your local PCSO.

Insp James Sutherland














Fulbourn (day two due to size)
















Papworth Everard








Cambourne (day two due to size)




















Great Shelford


Great Wilbraham



Heating oil thefts – Invest now to protect your tank

Theft of heating oil has been an issue for rural areas for some time, October onwards is the ‘peak season’ for theft of heating oil as home owners get their supplies for the winter months. Coupled with rises in the cost of fuel; oil has become a much more attractive target for thieves.

We strongly recommend that you take steps now to “target harden” your tank:

Consider the position of the tank can it be viewed easily from the house?  If it is close to a road or pathway it is more at risk.  Think about using prickly, thorny plants to hide the tank from view, traces of blood or ripped clothing may also help to identify the offender.

Be aware of oil levels and check them regularly.  Remote oil level gauge alarms are available and cost between £60 – £85, they will set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full.  Some alarms will link to your mobile phone to give you instant updates. For residents who are aged 65yrs or over  the Bobby Scheme now offer Heating Oil Alarms as part of their range.  There is a charge to supply and install the alarm. Call the Bobby Scheme on: 07866 602100


Use good quality padlocks, and lockable fuel caps a thief will not want to spend a long time trying to attack your tank.  Look for closed shackle padlocks, as they will be more difficult to break.  Look for quality marks and attack tested products (see

If you have a plastic tank, consider screening it with a barrier according to OFTEC advice any screening hedge or fence/ trellis must be spaced 600mm from the tank or 760mm if it is part of a boundary and no fire barrier is erected. See

Other options include a metal cage or grill with lockable access point across the top. A specialist product called ‘Tank guard’ surrounds the tank with a metal enclosure, the sheet metal enclosure has lockable access doors, to allow filling and maintenance plus internal anchorage points fixing it to the concrete base.


A tank guard costs less than one tank full of oil and will last many years.

CCTV may help to deter thieves if there is very little natural surveillance, before you spend money on equipment make an assessment of your needs.

If you have outside security lighting, ensure that the system works and that the light sensors have been adjusted correctly to detect movement.

Deter thieves from entering your property by using good perimeter security such as good fencing and strong lockable gates.  Maintain boundaries and perimeter fencing/ hedges.

Be vigilant by noting unusual/ out of place vehicle registration numbers, (oil thieves predominantly have used vans or estate vehicles in the past) and report suspicious activity to the Police.

OFTEC also offer advice and guidance to those using and storing oil. Contact

For information on general alarm and CCTV suppliers go to (list of approved installers)

Rachel Carr, Crime Reduction Officer

Man jailed for Sawston attempted robbery

A MAN has been jailed for four years for his part in an attempted robbery at a filling station in Sawston.

Mark Donovan, 34, targeted the Worsted Lodge with an accomplice overnight on January 25, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

However, the whole incident was caught on CCTV which showed Donovan waiting in a gap in the ceiling above the kiosk to the filling station before dropping down with his accomplice.donovan

Both were brandishing wooden sticks and wearing balaclavas. Donovan attacked the sole worker, hitting him around the head and body while demanding money.

The victim courageously fought back and managed to disarm Donovan and remove his balaclava and the top half of his outer clothing.

Both left through the gap in the ceiling empty-handed.

Donovan was arrested and pleaded duress, stating he was made to do it through threats to him and his family. However, detailed phone enquiries conducted by PC John Keerie proved this to be false.

As a result, Donovan eventually pleaded guilty to his part in the attempted robbery and was jailed on Friday (November 1). The second man was never identified.

PC Keerie said: “This was a vicious attack on a man going about his employment and this is reflected in the sentence. It was only the courage and bravery of the victim that helped us identify Donovan as the main offender.”

Linton and Fulbourn Panel Meeting 17th September 2013

The Linton and Fulbourn area Panel Meeting will take place next Tuesday the 17th of September at 7:30pm at Linton Heights School, Wheatsheaf way, Linton. Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend and help identify what our local policing priorities should be for the next 3 months. If you cannot make the meeting then you are welcome to tweet your views @southcambscops or email us via the local pages of our main website

The villages covered by Linton and Fulbourn panel are Balsham; Carlton; Castle Camps; Horseheath; Shudy Camps; West Wickham; Weston Colville; West Wratting; Fulbourn; Bartlow; Hildersham; Linton; Teversham; Fen Ditton; Great Wilbraham; Little Wilbraham; Horningsea;  and Stwo Cum Quy.  The priorties for the last 3 months were road safety and Anti Social Behaviour in green spaces. For an update on what action was taken on these priorities by your local team and details of crime and anti social behaviour figures across the villages please click on this link to see the profile document prepared for the panel meeting. Linton Panel Profile Sept 2013 v2

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?