Bradley Stoke police beat team back up to full strength

Bradley Stoke police beat team.

The Bradley Stoke police beat team is back up to full strength after the second of two vacant Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) positions was filled late last year.

In recent years, the team has been formed of one full-time Police Constable (PC), one part-time PC and three PCSOs, but the services of two of the PCSOs were lost last summer, one through transfer to another beat, the other by resignation from the force.

The Journal understands that one replacement PCSO joined the team in September and a second was in post by December.

The part-time PC (Claire Fletcher) and one of the PCSOs are based at the Willow Brook Centre, with the other members of the team operating out of Filton police station.

Speaking at last week’s meeting of the Bradley Stoke Safer and Stronger Community Group (SSCG), PC Fletcher reported an increase in anti-social behaviour in the town and said the beat team had been busy visiting local schools in an attempt to address the issue.

Also speaking at the SSCG meeting, Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant Adrian Fallows confirmed a Journal reader’s report that a number of Asian households in the town have been burgled in recent months, with gold jewellery being a particular target. “Five or six” such burglaries have occurred in Patchway and four within the space of six weeks in Bradley Stoke, he reported.

Sgt Fallows added that the police are working to dispel rumours within the Asian community that “criminals are driving around with gold-sensing equipment,” in the search for their next target.

Two people were arrested on Friday 1st February following a burglary in Bradley Stoke, and two further arrests have been made since. There have been no further burglaries to date, he added.

Funding for the Avon and Somerset police force comes from a levy added to Council Tax bills plus grants from Central Government. However, two of the police officer position in Bradley Stoke are funded through additional local authority contributions. PC Fletcher’s post is half-funded by Bradley Stoke Town Council and one of the PCSO positions  is paid for by South Gloucestershire Council.

Until September 2012, Bradley Stoke Town Council also paid for the business rates due on the small police beat office at the Willow Brook Centre (situated behind the Reflections hairdressing salon, with access from the mall). However, that arrangement was stopped after the police force declined an offer of free alternative accommodation in the Town Council’s new office at the Jubilee Centre, saying that they would prefer to stay at the Willow Brook Centre because of its “significant footfall, established footprint and better security provision for staff and equipment.”

Photo: Members of the Bradley Stoke police beat team. PC Steven Palmer (left), PCSO Ben Sheward (top), PCSO Kirsty McKillop (middle), PCSO Lucy Sparks (bottom) and PC Claire Fletcher (right).

Related link: Police in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)

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