Neighbourhood Alerts.

Neighbourhood Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police 
Please forward to friends and family in the local area ~ Thank you.

Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Constable Jon Boutcher has backed a local resident’s campaign to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Ben Salmons, from Bedfordshire, launched his ‘Let's Be Open about Mental Health to Break the Stigma’ campaign to encourage people to talk more about mental health, raise awareness and understanding and to know it's okay to ask for help. The Chief Constable pledged his support when he met Ben on Time to Talk Day on February 4, and wrote a message of support which read: “In the same way that cancer impacts upon our lives, loved ones and friends, so does mental health. Reach out to those that need a helping hand”. Mr Boutcher said: “One in four of people will experience a mental health issue in the next 12 months. By supporting Ben’s campaign to ‘Break the Stigma’, I hope we can do just that and ensure that people know there is no shame in seeking help. “It was a pleasure to meet Ben and hear more from him about his campaign. We are hoping that he will continue to work with the force and host some workshops about what it’s like to live with a mental health issue as part of on-going training for our staff and officers. By learning from Ben’s experiences, we will be able to provide a better service to those in our communities who have experienced, or who may experience, a mental health crisis.” Ben, who founded his campaign last year, said: “I have had a number of experiences with Bedfordshire Police due to a mental health crisis, and was twice detained under section 136 of the mental health act in 2011 and 2014. My second experience could not have been better and the officers, who stayed with me past the end of their shift to offer their support, were fantastic.  “I am delighted that Bedfordshire Police are supporting my campaign, and I am really looking forward to be doing some training with the force in the very near future around mental health and breaking the stigma surrounding it.” You can find out more about the campaign on Ben’s Facebook page.
Police are taking Meteoric steps to combat the dangerous and troublesome issue of off-road bikes in the south of the county.
The anti-social practice has long been a problem for residents in key hotspots such as Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and Luton.

Sergeant Louise Bates, who now shares responsibility for tackling the off-road bikes issue, said: “While Bedfordshire Police has continued to hold Operation Meteor overt events throughout spike periods, the problem has not abated and the bikers continue to make lives difficult for the innocent residents of these areas.

“Off-road bikers are far more than just a nuisance – they are an absolute thorn in our communities’ sides and present risks to public safety.

“Our new approach to dealing with these brazen offenders is disruption, disruption, disruption – these bikers should be aware that we will stop their activity by any means available to us. This can involve arresting them on related offences such as theft or road traffic offences, and by seizing their vehicles.

“As part of Operation Meteor we are now working even more closely with our partners in Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council – the areas we tend to see the majority of these problems – and will continue to utilise resources where we can to both stop the bikers in their tracks, and keep tabs on any criminal activity taking place behind the scenes.”

Having a dedicated Op Meteor team has already allowed for some positive results in the fight against off-road bikers.

On Friday (5 January) police attended reports of nuisance motorcycles in Maidenbower Avenue, Dunstable.

On arrival at a property in the road, officers discovered three mini motos which were suspected stolen. The occupant of the home, a 26-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and is currently on bail.

Arrests for other key off-road biking suspects have also taken place in relation to other offences – just one part of the disruptive tactics being utilised under the updated Meteor plan.

A covert operation was also held in Sundon Pits on Sunday (7 February) while more are planned for the future.

To date there have been 250 emails to the inbox for the public to submit photographs and video, which have all been responded to with evidence being collated.

It must be emphasised that the email address is not an instant reporting tool, and will not be monitored 24/7.

Residents must still call 101 to speak directly to police to report live incidents, and 999 in a genuine emergency.

Residents can email with pictures and footage.
Bedfordshire Police is today (Friday 12th February 2016) carrying out a countywide day of action, tackling a range of crime types and addressing the issues that matter to the public.

Throughout the day the force will be carrying out a number of high profile activities, including firearms warrants and additional visible policing patrols.

Superintendent Dave Quarmby, who is leading the operation, said: “We’re committed to tackling the crimes that have a real impact on the people living in our communities – from knife crime to domestic abuse to burglary and more.

“This day of action is a way for us to really clamp down on those involved in any type of criminal activity, as well to provide reassurance to the public that Bedfordshire is a safe place to live.

“We’ll also be offering preventative advice to residents via our crime reduction team, we’ll be encouraging people to sign up to our neighbourhood alert systems Beds Alert and Faith Watch, and we’ll also be working with licensees, retailers, and schools throughout the day.”

One of the aims of the day is to clamp down on and raise awareness of knife crime. The force is currently running a month long campaign around serious youth violence and knife crime, and this week forces across the country are clamping down on knife related criminality as part of a national week of action.

At Chalk Hills Academy in Luton this morning, knife arches were put in place to search young people on their way into school. This was followed with an assembly from officers talking about knife crime.

Samia Akram, Acting Principal of Chalk Hills Academy, said: "We are very pleased to be working hand-in-hand with Bedfordshire Police on this very important initiative. Today’s event was followed by school assemblies on the subject, backed up by on-going student workshops in smaller groups. Making sure our staff and students are safe is paramount and when it comes to carrying any weapons, we have a zero tolerance approach at Chalk Hills.”

Richard Denton, Children and Young People Development Officer for Bedfordshire Police, said: “It’s vitally important that we work with schools to help educate young people on issues such as this.

“We’re delighted to have Chalk Hills Academy working with us today, it shows a real commitment not only to the safety of their pupils and teachers but to helping to protect the future of their young people by discouraging them from getting involved in crime.

"It also gives us an opportunity to show young people the tactics Bedfordshire Police utilises to tackle knife crime that we discuss in school education sessions."

Community policing officers and PCSOs will also be visiting retailers across the county to ensure they’re aware of legislation around knife law.

The force will be holding a Twitterthon from 6am – 11pm, live tweeting the various activities that will be taking place during the day of action. To get involved, follow
@bedspolice on Twitter and use #policelive

Sylvia Lancaster presentation

Pupils from across Bedfordshire took part in a special one-day workshop raising awareness about hate crime and how to report it.

Among those involved in yesterday's event was a group from Queensbury Academy, in Dunstable.

It was part of a week of action which ends today (Friday) to encourage more people to speak out against hate crime.

As well as taking part in workshops and watching a thought-provoking play about Islamophobia, pupils at the event at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, in Luton, listened to a talk from Sylvia Lancaster, pictured.

Sylvia’s daughter Sophie was murdered in 2007 following a vicious attack on her and her boyfriend Rob by a group of teenage males which is widely thought to be due to the fact the pair were dressed as goths.
She subsequently set up charity the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to “focus on creating respect for and understanding of subcultures in our communities”.
Charlie and Steph, two pupils from Queensbury Academy, said of the day: “It’s brilliant. The part about Sophie was really touching. We hadn’t heard about her story before. The talk wasn’t graphic but it certainly created an image in your mind.
“We have heard a bit about hate crime at school but not a lot. It’s amazing how serious sentences can be for hate crime, even if you’re not involved very much.”

Reporting centres

Local organisations have been working together during the week to raise awareness about hate crime and to encourage victims not to suffer in silence.
As part of the week, five third-party reporting centres have been set up where people can speak out in an environment which may be more comfortable to them. They are at:
  • The Disability Resource Centre, Dunstable
  • MIND blmk, Bedford
  • Tokko Youth Space, Luton
  • LGBT Links, Luton
  • Centre For Youth and Development (CYCD), Luton     
  • There is more information about hate crime and how to report it here.                   

Your feedback

We want to know what you think of our new local updates. Send your feedback to


Bedfordshire Police is continuing its commitment to becoming more autism aware by launching autism hate crime cards in partnership with local advocacy agency Pohwer.

The card designed by people with autism for people with autism will be distributed to partnership boards and rolled out across the county from today (12 February) to conclude the Bedfordshire partners hate crime week of action.

The aim is to make it easier for people with autism to report hate crime, as well as recognising the social and communication difficulties associated with autism and the importance of improving the communication between our communities and police officers.

Showing the card means the person is able to communicate that they need help either reporting a crime or communicating. The card is credit card size and also contains details of a key contact. They will be given to people in the county along with an easy read hate crime booklet to also help raise awareness and improve understanding of hate crime and the support available.

Chief Inspector Gayner Coulson said: “We continue to seek ways to deliver services to our communities with diverse needs. It is important that vulnerable people in our county know about hate crime and that being targeted is wrong.

“Hate crime remains underreported and we are working hard with partners to tackle prejudice and crime against someone with a disability in our county. We continue to urge the public to come forward and report hate incidents, whether you are a victim, witness, relative or a concerned friend. Nobody deserves to be victimised for who they are and we are dedicated to preventing and detecting this despicable crime."

Elyzabeth Hawkes, POhWER Area Manager, said: “POhWER is a charity and membership organisation. We provide information, advice, support and advocacy to people who experience disability, vulnerability, distress and social exclusion.

“This initiative in partnership with Bedfordshire Police goes to the heart of what your local POhWER advocates, volunteers and members are there to achieve - to enable those who are subject to hate crime to be able to speak up and take control of their lives.”

Anyone who has witnessed a hate crime or has been victim of a hate crime should call police on 101, or report it online at
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


Incident Type:
Brampton Rise, Dunstable.
Date and Time:
Thursday the 18th of December, between 12:00 a.m. and, 5:00 a.m. 
Incident Details:
The offenders have gained entry via the front door.
Various items, including vehicle keys, have been taken.
The offenders have taken two vehicles from the location.
Crime Reference:
J D / 4 9 0 1 0 / 2014. 

Nuisance Vehicles Will Not Be Tolerated This Summer

People who think that it is acceptable to ride motorbikes, mopeds, scooters or mini-motos in a dangerous way across public land could be in for a shock when they have their means of transport seized and destroyed as part of a summer crackdown on nuisance vehicles.

The summer holidays mean that youngsters are enjoying the parks and public areas across Dunstable, Houghton Regis and the surrounding village but a small minority are ruining people’s enjoyment by breaking the law and riding motorbikes off-road often without crash helmets, insurance or tax.

Officers will be taking full advantage of Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 which gives them the ability to stop anti-social motorists and warn them about their behaviour as well as issuing fines. Where necessary, officers also have the power to seize vehicles and have them destroyed. Anyone caught riding on pavements or roads illegally will also be dealt with for motoring offences such as riding without a licence and having no MoT or insurance.

Following the success of Operation Meteor last summer – which saw 27 vehicles seized, 83 warnings issued, one driver charged with a drink driving, three people found without insurance, three discovered not to have a driving licence at all and two were found to be using a vehicle otherwise in accordance with the licence that they held - Local Policing Team will once again be stepping up patrols across Dunstable, Houghton Regis and the surrounding villages during the summer months.

PCSO Luke Jenkins, who is heading up the new campaign which is called Operation Wharton, warned: “Last summer we had a huge amount of success and I think that the public felt reassured that we were doing everything within our powers to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in and around Dunstable and Houghton Regis.

“This summer we intend to continue with that work and I want to make it quite plain we will be taking firm action against those people who decide to flout the law. Residents across Bedfordshire should not have to worry about vehicles tearing up and down the streets in which they live or in the alleyways or parks surrounding them.

“Riders need to realise that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable - not only is it an offence, but it is also extremely dangerous for others. Local officers have increased patrols in Dunstable and Houghton Regis and we will deal with offenders robustly. These riders need to understand that if they ride there motorbike in a park or somewhere else that they shouldn’t they will receive a warning or have their motorbike seized. I encourage members of the public to report any anti-social riders by calling 101 or the Local Policing Team on 01582 473211.”


Does THAT Car Belong In Your Street?

Bedfordshire Police are urging residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious or abandoned vehicles in their area.

In recent week there has been a slight increase in burglaries across the county where thieves are looking for car keys to steal the homeowner’s vehicle.

For most people, a car is the most expensive possession that they own and for this reason detectives are keen to reunite stolen property with their rightful owners as quickly as possible.

Newer cars generally have a security system in place which makes it almost impossible for the vehicle to be stolen without the keys. For that reason, thieves are committing burglaries specifically to steal car keys and any other valuables that are nearby.

To help reduce the risk of car theft, Bedfordshire Police is urging motorists not to leave their car keys or valuables anywhere where they can be easily seen from outside or within range to be ‘fished’ through the letterbox.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Vesztrocy said: “One of the greatest tools that Bedfordshire Police has in fighting crime and protecting the public is the 550,000 pairs of eyes and ears that belong to the residents.

“As we continue with our attempt to lower auto burglaries I would ask for the public to remain vigilant and not to hesitate for a moment to report anything suspicious. Have you seen anyone paying particular attention to cars or houses in your road? Is there a car parked up that isn’t ordinarily in your street? Have you seen somebody driving a car that isn’t theirs? If so, let us know.”

If you have information relating to burglaries, vehicle theft or have spotted an abandoned vehicle in your street, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on the non emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.

Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at

01 June 2012

Drivers are Warned or Penalised for Using Illegal Number Plates

In a three-Force month-long campaign 278 drivers were given a formal penalty for using a misrepresented number plate on their vehicle. Depending on the circumstances, they received a fixed penalty ticket, a vehicle defect rectification notice or a police warning.

Officers from the ANPR Intercept Teams (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and Road Policing Units of Hertfordshire Constabulary, Bedfordshire Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary joined forces for the campaign, called Operation Dragon, which ran throughout March.

Regional results were:
Bedfordshire 60 vehicles; Cambridgeshire 62 vehicles; Hertfordshire 156 vehicles

Number plates that are difficult to read correctly are illegal and make it difficult to identify vehicles that are involved in crime, for example, tracing a stolen car or a vehicle used in a getaway after a robbery.

As part of Operation Dragon, ANPR officers looked out for motorists with number plates that:

  • displayed adjusted fixings or bolts which alter spaces or obscure characters to appear as something else
  • used any font that is not the standard DVLA approved ‘Charles Wright’ font
  • used offensive wording
  • were not easily readable or recognised by the naked eye.

Number plates should correctly be made from a reflective material. Front number plates must display black characters on a white background and rear number plate must display black characters on a yellow background.

Further information on how a number plate should be correctly displayed can be found on the DVLA website:

ANPR Manager in the joint Beds & Herts Road Policing Unit, Inspector Andy Piper, said: “ANPR teams across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire work hard to keep their counties safe and tackle criminals coming into these areas to commit crime.

“Addressing misrepresented registrations is a very important part of this on-going work. The month long crack-down across the three counties, when we specifically targeted this particular offence, will be repeated in the summer but is something we look out for on a daily basis.

“If you are displaying a number plate which is illegal, you will be pulled over and could face a fine of up to £1,000. I would therefore urge anyone using a misrepresented plate, or who is not aware of the permitted layout, to familiarise themselves with the correct format and change it as soon as possible.”

How does ANPR work?

The devices are used by police around the UK to detect and remove from the roads serious criminals (including burglars, robbers, drug dealers and fraudsters) unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers.

ANPR instantly highlights suspicious vehicles to officers so the vehicles can be stopped and the ‘flagged’ issues investigated. The camera can read a number plate every second, and compares it against several local and national databases. It offers a more targeted approach than traditional methods, meaning fewer law-abiding motorists have their journeys interrupted and more criminals and unsafe vehicles are taken off the road.
May 2012

Crimestoppers burglary campaign launched by the Bill’s Graham Cole

Actor Graham Cole, better known as PC Tony Stamp from The Bill, was in Luton last week helping Crimestoppers to crack down on burglars across the county of Bedfordshire.

He was also joined by Batman. The caped crusader is part of a campaign by the independent charity Crimestoppers to encourage the public to tell them what they know about burglary and who’s handling stolen goods in their communities.
And, like Batman, callers won’t be identified – the message being publicised by the masked hero is ‘It’s what you know, not who you are’.

Calls to the Crimestoppers’ 0800 555 111 number or information given through the website are 100% anonymous.

The event launched Bedfordshire Crimestoppers’ new burglary campaign which will see 120,000 postcards being sent out to homes in the county appealing for information on burglary and handling stolen goods over the next 3 months. The first batch of postcards are going out this week to 7 areas which have experienced an increase in burglary over the last year. It also includes billboards, radio adverts and a short film on the human impact of burglary which can be viewed at

The well attended event was hosted by Luton’s Venue Central and included guests such as The Deputy Mayor of Luton, Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Police Authority, Crimestoppers volunters, local councilors and Luton Borough Council.

Tony Lloyd, Chair of Bedfordshire Crimestoppers, explained why the campaign is important: “Being burgled is not just about losing possessions, it also robs you of feeling safe in your own home. People should be able to feel secure and confident in their homes.

“No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers. No personal information is taken and calls are not traced or recorded. Those who give information do not have to give a statement to police or go to court. In the 24 years that we have been running, Crimestoppers has never broken its promise of anonymity”.

Graham Cole added: “After 27 years of playing a police officer I am proud to put my name to the “Stamp out Crime” campaign with Crimestoppers and their new Property Protector. Its powerful technology will deter crime and provide reassurance that you are buying an official Police security solution. A special promotion is currently being offered to Bedfordshire residents at:

Crimestoppers plays a major part in the fight against burglary and handling stolen goods. Last year Crimestoppers received 5442 pieces of actionable information about burglaries and theft, leading to 608 arrests and charges across the UK.

Up to £1,000 can be claimed for any information which leads to the arrest and charge of those responsible for burglaries or handling stolen goods.


Police Deliver on Promise to Drive Down Burglary

Police in Bedfordshire have honoured their pledge to tackle the crimes that matter most to the public, latest performance figures show.

Last year, Bedfordshire Police Authority ran a number of consultation exercises to gather feedback about the crimes which ranked highest on residents’ lists of priorities for the Force. In one survey, 41 percent of respondents said they wanted police to concentrate on cutting domestic burglaries rates in the county which have a devastating emotional impact on their victims. In a later questionnaire, a quarter of residents again placed domestic burglary as their top concern, significantly higher than any other single offence. As a result, Bedfordshire Police Authority ensured burglary was listed as a top priority in its Strategic Plan and that action was drawn up to target this type of crime.

And now latest figures show the Authority and Force’s efforts to address burglary rates across the county are already bearing fruit. Two fewer burglary offences took place in the county per day between April and December 2011 (from 10.7 per day in 2010 to 8.4 in the first nine months of this year). Meanwhile, police are also detecting a greater number of burglary offences, from 16 percent between April and December 2010 to 20% in the same period last year.

Overall crime also fell at a rate of almost five fewer offences per day, from 119.5 between April and December 2010 to 115.2 in the same period last year. In addition, robbery rates – which also featured high on the public’s list of priorities – also saw improvements as well as its detection rate.
Penny Fletcher chairman of Bedfordshire Police Authority’s Performance Scrutiny Committee said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and show the public that we have not only listened to them but are also delivering on the actions we outlined in our Strategic Plan. Our communities play a huge role in the way we set our policing agenda and these results show that making the effort to tell us what you think can have a real impact on our operational decisions.
“Both the Police Authority and the Force are constantly striving to improve the service the public receives whether this is in the way we deal with victims of crime or the way we listen to the problems which concern our communities. By closing the gap between public expectations and performance we will hopefully improve satisfaction levels in local policing and ensure confidence continues to grow in the Force.
“Bedfordshire Police has maintained its improved national rank positions in all of its priority detection categories compared to last year which means our communities are not only safer, they are also receiving a better service in the investigation and detection of the crimes which take place in the county. By continuing to place the needs of residents at the heart of our decisions, I am confident we will continue to bring further reductions and service improvements in the future.”
Further consultation this year has again identified domestic burglary as an ongoing concern for residents and as such it will feature prominently again in this year’s Plan.


Give Car Thieves a Frosty Reception

Bedfordshire Police are warning again about car owners leaving engines running in the drive while they retreat to a warm house and wait for the windscreens on their cars to defrost.
With freezing temperatures hitting the county in the last few days, the perennial problem of opportunist thieves taking advantage has returned.
On Friday (Jan 13), a car was stolen from Miles Avenue in Leighton Buzzard after the owner tried to do a favour for his wife and start the defrosting process. But he left the engine running while he went back to the house and the vehicle was stolen – although it was found an hour later not far away.
“Unfortunately, many motorists across the country fall victim to this kind of theft every year,” said Insp Matt Thompson, of the Roads Policing Unit. “It is a temptation to leave cars unattended, especially during the winter months. But if you do this you are not only increasing the chances of having your car stolen, you are also unlikely to receive any money from your insurance company.”
“Please don't make it easy for criminals - there are plenty of products on the market to prevent frost or remove it quickly but the best way, by far, is to stay with your vehicle while it is being defrosted,” he said.
“And not leaving keys in the car – even on your drive and even for a minute or two – is something that police would like people to remember all year round.”
For more advice about how to secure your vehicles and property, please contact your local crime reduction office via Bedfordshire Police on 101 or log on to
ASBOs issued to assist crack down on antisocial behaviour in Dunstable
Two Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) have been obtained following repeated incidents of drinking and abusive behaviour in Dunstable Town Centre.

As a result of the ASBOs – which were brought about after Central Bedfordshire Council joined forces with Dunstable Town Council and Bedfordshire Police - Donna Peters (aged 32) and Matthew Ison (aged 36), have been banned entirely from Priory Gardens, Priory Meadow, Priory House and the pedestrian area in Ashton Square, Dunstable.

Following a number of complaints from local people about the pairs behaviour in Priory Gardens, the ASBOs were approved on 3 January 2012. The two offenders were the focal point of a group of regular drinkers who would meet in that area. It was alleged that once under the influence of alcohol, the duo would become threatening and abusive both to each other, and to members of the public and park staff. There were also incidents of them fighting amongst themselves and assaulting others.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Central Bedfordshire Council's Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services, said; "The ASBOs send a clear message that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in our parks and once we have enough evidence against individuals, we will take robust action against them. We are really pleased with this result and it is a great example of working with our partners to tackle anti social behaviour throughout Central Bedfordshire."

Councillor Jeannette Freeman from Dunstable Town Council commented: "Dunstable Town Council is committed to providing good quality open spaces for the whole community to enjoy, however the behaviour of a few has made this difficult in Priory Gardens, one of our Green Flag town centre parks. Therefore it is excellent news to know that the hard work of our officers and partners has resulted in an ASBO for those who have tried to prevent us from achieving this."

If either Ison or Peters enter the area that they are banned from, they are liable to arrest as they will be committing a criminal offence. We would urge members of the public to call Bedfordshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111, if either of these individuals are seen in the area.