Crime is falling in Windmill Hill, say police
Priority for police is stopping daily tide of rat-runners in Cambridge Street, Totterdown
Crime maps: from the Police.uk website, where crimes for every neighbouhood are mapped every month
RECORDED crime in the Windmill Hill ward has fallen by 20 per cent, with the number of offences in the last 12 months dropping from 1,176 to 936.
PC Brett Worthington, beat manager, told the Windmill Hill Network (WHiN) that most categories of crime had fallen in the area, including violence, arson and criminal damage, theft and burglary.
Offences on the increase included possession of weapons – up 400 per cent – though the rise was from one offence to four.
Sexual offences rose six per cent, though the total was low, at 34 crimes. Five of the offences were committed by a 13-year-old Knowle boy who was sent to youth detention by magistrates for 16 months in October after he admitted touching women sexually on five occasions.
PC Worthington revealed that the number of constables allocated to Windmill Hill ward, which includes Totterdown, has fallen from three to one and a half. The number of PCSOs has fallen from three to two.
He told the WHiN meeting that crimes recorded in the previous 12 months were:
Crimes against the person -33%
Violent offences -8%
Arson & criminal damage +10% (up from 123 to 136)
Public order offences -14%
Sexual offences +6% (34 offences in last 12 months)
Drug offences -44%
Miscellaneous crimes -37%
Possession of weapons +400% (up from one offence to four)
“We did have a spike in vehicle crime in the Cotswold Road and Dunkerry Road area in the summer,” PC Worthington said. Nearer Victoria Park, several vans were also broken into. Some of the tools taken from the vans were later found in the park, indicating that youths may be responsible. One arrest was made but not enough evidence was found to press charges.
The Police.uk website shows a monthly crime map for every area. It shows, for example, that there were 76 offences recorded in September 2018 in Windmill Hill ward.
It can reveal areas where several crimes have been committed. In Firfield Stret, Totterdown, for example, five crimes were recorded in September.
A separate section shows were police have conducted a Stop and Search. This section has not been updated for Windmill Hill since February 2018, though few Stop and Searches appear to take place in the area. Two were recorded in Bellevue Road, Totterdown, in January – one for drugs and one for weapons. The map does not say if drugs or weapons were found.
THE POLICING priority for Windmill Hill is trying to stop rat-running drivers going the wrong way down Cambridge Street.
Many Totterdown residents complain bitterly that it is difficult to leave their homes in the morning because of the congestion caused by drivers trying to cut through from Cambridge Street to Wells Road. This move is forbidden between 7-10am – though there is no barrier to prevent access.
“Sometimes I literally can’t drive away from my house for 10 minutes” one Totterdown resident told the Voice.
Police say they don’t have the resources to patrol there all the time – but when they do, dozens of drivers are stopped from making the illegal manoeuvre.
“One PC turned away 32 cars in 20 minutes the other day at about 8.20am,” beat manager PC Brett Worthington told the Windmill Hill Network (WHiN) on November 14.
He added: “The last time we did an operation there we had eight officers dishing out tickets – and we ran out of tickets within an hour.
“It does send a message for a while, but it soon starts up again,” he said.
Police are talking to the council about other ways of enforcing the no-access rule. A camera or one-way system have been suggested.