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Local Police Update from Nidderdale Police Officer, Bill Hickson


People keep asking me if I am “busy” at the moment.  Since I am the only officer stationed in Nidderdale (notwithstanding the very capable officers based in Harrogate, Ripon, and Menwith Hill who attend many of the incidents in the dale which are reported to the police) it doesn’t take much to keep me fully occupied; I can only do one thing at a time (even if I multi-task)!   When I had colleagues with me at the police station we used to agree that the winter months were quieter.  I’m not sure if that is the case anymore and I have been looking at some of my older articles.  In my February 2012 article I reported that there had been eight crimes over the previous month.  This year the figure is 24 crimes in the month since 7thJanuary.   Crime recording by the police is subject to close government scrutiny and has changed over the years.  I believe that many incidents which may not have been correctly recorded in the past are now logged as crimes.  One example of this is the offence of harassment which falls under the category of ‘violent crime’.  Last month five crimes of harassment were recorded.  Sometimes one incident results in more than one crime being recorded, for example in January two walkers were bitten by a dog which ran out from a house next to a public footpath.  Each person bitten has a separate crime recorded.  The other crimes reported this month include:

Burglary at a barn near Burnt Yates in which the burglar tampered with a motor vehicle but did not steal anything.

Theft of building equipment, also from near Burnt Yates

Three reports of criminal damage: to a car at Thornthwaite, a door in Fellbeck, and a central heating boiler in Burnt Yates.

A car was taken without the owner’s consent from Ramsgill and two vehicles were interfered with near Pateley Bridge.  Vehicle interference is where someone interferes with a vehicle intending to steal it.  In this case two vehicles parked in the open air were entered, damaged and moved a short distance.

Two of my Harrogate colleagues were assaulted while arresting a man in Pateley Bridge.

A man sat in the passenger seat of a car seen in suspicious circumstances was found to be in possession of cannabis.

Last Saturday I was asked to assist with policing the Middlesbrough v Leeds United football match.  This involved patrolling Thirsk while travelling football supporters stopped en routefor refreshments at public houses in the town.  No trouble occurred.  This brought to mind one of the more unusual calls for the police I have heard of; namely the recent ‘spying’ scandal involving a member of Leeds United’s coaching staff watching Derby County while they were training.  I spluttered into my coffee when I read in the news that the local constabulary had decided to send a bobby to investigate!  I wonder if North Yorkshire Police would send me to an incident where a farmer was concerned about a rival spying on his livestock in the run up to the Nidderdale Show?

Whether things are “busy” or not, I urge you to remain vigilant and to report anything you believe is suspicious or otherwise gives you cause for concern using the 101 telephone number.  Even if it is ‘only’ agricultural espionage the police call taker can discuss what you have seen and make a rational decision about sending an officer.  If you would like to speak to me about this article or anything else please get in touch.

Bill Hickson

Constable 820

Tel: 101, choose option two and ask for “Bill Hickson” or enter 30820



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