Police chief lays down law to career criminals

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Cherwell’s new police chief has ended his first week in his new job by sending out a stark warning to known criminals who might consider re-offending, pledging to offer first-class protection for victims of crime and vowing to continue to drastically reduce crime rates across the Cherwell Local Policing Area.

Newly-appointed Area Comm­ander, Superintendent Colin Paine, 35, who replaces Supt Andy Boyd in the role, says officers will continue Mr Boyd’s policy of visiting persistent offenders’ homes to discourage them from re-offending.

Mr Paine, who previously commanded the West Oxfordshire Local Policing Area and before that served as Det Insp in Oxford, said: “One of the things I’m keen to pursue is identifying those who are persistent career lifestyle criminals; visiting them on a daily or weekly basis to encourage them to desist from re-offending and to let them know that if they do, we’ll do everything that is ethical and legal to get them put behind bars.

He added: “This approach has been very effective here.

“Why shouldn’t we visit them at 2am or 10am in the morning if they’re going out offending at night? I intend to be writing to those people we intend to visit and I shall do some of the visits myself.”

In a pledge to ensure victims of crime in Cherwell have the best level of care in the entire Thames Valley region by the end of 2013, Mr Paine said: “Banbury has a great reputation for care of its victims of crime.

“I want them to know I’m going to move heaven and earth to try to protect them and keep them as safe as we can.

“It’s really important, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because if we can gain the confidence of victims of crime each victim will go away and tell other people about the service they have received and this builds confidence in the community.”

Crime rates have fallen drastically across the Cherwell LPA in 2012 with burglary dwelling offences down by 21 per cent and violence against the person down by 20.2 per cent.

Mr Paine is committed to continuing this trend.

“This is already a really good policing area and very high performing.

“The previous commander achieved some really good results here.

“There was an unprecedented reduction in the level of burglary and violent crime.

“These are very impressive reduction rates and I want to maintain the momentum that has begun here.”

To add to his commitment to front-line policing there is also a more academic side to the new commander. He is currently completing a Masters degree in Criminology at the University of Cambridge and plans to employ his grasp of modern technologies and academic crime analysis to help fight crime in Cherwell.

“I want to maximise the use of sites such as Twitter and similar technologies,” he said.

“Automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR) is also really helping, for example in identifying criminals who might want to come into the area to commit crimes.

“We can really exploit this technology to make it so difficult for them to come here.”

He added: “There are now also mobile finger-printing devices that allow us to identify people at the roadside, and I’m hoping to get some good results from that.

“I’m also delving into some of the academic research, for example into burglaries, which can help us to predict where the next burglary is likely to occur.”

Mr Paine has also praised Banbury residents for the warm welcome he has received in the town so far.

“I love the town,” he said. “I’ve already been for a very pleasant lunch here and it’s very good for shopping as well.

And the new commander has appealed to the community to help in the fight against crime.

“Please do call us with any information you have about criminality,” he said.

“I am determined that we will respond and deliver the very best service that we can.”

To report incidents and assist the police with information about criminality in your area call 101.

For the latest updates on police activity sign up for the TVP Twitter service at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk.