Other Stories In Brief

December 8th, 2010

Detectives in Dunstable are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a robbery took place at a gaming arcade in on Monday (December 6).

The incident happened in High Street North at approximately 6.20pm.

A man was threatened with a knife and handed over a large amount of cash from a safe.

Detective Constable Barry Kerr, investigating, believes the offender was white and aged about 25 to 30. The man covered his face with a scarf and wore a black hooded top and jeans.

DC Kerr said: “I would like to speak to anyone who was in the High Street North area of Dunstable on Monday evening and saw a person matching this description. The offender left the rear of the building and made off through the Quadrant towards Asda car park off Court Drive. It is possible shoppers and passing motorists may have seen something that will help us with our enquiries."

Anyone with information relating to this robbery can contact DC Kerr at Dunstable Police Station, in confidence, on 01234 842610, or text 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

December 8th, 2010

Police in Luton are appealing for witnesses after a 22 year old man was subjected to a knife point robbery on Friday afternoon (Dec 3).

The victim was approached by two men at the Midland Road and Bedford Road junction in Luton, close to the subway tunnel.

The men threatened the student with a knife before forcing him to hand over a G4 iphone which he had been using to listen to music.

The first man is described as a black man, approximately 6'2" tall, 25 to 26 years old, with short afro style hair and wearing a silver stud in his left ear.  He was also wearing loose black jeans and a black leather jacket with a distinctive ˜cobra" motif on the back.

The second is also described as a black man, between 5'10" and 6' tall, approximately 22 years old with a slim build and a longer afro hair style. He was wearing blue jeans together with a black jacket and carrying a blue denim record bag.

PC Surfraz Hussain, investigating, is keen to trace anyone who saw the robbery or anyone who can help identify the two men responsible.

He said: "This robbery happened in a busy area of the town as people were making their way home.  It is possible that members of the public saw the two men loitering in the area prior to this robbery and I would urge anyone who has information relating to this crime to contact the police, in confidence."

December 7th, 2010

Police are urging the elderly to be on their guard after a distraction burglar posed as a water official before stealing cash from a pensioner.

It happened around 6.30pm on Monday (December 6) when the offender called at an address in Brewers Hill, in Dunstable, occupied by a man in his 80s.

He said he was from the water board and asked to check his property as there was a water leak nearby. The victim let him into the property and agreed to assist the man by holding a pipe under his sink.  The man made out he was checking the bathroom taps, after a short while the victim discovered cash had been taken.

DS Dale Mepstead, of the Dunstable-based Priority Crime Investigation Team (PCIT), is keen to speak to anyone who saw the offender hanging around the property, making their escape or getting into a vehicle.

The offender posing as a water official was white, aged about 25, of skinny build and about 5’ 8” tall.

She said: “We are determined to locate those responsible and would urge anyone who saw anything that could help or anyone remembers seeing anyone acting suspiciously in the area, please contact us.

“In the meantime we would remind householders to always use a door chain and spy hole, if an unexpected visitor claiming to be from a company or organisation appears at your door, contact the provider and ask if they have sent a professional to your address. Remember, if in doubt dial 999."

Anyone with information about the burglaries can contact DS Mepstead, in confidence, on 01582 473195, the main switchboard 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

December 7th, 2010

Police are appealing for witnesses and information following an assault in Hatfield on November 30.
 
The incident occurred at around 2pm in Symonshyde Wood off Coopers Green Lane near to a wooded copse called Lord Salisbury.
 
The victim, a 24 year old woman, had been walking her dog when she came across another dog and raised concerns about the behaviour of the dog with its owner, a lady. The victim was then pulled to the floor by her hair by the woman before a man came over and hit the victim with a stick. The victim lost consciousness and suffered bruising and swelling to her neck.
 
The first offender is described a white woman aged in her early to mid 40s. She was approximately 5ft tall, of a thin build with short blonde hair. She was wearing a cream scarf, green jacket with a cream fur hood, blue jeans and brown boots.
 
The second offender is described as a white man aged in his early to mid 40s. He was approximately 5ft 9ins tall, of a large build and wearing an airforce padded jacket and black hat.
 
Anyone with information about what happened is asked to contact PC Robin Brown at Hatfield Police Station on 0845 33000 222 or email robin.brown@herts.pnn.police.uk
 
Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could be entitled to a case reward.
 

November 30th, 2010

A bogus couple who were moments away from exchanging plastic wedding rings at a sham marriage ceremony have been jailed in Luton for attempting to abuse immigration laws.

They were arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team as they arrived for their wedding at Luton Register Office on 9 September.

Yesterday, Waseem Mirza, 34, from Pakistan, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment at Luton Crown Court. His would be bride, Sandra Warchol, 21, from Poland, was sentenced to eight months at an earlier hearing at the same court.

Both had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception and were recommended for deportation by the Judge.

Mirza, a visa overstayer, had hoped his marriage to an EU national would assist his application to stay in the UK.

When questioned after their arrest, they insisted their relationship was genuine. However, their stories soon started to unravel.

It was immediately apparent that the couple did not share a common language. Warchol spoke no English and although Mirza said he spoke some Polish he was unable to answer the most basic questions from a Polish police officer working on the operation.

The couple also said they lived together in Dallow Road, but when the address was searched there was little evidence that a woman was living there.

Sam Bullimore, UK Border Agency Assistant Director, said:

“Their relationship simply wasn’t credible. They couldn’t communicate with one another, they didn’t live together and the plastic rings they intended to use in the ceremony probably cost no more than £1.

“This was not a romance. It was a business arrangement – nothing more than a cynical attempt to circumvent the UK’s immigration laws.”

A marriage certificate alone does not give foreign nationals the right to live and work in the UK. Their relationship also has to be genuine. If at any stage the UK Border Agency proves that a couple has formed a relationship to exploit the immigration system, they can face prosecution or deportation.

The sentencing coincides with a nationwide campaign to tackle immigration crime.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:

“The UK Border Agency is stepping up its efforts to further disrupt the activities of people involved in facilitating immigration crime.

“These convictions follow the success of a major crackdown on immigration crime during the summer, which generated a large number of arrests, cash seizures and prosecutions as well as fresh intelligence.

“Illegal immigration puts huge pressure on the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it. Together with the police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency we will continue to make life as difficult as possible for those who cheat the immigration system.”

Anyone who has information about suspicious marriages or other immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime .

 

November 29th, 2010

Detectives in Dunstable are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a robbery took place at a gaming arcade in Leighton Buzzard on Sunday (November 28). 

The incident happened on Sunday (Nov 28) at Agora Promotions in Market Square at approximately 10pm.

A man in his twenties was threatened with a kitchen knife and punched in the face, he handed over a large amount of cash in a money bag.

Detective Sergeant Graham McMillan, investigating, believes the offender was of mixed race appearance and in his late twenties. The man was carrying a large black cloth money bag.

DS McMillan said: “The victim has been left shocked and suffered minor facial injuries.  He was taken to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital for medical assistance and later released. I would like to speak to anyone who was in the Market Square area of Leighton on Sunday evening and saw a person matching this description”.

A 30-year-old man was arrested on Sunday (Nov 28) in Leighton Road and is currently being interviewed at Dunstable Police Station.

Anyone with information relating to this robbery can contact DS McMillan at Dunstable Police Station, in confidence, on 01234 841212, or text 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

November 29th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following an incident in Letchworth on Friday, November 12.

Some time between 4.30pm and 5pm a woman came off her bike on Baldock Road approximately 50 feet before the traffic lights at its junctions with Norton Way South and Willian Road. She hit her head on the pathway and was knocked unconscious. The 79 year old woman was taken to Lister Hospital for treatment.

Officers came across the lady on her way to dealing with another incident. Her bike, which has a distinctive silver box on the rear, was sticking out into the road.

PC Will Cox said: “Although it was dark at the time of the incident there was a lot of traffic in the area and I am confident someone must have seen what has happened. It may be that the lady fell from her bicycle, but we cannot rule out that a collision has occurred.

“If you saw what happened or have any information about what happened then please contact me via the non-emergency number on 0845 3300 222. We are also keen to trace the lady’s movements before the incident and would like to hear from you if you believe you saw her in the area.”

November 24th, 2010

Breezeblocks dumped by a farm field gateway near Mentmore Crossroads, landed Paul Antony Worlock(49) at Aylesbury magistrates' court on Monday (November 22).

Mr Worlock, of Churchill Road, Leighton Buzzard, admitted illegally dumping waste on 19 April 2010, and was fined £250, and ordered to pay costs of £1,042.50, with a victim surcharge of £15.

The court was told passers-by saw a man take white breeze blocks from a people carrier and put them in a field gateway. The witnesses noted the vehicle registration and reported it.

When interviewed by officers from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, Mr Worlock said he had removed the waste from a friend’s house having cut a hole in an internal wall for a new doorway.  He confirmed that the vehicle was his and that he had left the breezeblocks in the gateway, and acknowledged that he should have taken them to his local ‘Tidy Tip’ in Bedfordshire.

The case was brought by Buckinghamshire County Council on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire. Bill Lidgate, Chairman of the Joint Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, said: "This is a fantastic result and I am pleased with the high fine imposed by the magistrates. I would also like to congratulate the conscientious eye-witnesses for reporting this offence. Let this serve as a warning to others. The public do not take kindly to flytipping and neither do we. We will actively pursue any reports we receive of flytipping."

The Partnership, which launched its “Illegal Dumping Costs” campaign in November 2003, has secured 200 convictions since then, resulting in a significant reduction in reported incidents and a saving to the Buckinghamshire tax payer over the period, principally through reducing removal and disposal costs.

If a person sees anyone flytipping in Buckinghamshire, they can report it on the illegal dumping reporting hotline on 0845 330 1856.

November 24th, 2010

POLICE and Stevenage Homes successfully obtained an order to close down a flat in Barons Court that was being used for drug taking and making local residents’ lives a misery.

A Closure Order was granted today by Stevenage Magistrates Court on Monday, following the compilation of evidence by Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team and Stevenage Homes. 

The order states that the flat cannot be entered by anyone for the next three months and a copy of the order has been placed on the door by officers.  

The 26 year old female tenant will not be able to enter back into the property for the period of the order.

Safer Neighbourhoods officer PC Dan Reid said: “We had received a number of complaints over a significant period of time regarding allegations about drug taking, anti social behaviour, noise and people coming and going at odd hours. Stevenage Homes and police officers carried out a warrant at the address in October and seized substances suspected to be drugs and our investigations are continuing. The disruption was making the lives of local residents an absolute misery and we want to send out a message that we won’t tolerate this kind of behaviour.” 

Cllr Ann Webb, Stevenage Borough Council portfolio holder for housing added, “Stevenage Homes and Stevenage Borough Council will not tolerate anti-social behaviour by our tenants and will continue to work with the police to respond to residents’ concerns. I’m pleased that this tenant’s neighbours can now enjoy their homes again.”

November 22nd, 2010

Four men who robbed a McDonalds on the A5 in Watling Street in Hockliffe, Bedfordshire have been sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday (19 November).

Saleh Ahmed, a 26-year-old, of Naseby Road, Luton, Moshin Ali, a 24-year-old, of Francis Avenue, St Albans and Shawkat Uddin, a 23-year-old also from Francis Avenue, St Albans were jailed for four years, having pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.

Stephen Seaton, a 39-year-old, of Mullen Road, Luton, was sentenced to three and a half years, having pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.

All were arrested following a robbery on August 2, which started when three men approached the serving hatch of the drive through. The men threatened staff with violence and demanded the till and safe be opened.

The offenders took a large amount of money and left the scene in a white Mercedes van. Police officers including Armed Response Officers, members of the Beds and Herts Dog Unit together with the police helicopter, swiftly arrived at the scene.

Officers soon located the offenders and tracked them down to a block of flats in Plaiters Way, Houghton Regis and arrested the four men. Officers recovered money bags containing coins and notes taken from the restaurant.

After the case DC Louise Howard, said: “This was a classic example of good policing, since they were arrested within minutes of the robbery in Houghton Regis by officers who were able to second guess where they were hiding with the assistance of the police helicopter.

“Since then we have worked hard to piece together all the evidence needed to secure the successful convictions achieved this week. This case should serve as a warning to others thinking of committing robbery that they will be arrested - and they will find themselves in court.”

November 17th, 2010

Bedfordshire Police have charged two men in connection with an aggravated burglary which happened in The Severals, Luton last night, Nov 16.
 
Omar Harris, born 10.04.1991, of Brooms Road, Luton was charged with Aggravated Burglary and Possession of a controlled Class A drug, namely Cocaine.

Kallan Martin, born 27.06.1991, of NFA was charged with Aggravated Burglary and Driving a motor vehicle otherwise in accordance with a licence.

They will both appear before Luton Magistrates Court this morning, November 17.

The charges come as Bedfordshire Police press ahead with Operation Vision, an ongoing initiative aimed at driving down burglary this winter.

Anyone with information about burglary can contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

November 17th, 2010

Police in Dunstable are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a 17-year- old Houghton Regis boy was assaulted during a road rage incident.

The incident happened on Tuesday (November 9) at approximately 4.25pm in Porz Avenue, Dunstable when a cyclist attempted to pass a van waiting in traffic.  Due to the narrow stretch of road the cyclist waved to the men in the van to move, as the van was still in traffic he was forced to go on the grass verge.

The passenger of the white van threw a milkshake at the cyclist and when the van caught up with him in the traffic, the passenger got out of the vehicle. During a brief confrontation, the man threatened the cyclist and grabbed him by the jaw.

Police are now appealing for independent witnesses to come forward who may be able to help piece together exactly what happened.

Anyone with information can contact the investigating officer, Gillian Cook-Smith, at Dunstable Police Station, on 01582 473153, or text 07786 200011, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

November 15th, 2010

POLICE are urging the elderly to be on their guard after a distraction burglar posed as a water official before stealing a pensioner’s purse.

It happened between 4.30pm and 4.40pm on Friday (November 12) when the offender called at an address in Denel Close, in Flitwick, occupied by a woman in her 80s.

He said he was a water official and asked her to turn off her water supply as her neighbours had a problem with their boiler. The victim let him into the property and later discovered her purse had been taken containing cash and bank cards.

Police believe this incident may be connected with three distraction burglaries in Leighton Buzzard on Sunday (November 14). A man pretending to be from the water board told each of his victims he was working up the road and needed to check their water supply.  One of the women agreed to let him in and after a short time became suspicious when he failed to return.  She discovered he had removed cash from her purse.

DC Sarah Livingstone, of the Dunstable-based Priority Crime Investigation Team (PCIT), is keen to speak to anyone who saw the offender hanging around the property, making their escape or getting into a vehicle.

The offender posing as a water official was white and he was wearing a dark coat and trousers.

She said: “This man is deliberately targeting vulnerable members of our community.

“We are determined to locate those responsible and would urge anyone who saw anything that could help or anyone remembers seeing anyone acting suspiciously in the area, please contact us.

“In the meantime we would remind householders to always use a door chain and spy hole, if an unexpected visitor claiming to be from a company or organisation appears at your door, contact the provider and ask if they have sent a professional to your address. Remember, if in doubt dial 999."

Anyone with information about the burglaries can contact DC Livingstone, in confidence, on 01582 473056, the main switchboard 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

November 15th, 2010

Police are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in St Albans on Friday (November 12).
 
The burglary took place between 11.50am and 1.30pm at a property on Harlesden Road. It is believed the offender(s) gained access through a back kitchen window by breaking the window. They then searched the property and made off with various items including jewellery, a laptop and a digital camera. 
 
PC Chris Chadwick from the St Albans Intervention team is investigating and said: “This road is a popular cut through for people attending the Hatfield Road Mosque and for parents doing the school run so it is quite often very busy.
 
“I would like to hear from anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously on Harlesden Road between 11.50am and 1.30pm that day.”
 
Anyone with information is asked to call police via the non-emergency number, 0845 33 00 222.
 
Residents of St Albans are encouraged to take note of the following crime prevention advice:

  • Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
  • Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out 
  • Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
  • Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
  • Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
  • At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
  • Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible,
  • keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
  • Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

November 11th, 2010

The Bedfordshire Police Automatic Number Plate Recognition Intercept Team where out and about in Luton last night (Nov 9) and arrested two men on suspicion of Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs, Taking a Vehicle without Consent and Money Laundering.

The men were stopped by ANPR officers in St Winifreds Avenue at approximately 1.45pm and when the vehicle was searched a large amount of cash was found.

A section 18 search warrant was then executed at a flat in Cheapside, Luton where a further amount of cash was seized and a large amount of a substance, thought to be cocaine, was found.

The two men, who are both aged 24 and from Luton, have now been released on police bail pending further investigation and forensic results.

Detective Inspector Richard Wall, who leads the Serious Crime Team, based at Luton Police Station, said: “We believe this is another good seizure of illegal drugs from the streets of Luton and shows how targeting those criminals who use our roads to commit crime can achieve great results.

“Bedfordshire Police will continue to crack down on illegal drug suppliers by using all available methods and our aim is to reduce the number of people who have to commit crime in order to buy drugs.

“People who deal and take illegal drugs can also make the lives of residents a misery. It is hoped this work will continue to ensure they are not replaced by others bent on drug trafficking and we will continue to work closely with community leaders and members of the public to identify their concerns and make Luton a safer place.”

If you have information about illegal drugs activity in your area you can contact Bedfordshire Police using a confidential Hotline on 01582 394126, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

November 11th, 2010

Police are appealing for witnesses after trouble at a nightclub in Leighton Buzzard.

A woman suffered cuts to her face in a fight at The Office in Lake Street at 1am last Saturday.

The group were asked to leave and police were then called to a fight outside the club.

Two men in their 30s and a 20-year-old man were arrested for affray and released on police bail pending further enquiries.

PC Lorraine Nugent, investigating, said: "There was a confrontation inside the club, this then continued outside the club after the group were asked to leave.  I am keen to speak to anyone who was there on the night and has not yet been spoken to by an officer."

November 11th, 2010

Beds Police are urging the elderly to be on their guard after two pensioners were the victims of attempted distraction burglaries in Leighton Buzzard yesterday (Wednesday, November 10).

A man called at a property in Nelson Road at 3.35pm and told an 80-year-old woman he wanted to check the stop cock in her property.

She challenged the man by asking for identification, which he did not have. He then tried to push his way into the property and she slammed the front door shut, the offender left empty handed.

Minutes later, at twenty to four,  police believe the same man called at a property in Garden Hedge and told an 83-year-old woman he wanted to check the gas and water due to works being carried out down the road.

She refused entry and asked for identification, the man produced identification and whilst the woman continued to question the man he tried to push his way into the property.  She managed to shut the door and the offender walked off empty handed.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who saw the man hanging around the area, making his escape or getting into a vehicle. He is described as white, about 30-years-old, 5ft 5inches tall, with a medium build, has a thin face and black hair.  He was wearing a dark fleece and trousers and spoke with an irish accent.

DC Sarah Livingstone, investigating, said "I would like to speak to anyone who saw this man hanging around the Nelson Road area of Leighton Buzzard yesterday afternoon." 

She reminded elderly people to always use a spy-hole and chain and insist on seeing identification from callers.

November 10th, 2010

Police in Stevenage are appealing for witnesses and information after a woman was touched by a man and then hit in the face.

The 20 year old woman was approached by a man on the Leisure Park in Stevenage at around twenty to three on Thursday, November 4.

Detective Constable Beverley Jennings is investigating and said: "Thankfully the victim was not seriously injured but understandably she has been left extremely shaken by what has happened. I would urge anyone who saw what happened or has any information about the incident to contact the Local Crime Unit at Stevenage police station on 01438 757175."

A 32 year old man from Hitchin has been arrested and has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

November 10th, 2010

Police in Flitwick are appealing for witnesses to come forward after two men in their twenties were assaulted on Saturday, November 6.

The incident happened at the junction of Hampden Road and Dunstable Road in Flitwick at approximately 1.30am when two men and a group of eight men and women were involved in an altercation. One of the victim’s who had fallen to the floor was repeatedly kicked and punched causing facial injuries.

The second victim received a cut to his eyebrow. Both men were taken to Bedford Hospital for treatment and later released.

Two men aged 24 and 18 years were later arrested for assault and released on police bail pending further enquiries.

PC Rossann Hart, investigating said: “I am keen to speak to anyone who was there on the night who has not yet spoken to an officer or anyone who was in the area at the time who see the assault."


Anyone with information can contact PC Hart, in confidence, on 01582 473374, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text 07786 200011.


November 9th, 2010

A man who carried out a distraction burglary at the home of a 79 year old woman has been sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.
 
William Flynn, 33, of Century Avenue in Milton Keynes, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court today (November 9). 
 
At an earlier hearing on September 27, William pleaded guilty to the distraction burglary which took place in Beachwood Green near Hitchin in April this year.
 
He also pleaded guilty to handling a stolen BMW which was taken during a burglary in Potters Bar in January and handling a stolen Audi which was stolen from outside a public house in Broxbourne in January. He also admitted stealing a wallet from a house in Milton Keynes and fraudulent transactions using the victim’s bank card, in March.
 
PC Jill Green, from Operation Manhunt, said: “William Flynn managed to get access into the victim’s house through the front door and purported to be selling household goods.  Whilst the victim was viewing his fake ID, he removed her handbag from its location.  The victim became suspicious and asked him to leave which he did so, taking her handbag with him.”
 
“Distraction burglars tend to prey on the elderly and vulnerable people in our community and I would urge anyone faced with a caller they are not expecting to try to deal with the call without opening the door and ask them to come back at a time you have someone you trust with you. If you believe they are suspicious, call police immediately.”

November 9th, 2010

POLICE are urging the elderly to be on their guard after a distraction burglar posed as a police officer before stealing a pensioner’s purse.

It happened between 6.35pm and 7pm on Saturday (November 6) when the offender called at an address in Queens Court, High Street North in Dunstable, occupied by a woman in her 60s.

He said he was a police officer checking home security in the area and the victim let him into the property.

Whilst questioning the woman about her security he managed to remove her purse from her handbag containing cash and bank cards.

Police believe this incident may be connected with two distraction burglaries at neighbouring properties a week earlier (October 29). Two men pretending to be water officials demanded money from the victims. One victim refused and they fled empty handed, the other handed over £10 but later discovered cash had been taken from another room.

DC Sarah Livingstone, of the Dunstable-based Priority Crime Investigation Team (PCIT), is keen to speak to anyone who saw the offenders hanging around the properties, making their escape or getting into a vehicle.

The offender posing as a plain clothes police officer was white and aged between 28 to 30-years-old, of medium build with short brown hair.  He was wearing a grey cardigan and grey trousers.

She said: “These people are cowardly offenders who deliberately target vulnerable members of our community.

“We are determined to locate those responsible and would urge anyone who knows who was involved, or saw anything that could help, to contact us. On each occasion the men involved would have entered the building via Ashton Road in Dunstable. If anyone remembers seeing anyone acting suspiciously in the area, please contact us.

“In the meantime we would remind householders to always use a door chain and spy hole, if an unexpected visitor claiming to be from a company or organisation appears at your door, contact the provider and ask if they have sent a professional to your address. Remember, if in doubt dial 999.

Anyone with information about the burglaries can contact DC Livingstone, in confidence, on 01582 473056, the main switchboard 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

November 9th, 2010

Tesco CCTV Police in Luton are asking members of the public to help identify the man shown in this CCTV picture.

Officers need to speak to the man in connection with the theft of 4 tins of Quality Street which were taken from the Tesco Express Store in Dunstable Road on November 3, 2010.

Anyone who can help identify this man can contact PC Charles Pirie at Luton Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 394491, or text 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

November 9th, 2010

Police in Luton are appealing for help to identify a man wanted in connection with an incident in the town on Monday, November 2.

The incident happened as a 22 year old student left the Liquid Night Club just before 1am and walked to the top of Market Hill where she was pushed to the ground and grabbed.

Luckily the victim fought back against the man and managed to break away from him before he walked away in the direction of the Crown Court building.

The officer in charge of this investigation, Detective Constable Amy Kelly, is keen to trace anyone who can help identify the man responsible who is described as a man with a dark Asian appearance, about 6’ tall, dark short hair with a medium build and was wearing dark jeans and a top with wide stripes on it.

DC Kelly said: “It is possible that this man followed the victim from the nightclub before assaulting her and I would ask anyone who was in the area at the time or anyone who saw someone matching this description loitering outside the club to speak to the police.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind anyone who is out and about late at night to ensure they stay with their friends, use a licensed taxi to get home and always tell friends or family where you are going and when to expect you home.”

Anyone with information about this crime can contact DC Kelly at Luton CID, in confidence, on 01582 394333, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

November 3rd, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after a number of DVDs were stolen from Letchworth Library recently.

The theft took place between Thursday 28 October and Friday 29 October at the library on Broadway.

The offenders removed the following DVDs from their boxes:

• Cemetery Junction
• Robin Hood
• Legion
• Diary of the Dead
• Zombieland
• The Book of Eli
• Centurion
• Planet Terror
• Black Death
• Dead Man Running

The DVDs were marked with an ID number beginning with the letter ‘H’.

If you believe you witnessed the thefts, or may have seen these items offered for sale, please call police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.

November 1st, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and asking parents and children to consider some safety advice following a number of incidents in Hemel Hempstead in recent months.

Officers are investigating the possibility that a number of incidents, which have occurred since May and involve a man approaching young girls aged between 7 and 12 years old, may be linked. On some occasions the offender has exposed himself and on two occasions he has assaulted the children. They were not physically injured.

The incidents have occurred in Long Chaulden, Chambersbury Lane, Old House Road, Galley Hill and Shrub Hill Common. Most have happened during the day (between 11am and 8pm).

There are a number of common features in the description of the offender on each occasion which are leading police to investigate the possibility that the incidents may be linked. These are - a man with tanned skin, aged between 25 and 35, dark hair and of a slim build, between 5ft10 and 6ft tall.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Humphries is leading the investigation and said: “Understandably parents may have concerns about these incidents and I would like to reassure them that we are taking these incidents extremely seriously and have an experienced team of officers with extensive local knowledge working on the investigation. We are making numerous inquiries to establish whether or not there is a link between these offences and to trace whoever is responsible.

“We would appeal to anyone who has any information about these incidents, recognises the man described or knows who is responsible to contact police with information. We would also ask that parents speak with their children about how to stay safe particularly with the evenings getting darker.”

If anyone has any concerns they are asked to contact police via the non-emergency number and ask to speak with their local Neighbourhood Team.

If you have specific information you can contact the investigating team on 01442 271062.

Advice to children about personal safety:
• Don’t speak to strangers
• Stay alert
• Stick to busy and well-lit areas
• Avoid short cuts through quiet, unlit, secluded or wooded areas and alleyways
• Try to keep with friends rather than walk alone
• Make sure someone knows where you are going and tell them when you’ve arrived
• If you believe someone is following you, go to the nearest busy place, such as a petrol station
• Take a mobile phone with you if you have one

November 1st, 2010

iPods, laptops and mobiles – as well as cash – have been stolen during four thefts from people in Hatfield in two weeks and police are reminding people, especially students, not to advertise their property.

“To reduce the chances of being a victim of crime, don’t advertise expensive equipment like laptops and iPods to opportunist thieves,” said Welwyn Hatfield Inspector Ian Grout. “Keep your possessions hidden or leave them securely at home. Hatfield is a safe place to live and study, let’s try and keep it that way.”

Between 6.15pm and 6.20pm on October 17, a man demanded £20 from a man in Lane End. A 20-year-old man from Hatfield has been arrested on suspicion on robbery and is currently on police bail.

Four or five men frog marched a man to a cash point and told him to take out £20 at 5am in Queensway on October 26.

An iPod, mobile phone, £30 in cash and a wallet were stolen between 8.50am and 9am in Woods Avenue after two offenders approached the victim asking him for a cigarette. They are described as two black men wearing hooded tops and they made off towards Travellers Lane.

A man grabbed a bag from a man containing a laptop between 7.50pm and 7.55pm on October 28 and cycled off with it towards Haseldine Meadows.

If you have any information about these offences, please contact police on 0845 33 00 222.

November 1st, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a serious altercation in Hemel Hempstead which has left three teenagers injured.

At around 11.20pm on Saturday, October 30, five teenagers were walking along Northridge Way when they were approached by another group. The group assaulted three of the teenagers.

A 14 year old boy was hit to the head with a beer bottle and punched and kicked. He suffered a fractured skull. A 17 year old boy was punched and kicked and suffered a fractured cheekbone and broken nose and a 16 year old boy was punched and kicked and suffered bruising to his head and back.

The suspects are described as follows:
• A white man aged in his late teens, 6ft 3ins tall of a broad build with short dark hair, dark bushy eyebrows and a pale complexion
• A white man aged in his late teens, 5ft 10ins of a broad build with short spiked mousey brown hair. He was wearing a dark blue training top
• A white man aged in his late teens, 5ft 9ins to 5ft, 10ins tall of a stocky build with short light coloured hair. He was wearing a grey jumper.

There were at least three further offenders.

This is an extremely serious incident and anyone who knows who is responsible or who has any information about what happened should call Investigator Deborah Newsham on 01442 271086 or the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0845 3300 222.

November 1st, 2010

A VICTIM of an attempted burglary in St Albans has spoken of her gratitude to Herts Police after she received compensation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002) to get her damaged property repaired.

The victim’s patio door was smashed following the attempted break-in at her property in Cuckmans Drive, St Albans, on Wednesday, May 5.

Following the incident, a 16-year-old boy from Cambridge was charged with attempted burglary. While searching the teenager, officers found £1170 in cash, which was forfeited under the legislation as it was believed the money was the profits of his illegal activity.

The 16-year-old later pleaded guilty to the offence and others at Cambridge Youth Court and received a four month custodial sentence.

From the money that was forfeited, a cheque for £495 was given to the victim on Wednesday, October 27, to pay for the repairs. The rest of the money will be used to help the Constabulary fight crime.

The victim said: “I am really grateful to the police in using the Proceeds of Crime Act to take this money off the offender and give it to us to help repair our property.

“The police have been really supportive and have kept me up to date all the way through. Having this money to repair the door has helped me feel more secure.”

The case was thoroughly investigated by Detective Constable Zoe Austwick, with the compensation pursued by Financial Investigator Vicci Sinclair.

Zoe said: “Being a victim of a burglary can be devastating and we always work tirelessly to trace those responsible and ensure they are prosecuted. I’m pleased the offender pleaded guilty and this case reached a successful conclusion.”

Vicci added: “We are committed to using the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure criminals don’t benefit from their illegal activities but also to compensate innocent victims who have lost out financially because of someone else’s greed and selfishness. I’m delighted we’ve obtained this compensation for the victim and I hope it helps them move on from this experience.”

October 29th, 2010

Detectives in Luton are appealing for information  after an attempted armed robbery was reported on Wednesday night.

A man armed with a small gun entered the Nisa Shop in Bishopscope Road at approximately 8.40pm demanding the shop keeper hand over cash.

Another member of staff then came in to the shop and disturbed the offender who left the scene empty handed, running towards Alder Crescent.

The robber is described as a man with an Asian appearance, wearing a hat, a scarf over his face and dark clothing.

Detective Constable Nick Oates, investigating, is keen to trace anyone who can help identify the offender or anyone who has information about this incident.

He said: "This is a busy area of the town during the evening and I would like to urge anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who may have noticed someone matching this description loitering in the area during the evening to speak to the police."

October 27th, 2010

POLICE are re-appealing for the public’s help in tracing a vulnerable 45-year-old woman from Letchworth.

Lisa Corrado was last seen at 1pm on October 6 at her home address in Heathermere, Letchworth. She has not been seen since.

She is described as white, 5ft 3ins tall, of medium build and has long brown straight hair. She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, a black shirt with red roses on it, white shoes and was carrying a silver bag.

Lisa is known to travel in most areas of Hertfordshire. When she was last seen, she stated she was going to Hitchin. She also often makes trips to Milton Keynes to go shopping.

There are serious concerns for Lisa’s welfare at this time. We would ask that Lisa makes contact with the police or her family as soon as possible. Or if anyone sees a woman fitting her description, please get in contact.

October 27th, 2010

RESIDENTS in an area of Harpenden South, with help from Hertfordshire Constabulary and Trading Standards, have told distraction burglars and rogue traders they are not welcome.

A ‘no cold calling zone’ – one of the first in the St Albans district - has been established in an area of Harpenden South which incorporates Queens Road, Bowling Close, Heath Close, Gorselands and Walkers Close. The area was identified by police and Trading Standards officers after a number of distraction burglaries had taken place there over a number of years.

However, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Carmine Zanfardino and PC Emma Collins – both Harpenden South neighbourhood officers - have done a lot of work in the area to beat these crimes. This has included visiting residents to give them advice, and more high visibility patrols.

Sergeant Lewis Ducket, Neighbourhood Sergeant for Harpenden, said: “While we have started seeing a reduction in distraction burglaries and cold callers, we want to ensure this downward trend continues.

“This ‘no cold calling zone’ is an excellent way to do this, giving residents added protection against rogue traders by warning them away. It also empowers residents to take action against these callous offenders and know how to identify them, as well as what action to take.”

Signs have been placed on lampposts in the streets to deter rogue traders and doorstep sellers from entering the area. Residents have also been given a pack containing information about their rights as consumers and useful telephone numbers to call if they are concerned about a cold caller.

Residents who receive cold callers in this zone can now also phone police who will deal with the matter. But the cold calling zone is well known amongst authorised companies, who tend to avoid the area.

The zone was the idea of PCSO Carmine Zanfardino, who then worked with Trading Standards and PC Collins in setting it up. It officially launched this month.

Carmine said: “I would like to thank the residents for their support in getting this scheme in place. We are constantly working for safety, justice and reassurance for all, and initiatives such as this one can help make communities feel safe and improve their confidence in saying no to cold callers.”

Keith Emsall, Executive Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Residents should know their rights and feel confident enough to say 'no' when they do not want to purchase goods or services.

“We have had considerable success in getting rogue traders prosecuted through the courts, and will keep up the pressure on people who use these tactics.

“There are, of course, legitimate businesses which cold call. But because that practice has been hijacked by distraction burglars and other criminals who prey on vulnerable residents, it has become an unwanted menace and local people have left us in no doubt that they don’t want cold callers at all.”

Trading Standards and Hertfordshire Constabulary are advising residents to be one step ahead of rogue callers with the following basic tips:

•If you need any work done, only use reputable traders who have a fixed and checkable trading address and land line telephone numbers, recommended by someone you trust.

•Obtain written, properly itemised quotes (including materials) from at least three companies before making a decision

•Try to keep up with household maintenance if you can - rogues seek out those homes which look in obvious need of attention, for example loose roof tiles, crumbling driveways or overgrown gardens.

•If in doubt, don’t open the door at all to unexpected callers. Check that all your doors are locked.

•If you feel you have to open the door, put the chain on first. This puts you in a stronger position and makes it easier to close it quickly if you have to.

•Avoid engaging in conversation with cold callers if possible – just say NO.

•If the caller claims to be on official business, ask for their ID and check it with the company they claim to represent. Don’t let them in until you have done this.
•If a caller becomes aggressive or won’t go away, call the police.

•If you do decide to have work done by a cold caller, they must give you a notice advising you that you are legally entitled to a seven-day cancellation period. If the trader has started work without doing this, the contract is unenforceable and you do not have to pay anything.

The first No Cold Calling Area in the county was set up in Potters Bar on October 12 last year. A second was set up in Hemel Hempstead on October 25, while the third came into effect in Berkhamstead in April. These have already proved to be very successful in deterring doorstep operators in those areas.

October 26th, 2010

A man who appeared before Luton Magistrates Court this morning, Tuesday, October 26, has admitted to being responsible for over one hundred burglaries in Luton within the past 18 months.

Aaron Evangelou, dob 24 10 1987, of NFA (Luton area) had been charged with a burglary at an address in Ramsey Close, Lewsey Farm on October 1, and another in Buchanan Drive on May 28.  He asked Magistrate’s for a further 111 burglary offences to be taken in to consideration.

Evangelou was remanded in to custody and will appear before Luton Crown Court on November 19.

Speaking after today’s hearing, Detective Inspector Mark Upex, Head of Priority Crime Investigation at Luton Police Station, said: “Burglary is a Bedfordshire Police priority and we would like to reassure members of the public we will do all we can to catch those who commit burglaries.”

DI Upex added: “This court result comes as Bedfordshire Police moves forward with ‘Op Vision’, an ongoing initiative aimed at promoting crime prevention where the force is continuing to work closely with partners at reducing burglary.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that they can also play an important role in reducing burglaries. By following a few simple tips property owners can make it difficult for criminals to enter their homes and this could make burglars think twice about targeting their property.”

•  Leave lights or the radio on so it looks and sounds like someone is at home.
• Lock all windows and fit restrictors – thieves can wriggle through any gap larger than a human head.
• Fit locks at the top and bottom of patio doors.
• Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice – make sure you switch them on when you go out!
• Never leave garages or sheds unlocked.
• Check for weak spots and sagging fences on your boundary.
• Stop a thief from getting into the back of the house where he can work unseen by fitting a strong, high gate across a side passage.
• Be alert to strangers loitering in the street.  If you don’t recognise them or they are acting suspiciously, call the police.
• Don’t hide your keys under the mat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place they look.
• Make sure your doors are securely locked at all times.
• Help us beat the bogus caller, always stop at the door, check the chain is on and verify the caller’s identification before opening your door.  IF IN DOUBT DON’T LET THEM IN.
• And finally remember if a burglar does get in to your home handbags, wallets, and house or car keys are obvious targets, so please don’t leave them in a prominent position such as at the bottom of the stairs. Remember the force Key Safe initiative and put your keys safely out of sight.

October 21st, 2010

Burglar Parvinder Lagah has been jailed for three years after stealing a 32 inch flat screen television and a DVD player from a house in Luton.

He was seen acting suspiciously at the house in Beechwood Road at lunchtime on 12 April this year by a neighbour, Luton Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Geoffrey Porter said that when it was discovered that there had been a break in the neighbour was able to pick out 28-year-old Lagah at an identity parade. He was arrested and said he had been in the area carrying out garden clearance work.

Lagah, of High Town Road, Luton pleaded guilty on the day of his trial last month and returned to court for sentence on Wednesday 20 October.

Mr Porter said Lagah had a long list of previous convictions, including burglaries of homes.

Defence barrister Kate Chidgey asked for Lagah to be placed on a Drug Rehabilitation Course. She said his crimes were the result of addiction. Whilst being held on remand in prison she said he had been making progress and wanted to give up drugs. She said he had taken a voluntary drug test, which had proved negative.

But Recorder Ian Baker refused saying Lagah had been given chances in the past. Jailing him he said: "You have made an effort to give up drugs. I hope you continue to make efforts. Nobody else can do it. It is up to you."


21st October, 2010

Three teenagers from the Kettering area have been sentenced to custody for three street robberies of younger teenagers in Hitchin and Higham Ferrars.

Their victims were said to have been extremely frightened and lost self confidence as a result of the attacks.

Louis Cowern, 19 from Boland Drive, Kettering was sentenced to 12 months youth custody at Luton Crown Court on Thursday. He had no previous convictions and was the driver. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £450 compensation.

Two 17 year old twins from the Kettering area were each given a 12 month detention and training order and told to pay £500 each in compensation.

All three pleaded guilty to three charges of robbery committed on Feb 27 this year.

Timothy Bowden, prosecuting said a fourth man was involved but he had not been caught.

The first incident occurred in Burford Way, Hitchin at about 10.30 pm when four teenagers aged about 15 and 16 were walking home. A car pulled up alongside and three youths got out. One had a baseball bat and two had knives.

Two of the victims were robbed of a mobile phone and a jacket and then Cowern drove the robbers away.

About an hour later a 16 year old was walking alone in Saffron Road, Higham Ferrars, when the same car pulled up alongside him. One defendant showed him he had a knife and demanded everything he had got. He ran off but was caught and punched to the back of his head.

He handed over his keys, mobile phone and wallet, said the prosecutor, and was punched again. He made a note of the car's registration.

Two days later the car was stopped and the three defendants were inside. Two knives and a baseball bat were found inside.

Helen Fleck, defending Cowern, said he never got out of the car but became aware that weapons were used.

Stephen Garratt defending the twins said they had expressed remorse and saved up money for compensation. They were both at college and would be vulnerable in custody.

Judge John Bevan QC told them: "These were offences of robbery committed late at night, on the street against vulnerable victims younger than yourselves. Two knives and a baseball bat were used."

October 21st, 2010

Burglar Parvinder Lagah was jailed for 3 years yesterday/Weds after stealing a 32 inch flat screen television and a DVD player from a house in Luton.

He was seen acting suspiciously at the house in Beechwood Road at lunchtime on 12 April this year by a neighbour, Luton crown court heard.

Prosecutor Geoffrey Porter said that when it was discovered that there had been a break in the neighbour was able to pick out 28 year old Lagah at an identity parade.

He was arrested and said he had been in the area carrying out garden clearance work.

Lagah, of High Town Road, Luton pleaded guilty on the day of his trial last month and returned to court for sentence.

Mr Porter said Lagah had a long list of previous convictions, including burglaries of homes.

Defence barrister Kate Chidgey asked for Lagah to be placed on a Drug Rehabilitation Course. She said his crimes were the result of addiction. Whilst being held on remand in prison she said he had been making progress and wanted to give up drugs. She said he had taken a voluntary drug test, which had proved negative.

But Recorder Ian Baker refused saying Lagah had been given chances in the past. Jailing him he said: "You have made an effort to give up drugs. I hope you continue to make efforts. Nobody else can do it. It is up to you."

October 19th, 2010

Three men were arrested during the early hours of this morning by Luton patrol officers responding to an emergency call from a member of the public.

The suspects were confronted by a police dog and its handler just around the corner from Mill Street at approx 5.11am where the robbery had been reported.

The three men aged 19, 24, and 28 were all arrested on suspicion of robbery and are being held at Luton Police Station for questioning by police.

The 29 year old victim suffered facial injuries during his ordeal and was taken to hospital for treatment.

October 19th, 2010

Trouble flared on the Marsh Farm estate after a resident's window got broken by some young men playing football, a court has heard.

The victim reacted angrily, armed himself with a golf club and went to the address whereell the culprit lived and smashed the window there.

In response three men came out of the house in Axe Close all of them armed and began chasing the man, cornered him in a communal area of Flint Close, where he lived and assaulted him, said prosecutor Kevin Barry.

Before Luton Crown Court on Tuesday was 23 year old Wesley Nembhard, the only one of the three to be caught.

Mr. Barry said he was armed with a set of nun chucks and his friends with fence posts.

Nembhard, who was highly praised in a reference for his involvement with the Marsh Farm community partnership, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm. He admitted having the nun chucks but denied using them in the assault.

He was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 12 months with 200 hours unpaid work.

Mr. Barry said the events occurred on Sept 4 last year. Mr. Peter Boston had already had a football break the outer pane of a double gazed window and it was boarded over. That evening he heard a noise and found the inner pane smashed as well.

He looked outside and recognised Nembhard. "In something of a temper he took a golf club to Axe Close and smashed a window belonging to Nembhard's mother. He remained outside saying 'see how you like it' and 'come on, come on'.

"Eventually the defendant and two other males emerged, all armed, and there was a stand off and shouts from both sides.

"Mr. Boston was then chased around the estate before being cornered near his home. He was struck repeatedly and fell to the floor and the beating continued."

The court was told he had cuts to his nose, lips and hands and wheals on his back.

Nembhard told police he had been concerned for his mother and attempted to usher Mr Boston away but he continued to be aggressive.

Robert English, defending said: "The complainant's behaviour was very provocative and he was given a caution.

"The defendant saw it as a huge affront to his mother but admits that his was a hot headed reaction."

Judge Jeffrey Burke QC told Nembhard: "This was three of using weapons on a single man. He had provoked you but that only goes to an explanation and is not in any sense an excuse.

"Instead of complaining about his behaviour you took the law into your own hands, chased him and gave him a good hiding when you caught him. It is fortunate no serious harm was caused."

October 19th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information after a young boy was assaulted by an older boy in Harpenden last Thursday (October 14).

In particular, officers are keen to speak to the young victim, who did not stay at the scene.

The incident happened at about 8.40pm on Station Road in the town. The older boy smashed a glass bottle of beer over the young boy’s head.

A member of the public called the police. But the younger boy had left when officers arrived.

Sergeant Lewis Ducket from the Safer Neighbourhood Team in Harpenden said: “This would undoubtedly have been a distressing incident for the boy, who can be no older than 13. It is also a cruel, callous act by the older boy.

“I am appealing for the victim to contact me so we can investigate this incident and take action against the boy responsible. I am also keen for anyone else who saw the incident to get in touch so we can identify the boy responsible.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt Ducket via the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555111.

October 19th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after an incident of criminal damage to a car in Abbots Langley at the weekend.

The incident took place at 10pm on Saturday (October 16) at the roundabout on South Way. The offender got out of his car and approached a man who was in a Silver Ford Fiesta which was parked behind. He punched the window of the victim’s car, causing it to smash, before getting back into his car and driving off.

The offender is described as black, aged between 24 and 26, around 5ft 11ins tall with a medium build. He was said to have short black spiked hair and wearing jeans and a dark smart jacket. It is believed he could have been driving a dark coloured Ford, possibly a Focus.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222 quoting crime reference C2/10/2850.

October 19th, 2010

Police are appealing for information and witnesses after an incident of criminal damage to a car in Welwyn Garden City at the weekend.

The incident took place at 1.45pm on Saturday (October 16) in Stonehills. A man was driving a silver Citroen hatchback out of a parking space and the offender kicked the back of the car causing damage.

The offender is described as a white man, aged 39 to 46 years old, with a stocky build and stubble on his face. He was wearing blue jeans and carrying a beige satchel.

PC Joe Clapham from the Welwyn Garden City Neighbourhood Team said: “As this was a Saturday afternoon I would imagine some members of the public would have seen the incident. I would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or who can shed any light as to the offender’s identity.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222 quoting crime reference B1/10/3236.

October 4th, 2010

A thief from Bedfordshire who stole bikes from railway stations has been sentenced after after being caught on CCTV by British Transport Police.

Steven Walters, 39, of St Neots Road, Sandy, stole nine bicycles between March and July of this year at various stations in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Walters, who pleaded guilty to the offences, was sentenced to a four month jail term, suspended for 12 months, plus a 12 month referral order.

PC Robbie Singh, investigating officer, said Walters targeted high-quality bikes, some of which cost several hundred pounds.

"Walters was in search of quality items and most of the bikes he took were high-spec models, often those with suspension systems or front disc brakes.

"Unfortunately for him he was pictured on CCTV on several occasions and he was later identified as being the culprit responsible for all of the offences," said PC Singh

Walters, who gave a no comment interview to police, appeared at Bedford Magistrates Court on Friday, 1 October. In addition to the suspended jail term he was also ordered to pay £50 in compensation to each victim.

Three thefts were at Sandy, two at Huntingdon and the others at Hitchin, Biggleswade, Bedford and St Neots.

September 30th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in St Albans this week.

The incident occurred at a house on Partridge Road between 11.10pm on Tuesday (September 28) and 5.20am on Wednesday (September 29). It is believed the offender(s) gained access to the property through an open window and searched the property.

They stole a number of electrical items including a TV, Sat Nav, laptop and mobile phone, and made off in the victims’ Silver Jaguar S Type.

DC Ange Wade from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “My appeal is to anyone who may have seen or heard anything that night, or to anyone who may have seen this car leaving the scene or abandoned somewhere.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents of Hertfordshire are encouraged to take note of the following crime prevention advice:
• Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
• Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out
• Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
• Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
• Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
• At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
• Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
• Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

September 30th, 2010

POLICE are releasing the image of a man they would like to speak to following a road traffic collision in Hemel Hempstead on August 23, 2010.

The collision between a bus and a blue Citreon ZX occurred on Adeyfield Road at around 2.20pm. The car was travelling towards the town centre and the bus was travelling towards the Adeyfield area. A passenger in the Citreon suffered arm injuries.

PC Jackie Miles is investigating and said: “The driver of the vehicle left the scene of the accident. We are keen to speak to the man pictured in connection with the investigation and would ask that he contact police. I would also like to speak with anyone who knows the man and his whereabouts to call with information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call PC Jackie Miles from the Roads Policing Unit on 0845 3300 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and may be entitled to a cash reward.

September 29th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following an incident of arson at the Roaring Meg retail park in Stevenage during the early hours of Thursday, September 23.

A number of small fires were set behind Argos between 1am and 2am, which caused damage to the rear of the store.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Geoff Scarborough said: “I am interested in speaking to people who were in the area at the time and saw anyone acting suspiciously. I would also like to speak to anyone who feels they may know who was responsible for setting these fires. Do you know someone from the local area who was returning home in the early hours of the morning smelling of smoke?”

Anyone with information is asked to call DC Scarborough via the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222 citing crime reference number E1/10/6365. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

A 15-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy from Stevenage have been arrested on suspicion of Arson. No further action has been taken against them.


September 28th, 2010

A drug courier who was caught at London Luton Airport with cocaine concealed in a cereal packet has been jailed for three years.

Uldis Garbars had left his native Latvia six days before and travelled through Poland, Amsterdam twice, Brussels twice and finally London under instructions from others, where he collected the stash of cocaine which was uncovered during a routine security search before he attempted to catch a flight to Malta.

The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing 355gs of cocaine, worth between £14,000 and £21,000, with intent to supply at Luton Crown Court on Friday 24 September.

Prosecutor Natalie Carter told the court on 4 July this year staff checked his rucksack during a security search and were initially concerned that he was carrying more liquid than he was allowed to.

When the bag was opened a cereal box was found that had been sealed with parcel tape. She said: "He was told to open it and his demeanour changed at that point. He became nervous and very pale."

Mrs Carter said inside were packages wrapped in plastic gloves. He said he was being paid 500 Euros to move $500,000.

He also said his rucksack was taken from him by a man at Victoria coach station and returned with the package inside.

Christopher Strachan, defending, said he initially thought his mission was to collect money but when he felt the weight of the box he realised it must be drugs.

He said in Latvia he had been made redundant and was in debt and went on to the internet to find a quick way of making money and was directed to the scheme.

He had left behind a partner and young son and had not been able to contact them since his arrest.

Judge Ronald Moss told him: "Because of the very complicated journey you made from Latvia you would have known you were doing something far more risky and dangerous than simply collecting cash."

September 28th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for help from members of the public to trace a 14 year old girl.

Leanne Jones was last seen at her home address in Broadfield Road in Woolmer Green at 11pm yesterday (September 27).

Leanne is described as being white with shoulder length blonde hair and approximately 5ft 5ins tall. She was wearing a grey chequered jacket and dark leggings.

Officers are extremely concerned for her welfare and are asking anyone who knows where Leanne is or believes they may have seen her to contact police with information on 0845 3300 222.

September 27th, 2010

DETECTIVES are appealing for witnesses and any information following an assault on three men in College Lane in Hatfield last night (Sunday September 26, 2010).

“Although we have arrested a man in connection with the incident, we are appealing for any witnesses to come forward so we can piece together exactly what happened last night,” said Detective Constable Glen Turrell-Oldacre.

Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Dave Newsome said: “We have a zero tolerance to violence. This was a nasty incident, which has left two young men with serious injuries. We will do everything we can to make sure this unusual isolated incident is not repeated. Visitors to Hatfield should be there to enjoy themselves and anyone intent on causing problems will be arrested.”

One man was punched and a second man sustained a broken jaw during the assault at around 3.30am in the College Lane car park. Both victims were kept in hospital overnight.

A 21-year-old man from Hatfield has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). He is currently on police bail.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0845 33 00 222 quoting reference 48 of today’s date (September 27, 2010).

September 27th, 2010

A MAN who stole money from his elderly neighbour in Hatfield was sentenced yesterday (Thursday, September 23) at St Albans Crown Court.

Mark Warner, 22 from Talbot Road in Hatfield, pleaded guilty to the burglary on 31 August and was given a seven month custodial sentence and was ordered to pay back to the victim the full amount he stole.

The burglary took place on 11 January on Talbot Road in Hatfield. Warner entered his elderly neighbour’s property uninvited and whilst inside took a wallet containing £960.

Detective Constable Rachael Gallagher said: “This was a despicable offence. Warner entered the property without his neighbour’s permission and helped himself to a substantial amount of money. I am pleased he has been given a custodial sentence and I hope he uses the time to consider his actions.”

Further information
Hertfordshire Constabulary run Operation Manhunt, a team dedicated to targeting distraction burglars and rogue traders. The team work tirelessly to protect elderly and vulnerable victims and actively pursue offenders and bring them to justice. Their work has helped to drastically reduce incidents across the county.

We would ask people to consider the following advice before answering a knock at the door:

If a stranger calls and you are not sure - don’t open the door.

If you are not expecting anyone and you don’t recognise them, don’t let them into your home. A genuine caller won’t mind coming back at a time when you can arrange to have somebody you trust with you.

If you feel that your caller is suspicious:

Call the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222 to report suspicious activity.

Call 999 if you suspect a crime is in progress.

Your call could help us apprehend even more criminals and stop them visiting someone else in your street.

By reporting suspicious behaviour straight away we can take immediate action. Take note of vehicle registration numbers and a description of any possible offenders.

If you are expecting a caller:

Only open your door when you are happy that you know the person. If you can’t see who is calling and need to find out, talk through your letterbox or use your door chain to ask for identification or a pre-arranged password before you let them in.
You can check the identity of the caller by calling the following numbers:
Water - 0845 782 3333
Gas - 0800 393 499
Electricity - 0800 015 2221
BT - 0800 321 999
Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller, as they may be bogus

September 24th, 2010

Officers attending a burglary in Dunstable discovered cannabis plants after receiving a call from an eagle eyed member of the public.

Police attended a house in Worthington Road, Dunstable at around 1pm on Wednesday (Sept 22) after receiving a tip off from a member of the public of a burglary in progress.

On arrival police immediately arrested three teenagers for burglary and then discovered a room containing 110 cannabis plants in various stages of growth.

A full hydroponics lighting system and air filtration system had been fitted.

A man was later arrested for producing a controlled drug and later released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Three teenagers were arrested for the burglary and later released on police bail pending further investigations.

The public is urged to support the police in the fight against illegal substances by contacting officers with any suspicions they may have.

Clues a property may be used for the cultivation of cannabis include permanently drawn curtains or blinds, strong smells and different people visiting.

Anyone with information about drugs can speak to their local Safer Neighbourhood Team, contact police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or text information to 07786 200011.

September 23rd, 2010

A drugs mule who was delivering nearly a kilogram of pure heroin was caught when his taxi driver stopped for a loo break on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Tanbir Ahmed and the driver found themselves surrounded by police when they pulled over on the M1.

The 20-year-old, who said he only agreed to the delivery to pay off a drugs debt, was jailed for four years nine months after exonerating the driver of all blame in a police interview. A judge ordered the forfeiture of the drugs which had a street value of £20,000.

Ahmed, of Pitsea Street, Tower Hamlets, E London, was travelling back from Luton, Beds, with the drugs stashed in a red bag in the footwell of the car. Prosecuting, David Chrimes, said a taxi had been called to Ahmed's home and he was dropped off by the driver in Luton. The driver was asked to wait until the defendant returned with the bag and they then set off towards Ahmed's home. It was only when the car stopped that he realised they were being followed by police and the 992g of heroin was found.

"The taxi driver felt the need urinate so they pulled over on the hard shoulder," said Mr Chrimes. "They were surrounded by police on the hard shoulder near Watford."

St Albans Crown Court heard that Ahmed refused to divulge the names of those had sent him to fetch the drugs saying there had been threats against his family.

Defending, Steve Hosking, said his client had owed £1,000 in drugs debts which had escalated to £5,000.

Sentencing him, Judge John Plumstead, said: "Those who carry kilo quantities of heroin around are an important and vital parts in the way the drug trade works. Those who profit most from the trade would not expose themselves to the risk of carrying drugs. That is why they are rarely caught."

September 22nd, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after a robbery and an assault in Letchworth on Friday (September 17).

The incident took place on Norton Way North between 9 and 9.30pm.

The victims, two 15 year old boys, were approached by two other boys who assaulted them both. One of the victims was searched and had his valuables stolen – a wallet, iPod and a necklace.

Both boys suffered cuts and bruising to their heads. The offenders were described as in their late teens.

Dc Jeanette Walker said: “This was a particularly nasty assault on two boys who were minding their own business. We are following a number of lines of enquiry however, I would like to appeal to anyone who believes they may have seen this incident take place to contact me.

“If you can help, please call me via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.”

September 21st, 2010

An addict who stole a workman's power tools worth £3,400, sold them on for £40 for a heroin fix, a court has heard.

Patrick Ward, 53, committed the offence when he was on bail and waiting to be sentenced for another offence.

Ward, of London Road, Luton was jailed for 12 months at Luton Crown Court on Monday.

He pleaded guilty to going equipped to steal in Luton, and theft from a motor vehicle in Flamstead.

Prosecutor George Heimler said on Oct 30 last year Ward was arrested in Luton town centre after police believed he had tried to conceal a screwdriver which he intended to use for theft.

He eventually pleaded guilty to the charge and was awaiting sentence when he broke into a van parked in a builder's yard in Flamstead.

The owner went to collect the van on June 21 this year and found it had been broken into and the valuable tools taken. None of them were recovered.

Ward's blood was found at the scene and he was arrested.

Stephen Hopper, defending said: "He was homeless at the time and using drugs and alcohol. He sold the tools for £40 and spent it immediately on heroin.

"But for the first time now he has accommodation and is able to claim benefits and is eager to take up help from the probation services."

September 18th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following a burglary in St Albans on Tuesday (September 14).

The incident occurred at a property in Pinewood Close at just after 11am. The offenders attempt to gain entry to the house through a rear window however were unsuccessful.

Two men were seen at the property. They were described as white, aged between 35 and 40, both with heavy builds.

One was said to be approximately 5ft tall with black cropped hair and was wearing a black long sleeved t-shirt with blue stonewashed denim jeans and black trainers. He was said to have a large stomach.

The second was said to be around 5ft 8ins tall with grey balding hair and was wearing a light blue v-neck long sleeved top which was either a thick cotton or fleece material.

DC Wendy Tomlinson from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “We have quite good descriptions of the two men who were seen leaving the house and I would urge anyone who believes they recognise these men or may have seen them in the area that day to contact police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

September 18th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following an aggravated burglary in Welwyn Garden City on Sunday, September 12.

The incident took place at 5.50pm at a house on Ludwick Way. Two men knocked on the front door of the property and when the resident, a man in his late 20s, opened the door he was assaulted.

Upon entering the property, the men carried out a search and in the process assaulted a second man. They then made off in a Silver Vauxhall Vectra with a number of electrical items and cash. The two residents suffered minor injuries.

The first man was described as black, aged approximately 24 or 25 years old, around 5ft 5ins tall and of stocky build. He was said to have a round face, was clean shaven and had shaved hair. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and dark blue jeans.

The second man was described as black, around 24 to 25 years old, approximately 6ft tall and of stocky build. He had a longer face and a short beard which only covered his chin, and short hair. He wore a blue t-shirt with horizontal stripes which were green and yellow, and blue jeans. Both spoke with London accents.

DC Katy Jackson from the Local Crime Unit at Hatfield Police Station said: “I am appealing for information from anyone who was in the area and may have seen anyone matching these descriptions acting suspiciously, or who may have seen the car to get in touch.”

Anyone with information should call police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.

September 16th, 2010

Today at Luton Crown Court, Raja Akeel Khan, a 30-year-old Luton man, was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment after he was found guilty of threats to kill, harassment and causing actual bodily harm. All the offences related to incidents involving a former female partner with whom Khan had a 12-year relationship.

Evidence was provided by the Crown that Khan had been out drinking and using drugs when he returned home on 8 January 2010 and got into an argument with his partner.

Khan became very violent and attacked his victim, punching, kicking and pulling her hair out. He took a large kitchen knife and held it against her throat whilst he sat on her chest saying he was going to kill her. His victim later told the court, “I thought this was it, my life was over and he was going to kill me.” Khan only stopped when one of the couple’s children came into the room and shouted to stop hurting mummy.

Khan was arrested and later bailed for further enquiries. He was issued with bail conditions not to contact the victim in any way. She moved house, but he tracked her down and despite the court order constantly contacted the victim and her family by text messages and ‘phone calls threatening to destroy their lives.

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Jon Wheeler said, “Khan is a persistent offender and has now proved himself to be a dangerous individual. He has rightly been found guilty and a prison sentence is justifiable punishment for the way he treated his partner.”

September 16th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for help from members of the public to trace a man who failed to appear in court.

Twenty year old Mahdi Abdul-Mohammed from Middlesex was charged in August 2008 with a burglary at a petrol station in Bradman Way, Stevenage on July 12, 2007. He failed to appear before Stevenage Magistrates in August 2008.

Officers have been making attempts to trace Mahdi Abdul-Mohammed but are requesting assistance from members of the public in relation to his whereabouts.

If you know where he is or see him out and about contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on 0845 3300 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

September 15th, 2010

NEIGHBOURHOOD officers in the Harpenden area carried out the first of several planned road safety operations there on Friday (September 10).

The operation is in response to concerns from residents about speeding vehicles and possible linked criminality on the Luton Road (A1081). It ran from 3.30pm until 6pm, involving neighbourhood officers PC Ann-Marie Owen, Pc Emma Collins, PC Justin Sheppard and PC Arthur Wilkes.

Officers used the dedicated St Albans district Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) vehicle and were particularly looking for offences including people driving using a mobile phone in their hand, not wearing a seatbelt and vehicles with no insurance.

The results were as follows:
• 10 people were stopped and advised of the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt
• 4 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were given to people not wearing seatbelts (a £60 fine).
• 1 FPN as given to someone who had an invalid number plate (a £60 fine).

Neighbourhood PC Ann-Marie Owen, who organises the operations, said: “It was a successful operation as we were able to stop quite a few motorists who were not wearing seatbelts and advised them of the implications of their actions.

“Luton Road is a busy main arterial road into the town from nearby Luton, which is why it was chosen. ANPR is a great way to remove not only unsafe vehicles and drivers from our roads, but also the people that use our roads to commit crime.

“We are also addressing many of the current neighbourhood priorities across the Harpenden district in these operations and hope it is the first of many successful, targeted campaigns like this.”

This operation was held in the Harpenden South and West neighbourhood, where the current three priorities officers are working to address are:
• Reduce crime - burglaries, criminal damage and vehicle crime to the west and east of the A1081.
• Anti-social behaviour in Rothamsted Park.
• Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour – criminal damage, drug taking and anti-social behaviour around Dark Lane.

For more information on your neighbourhood priorities and how are officers are working towards them, please go to www.herts.police.uk and click on ‘Safer Neighbourhoods’ followed by St Albans.

Subsequent operations are also planned for the town and neighbouring villages, Redbourn and Wheathampstead.

How does ANPR work?
Under the force's ongoing campaign Operation Sentinel, ANPR devices are used by police around the UK to detect and remove serious criminals including burglars, robbers, drug dealers and fraudsters - and unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers from the roads.

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 a variety of 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.

Interested in how ANPR works? Visit the Herts Police channel on Youtube at www.youtube.com/hertspolice for more.

September 15th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following eight offences of criminal damage to vehicles in Harpenden overnight between Friday 10 and Saturday 11 September.

The incidents all happened between 10pm on the Friday and 7.30am on the Saturday on the following roads: Cowper Road, Shakespeare Road, Milton Road and Gilpin Green. Vehicles were scratched and one convertible had some of the roof cut out of it.

PC Ann-Marie Owen, investigating from the Harpenden Neighbourhood Team, said: “We believe these crimes are all linked and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

“In particular, if you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time or hanging around parked cars, I would urge you to contact us.

“Spates of damage like this are very unusual in Harpenden. This is petty, mindless vandalism that will not be tolerated in the town and anyone involved in such criminality will be dealt with robustly.

“We will also be increasing our high visibility and plain clothes patrols in the area in response.”

Anyone with any information on this crime should ring PC Owen via the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555111.

September 15th, 2010

KEEPING NORTH HERTS’ roads safe and a ‘no go’ zone for criminals were the aims of an operation using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology between 10 and 13 September – which resulted in six arrests.

Run as part of Operation Sentinel – the county’s dedicated ANPR campaign - officers from the ANPR Intercept Team were out in force on the roads of North Herts.

Officers used the technology to instantly identify suspicious vehicles which were then stopped and the ‘flagged’ issues investigated. As a result of the operation, six people were arrested on suspicion of offences including possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and an individual who was wanted on warrant for a serious assault.

Two unsafe, illegal vehicles were seized and taken off the road and eight Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued for offences like not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.

Those arrested included:

Forty-six-year-old Adedoyin Adetoro from Stafford Road, Harrow was charged with driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance. He is due to appear at Stevenage Magistrates Court on September 28.

A 33-year-old man from Luton was arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine with intent to supply. He has been police bailed until October 11.

Thirty-year-old Abul Hasnut-Ali from Hillfield Avenue, Hitchin was charged with possession of cannabis. He is due to appear at Stevenage Magistrates on September 29.

A 26-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and has been police bailed until October 3.

A 27-year-old man from Luton was arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and currently remains in custody.

A 27-year-old wanted man from St Albans was arrested and conveyed to Bedfordshire Police custody.

ANPR cameras can read a number plate every second, and compares it against a variety of 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.

September 15th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following the theft of a bike in Hatfield on August 14.

A 29 year old woman had left an Orange ‘Reebok’ mountain bike, which had a child’s trailer attached to the back, locked up outside the swim centre in Lemsford Road. Between 5pm and 7.20pm offender(s) stole the bike and trailer.

If you saw anything suspicious, have any information about what happened or have any information about the whereabouts of the bike now please contact PC Christopher Poxson on 0845 3300 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

September 9th, 2010

Detectives at Luton Police Station are seeking witnesses to a serious assault on a man that took place at approximately 2.45am on Thursday 2 September 2010. 

At that time, a 38-year-old man was walking through Lewsey Park and was attacked by three men whilst crossing the small river footbridge in the park. He was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked in the head. The assailants tried to take his mobile ‘phone, but failed. 

The three attackers ran off and the injured man was found wandering in a nearby street by a passer-by who called an ambulance. The injured man was taken to the Luton and Dunstable hospital and released the next day after treatment for head injuries which included severe cuts and bruises and a fractured cheekbone. The man received 42 stitches for the injuries. He is now recovering at home.

Unfortunately, descriptions of his attackers are fairly vague. They are described as probably being in their 20’s, all three slim and the injured man thought they all spoke with Asian accents. 

It was the middle of the night, but there may have been other people about at the time. Did you see the attack? Or maybe you saw a group of three men in or around Lewsey Park? Have you heard anything about this attack?

If you can help the police enquiry in any way, please contact Detective Constable Dean Dhinsa at Luton Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 394322, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

September 9th, 2010

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man was injured during a confrontation as he left the True Briton public house on Monday (Sept 6).

The incident happened at approximately 11.50pm on Hospital Road, Arlesey when the victim became involved in an altercation with another man outside the pub. The man threatened him and then fired an air pistol towards the victim, he then felt a pain to his ear.  The victim, in his thirties attended Lister hospital but did not require further medical attention.

Detective Constable Gill Cowley, investigating, is keen to speak to anyone who saw the two men outside the pub or heard the shots.

She said: “Luckily the victim was not seriously injured but had the pellet hit his eye then this could have had much more serious results.”

Anyone with information relating to this incident can contact DC Cowley at Dunstable Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 473386, or text 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

September 8th, 2010

Police foiled a robbery today pouncing on two men as they tried to grab money being delivered to an ATM machine.

The robbery was happening police officers swooped on the pair. In a related incident two cars were involved in a collision moments later.

The drama happened at around 10am on the forecourt of a Shell garage in Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, Herts close to Junction 8 of the M1 motorway. It's believed security guards were delivering cash to an ATM machine on the forecourt when the two robbers struck, trying to grab the money. Suddenly they were surrounded by Met police officers who had been following them.

Witnesses said the men ended up sitting handcuffed on the ground at the forecourt as policemen photographed them.

There then followed a collision nearby in Maylands Avenue by a set of traffic lights involving two vehicles, a silver Peugeot and a black taxi. An eye witness said the Peugeot appeared to have been rammed off the road and a  male occupant inside was also arrested

During the lunch hour both vehicles were taken away by police to be examined.

September 8th, 2010

 
POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a road traffic collision in Stevenage yesterday (September 7).

The collision occurred at around 4.30pm in London Road near to the junction with High Street. For reasons unknown at this stage a blue Suzuki Sj410 4WD, which was exiting the roundabout on the High Street, veered into the opposite carriageway and collided with a silver Vauxhall Astra. A rear seat passenger of the Suzuki, a 16 year old girl, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Lister hospital.

Anyone with information about what happened should call PC Stephanie Dixon in the roads policing unit at Stevenage police station on 0845 3300 222.

September 8th, 2010

POLICE are warning motorbike and moped owners to be extra vigilant about their bike security after ten thefts of bikes in the last month in Stevenage.

Detective Inspector Gary Atkinson said: “We have seen a spate of this type of offence and just want to raise peoples’ awareness to be extra careful. Security is so important in preventing your bike from being taken. Thieves are eagle-eyed in spotting a lapse in security and this makes your bike vulnerable to being taken. If you have a bike, make sure it is stored out of view, preferably in a locked and alarmed shed or garage. It’s easy to get in and not have time to lock up your bike but those few minutes could be time well spent if it prevents it from being taken. We are asking if anyone has any information about these crimes or if you’ve been offered a moped or motorbike through an unusual source – to get in touch by calling our non emergency number 0845 33 00 222 and quoting crime reference E1/10/5518. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Top tips

Leaving your bike insecure advertises it to thieves. Follow our top tips to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim:
• Always lock your bike and set the alarm if it has one
• When leaving your bike for a while, lock it to something secure using the best quality lock you can find. Consider using ground anchors or specially built public stands
• Use a motorbike cover
• Have your bike marked with its vehicle identification number (VIN)
• Don’t leave your bike keys on show near the front door
• Avoid leaving your helmet, gloves or other possessions on the machine.
• Put security marking on as many parts of your bike as possible.

An Aprilia motorbike and four pedal cycles were stolen from a lock up garage in Ferrier Road, Stevenage, between July 31 and August 11. The pedal cycles are described as a black and silver Trek mens’ mountain bike, a blue Trek ladies’ mountain bike, a silver girls’ bike and a blue boys’ bike.

An orange and grey Peugeot moped was stolen between 11pm on August 9 and 7am on August 10 from outside a house in Longcroft Road, Stevenage. The moped was later found burned out in Ryecroft, Stevenage on August 10.

A black and chrome Triumph Bonny motorbike was stolen from a carport in Mendip Way, Stevenage overnight between August 10 and August 11.

A silver Piaggio moped was stolen from the driveway of a property in Gonville Crescent, Stevenage, on August 15. It was later found abandoned in Featherston Road two days later.

A green Suzuki motorbike was stolen between 8pm and 8am overnight between August 19 and August 20 from Badgers Close, Stevenage. The thieves removed a chain that had been put through the front wheel. However, the bike was later found abandoned on Six Hills Way and has now been returned to its owner.

A black Aprilia moped was stolen between August 20 and August 25 from a carpark Woolners Way, Stevenage.

A black motorcycle was stolen from the garden of a house in Hadwell Close, Stevenage, between 5am and 4.30pm on August 24.

A blue Peugeot moped was stolen from a driveway of a property in Keats Close, Stevenage, between 4am on August 27 and 7am on August 28.

A blue and white Suzuki motorbike was stolen from outside The Coach and Horses pub in High Street, Old Stevenage, overnight between August 31 and September 1.

A Yamaha moped was stolen from outside a house in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, between 9.30pm and 11.30pm on Sunday, September 5.

September 6th, 2010

FOUR people were sentenced for their part in managing a brothel in Salisbury Square in Hatfield at St Albans Crown Court on Friday (September 3, 2010).

Katrina Baker, 34, from Thistle Grove in Welwyn Garden City and Valentina Janutiene, 37, from Cromer Hyde Lane in Lemsford near Welwyn Garden City set up the brothel and were sentenced to a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years; ordered to pay 100 hours unpaid work and given a Prohibited Activity Order, forbidding them to be allowed to be involved in the sex industry in any way, for six months.

Anthony Andrew, 46, also of Cromer Hyde Lane, was given a four month prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to pay 100 hours unpaid work, £500 defence costs and £2,800 court costs. Sharon Kerrigan, 48, from Becketts Close in London was given a two year conditional discharge.

His Honour Judge Plumstead said that people living in areas where brothels are set up are deeply affected by their presence and they ‘pollute an area.’ He said: “It commercialises and exploits those who are willing to prostitute themselves for the benefit of others.”

PC Ross Freeman, who led the investigation, said: “This was a complex and thorough operation involving police officers and staff from the Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, Tactical Team and the Financial Investigation Unit, responding to information and complaints from local residents that people were turning up to the address at all hours of the day and night.

"The investigation dates back to November last year, and has involved hours of enquiries and a painstaking investigation resulting in three of the four defendants pleading guilty straight away due to the weight of evidence against them.”

The investigation found Andrew had taken out the tenancy agreement and that Baker had placed massage parlour adverts in the local papers. Paperwork showed the brothel made £170,000 in six months – with ‘workers’ keeping half the profits.

Hatfield Neighbourhood Sergeant Malcolm Dey said: “The brothel was run as an enterprise generating a significant income to the detriment of residents suffering the comings and goings of individuals at all times of the day and night and the impact of operating a brothel within a residential area is reflected in the sentencing.

"I would encourage anyone who believes this type of establishment is operating to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team.”

Ross added: “This sort of activity has no place in Hatfield or Hertfordshire, and these sentences today show that courts also take a dim view of those who participate in it. I hope today’s court sentence makes people aware that the Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team will pursue anyone conducting this sort of activity and put them before the courts.”

September 6th, 2010

WHETHER you are a new student to the University of Hertfordshire or returning after the summer break, the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team wants to help you reduce the chances of being a burglary victim – and send a message out to burglars.

Welwyn Hatfield Inspector Ian Grout said: “Hatfield has previously been seen as easy pickings for burglars with new and returning students sometimes being lax with their security. How would you feel about losing your laptop, iPod or sentimental ' going away ' gifts from your family?

"We want to make sure you take care of your belongings and do not make yourself an easy target for burglars by following the simple crime prevention advice below.

"We also want to let burglars know that we have stepped up patrols. We have teams of covert and overt officers acting on live information and we will do everything we can to make you unwelcome in Hatfield.”

He added: “These proactive patrols combined with covert patrols and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) are designed to improve feelings of community safety and reassure residents.

"If you know who is committing crime in your area, please get in touch with us so that we can arrest those responsible. There is nothing worse than finding out you have been burgled – especially if it could have been easily prevented.”

Known criminals in Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City continue to get regular visits from police officers keeping track of their whereabouts and making sure they have limited opportunities to burgle.
He continued: “Laptops, iPods, jewellery, electrical and small items that are easy to sell on are often the targets, so keep jewellery locked up and out of sight. Make sure your property is photographed and security marked so that, if it is stolen, we can trace you as the owner easily.”

David Ball, Dean of Students, said: “We take the safety of our students very seriously at the University and would urge anyone who notices any unusual or suspicious activity to make contact with the police or our on-site security team as a matter of urgency.

“The University has 24-hour, seven days a week security available to help students deal with anti-social behaviour or unwanted visitors. Students can contact the Community Office for support with issues such as burglary or general help or advice. The University also has a confidential helpline where students can report things in confidence and anonymously.”

The operation is part of a long-term response to burglaries under Operation Guardian which started in October 2009.

Hertfordshire Constabulary advises the following:

  • CHECK all windows and doors are closed and locked when you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Car and house keys should be kept out of sight in a safe place. DON’T leave them on display on window sills, in porches, hallways or kitchens.
  • UPVC doors must be locked by lifting the handle and using the key to ensure all the security features are in place.
  • You could also register your laptop, mp3 player and mobile phone on the free online property database www.immobilise.com. It could help police recover them if they are lost or stolen.
  • Neighbourhood Watch has moved into the 21st Century. You can now get email updates, security advice and info about what's happening in your neighbourhood online at www.owl.co.uk. For further details, contact Christel Anslow on 01707 806801.

September 6th, 2010

POLICE ARE asking motorists, particularly van drivers, to remember to remove their property from their vehicles when leaving them unattended – as well as asking residents to report any suspicious behaviour around vehicles in their neighbourhood.

The advice follows a number of vehicle break-ins across the county where property has been taken from vehicles. In particular, police have seen incidents where power tools and other equipment have been stolen from vans:

• Fishing equipment was stolen from a van parked in Bell View, St Albans between 7pm on Thursday September 2 and 3.17am on Friday September 3. Access was gained to the van by smashing the rear glass panel.
• Gardening tools were taken from a van parked in Icknield Way, Letchworth between 8pm on Sunday September 5 and 6am on Monday September 6 (this morning). The offender(s) smashed a rear window to gain access.
• A drill was stolen from a van parked on a building site in Barnet Lane, Borehamwood between midday and 12.30pm on Friday September 3. The suspects are believed to have made off in a blue Astra.
• A drill and toolbox were taken from a van parked in The Ridgeway, Ware between 5pm on August 28 and 8.30am on August 31 after offender(s) damaged a lock to gain access to the vehicle.
• Cash, a Sat Nav and tools were taken from a van parked in Highview, Hatfield between 2.50pm and 3.10pm on Friday September 3. Offender(s) smashed the window to gain access to the van.
• Property was stolen from the boot of a Ford Fiesta parked in Golf Club Road in Berkhamsted between 6.30pm and 6.45pm on Friday September 3. The offender(s) made off with a holdall, a mobile phone, clothing and a camera after breaking in via window.
If you have any information on the incidents above, or witness any suspicious behaviour in your neighbourhood, please contact police on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively please contact Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“We are working to track down those responsible for these crimes and you too can help by taking steps to reduce the chances of having your property stolen as well as reporting any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood,” commented County Crime Reduction Officer Dave Mance. “The very simple way of keeping your property secure is to remove it from your vehicle. A few moments to check you have taken everything with you could save you the inconvenience and expense of having to replace your valuables as well as have your car or van repaired later.

“Don’t take the chance - thieves are opportunistic and the one time you leave your property in the vehicle could be the time you get caught out.”

You can help secure your vehicle by following this common-sense advice:
• It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows and sunroof whenever you leave your vehicle unattended.
• Remove your Sat Nav and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a Sat Nav is stored in your vehicle.
• Never leave any valuables in your vehicle - not even in the glove-box or boot - and keep ALL other possessions out of sight.
• Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.
• Register your stereo, Sat Nav and any other property on the free online property database www.immobilise.com . It only takes a few minutes and could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.
• If it is not possible to remove all your tools at the end of each working day, park your van in a securely locked garage, if you have one. If you don’t have an accessible garage, consider investing in a secure safe-type storage box bolted into the back of the van to provide a second line of defence against thieves.

Follow these tips and help bite back at car crime! For more advice, visit www.herts.police.uk

September 6th, 2010

A drug addict has now been jailed after he was given the chance to quite his drug habit but he went on the run and committed further offences in Lincolnshire.

When Sean Heeney was due to be sentenced in April this year for the aggravated burglary of a recently bereaved family in Houghton Regis, he told the Judge: "I have just heard of the family's loss and the tough time they were going through, and I have made things worse for them.

"I did not have any morals at the time, the only thing I was worried about was where my next fix was coming from. I know what I have done is wrong, deeply wrong and I want to make up for it."

Heeney, 25, formerly of Dorrington Close, Luton, was given bail for four weeks to be assessed for a drug rehabilitation order. For three weeks he attended all his appointments and was giving negative drug tests, but then he disappeared.

On Friday 3 September justice caught up with him when he was jailed for a total of four years and nine months at Luton Crown Court.

Three and a half years of the sentence was for the Bedfordshire offence, with seven other offences taken into consideration and a further fifteen months for a burglary, assault and theft of a car committed in Boston, Lincolnshire in June and July this year. He pleaded guilty to all the charges.

Prosecutor Daniel Siong told the court that on the morning of New Year's Eve last year, a young mother saw three men behaving suspiciously outside a neighbour's house in Lowry Drive, Houghton Regis.

She alerted police when she saw them walking away, with one carrying a zebra striped bag. Heeney was arrested nearby with the bag, and was found to have a hunting knife down his trousers, which he had taken into the property with him. The other two offenders had disappeared.

She said the family were not at home at the time. A family member had died from cancer that month. The bag contained jewellery belonging to the widow of the young man who died and included sentimental items he had given her. Heeney was wearing her late husband's watch.

Other property was also taken during an untidy search including cash put away to pay bills. Not all the property was recovered. The court was told that the family suffered a further bereavement three days after the burglary.

A family member said in an impact statement: "People who do this do not think of the anguish and upset they cause. I would like the court to deal with them as harshly as possible."

Mr Siong said Heeney disappeared from the area and was arrested on 27 July in Boston, Lincolnshire, where he had moved into a house in Eastwood Road. A month before another house in the road had been burgled and among property taken was jewellery, passports and cheque books. His blood was found at the scene.

He also took a car from another house, and on 17 July assaulted a man at a party in the same road, stamping on his head six times, said Mr Siong.

Charlotte Edie, defending, said Heeney went on the run after his girlfriend threw him out which meant he was in breach of his electrically monitored curfew. "He ran because he was scared of the consequences. He managed to stay off heroin for some time but found himself living on the streets and reverted to using drugs and offending.

"The girlfriend he met in Lincolnshire has revolutionised his life and for the first time he sees hope for the future. He knows he threw away the chance he was given."

Judge Geoffrey Breen told Heeney, that having the hunting knife on him while committing the burglary was very serious. "There is always the danger that someone is going to come home and there is going to be a confrontation.

"This burglary had a considerable impact on the family both emotionally and financially. Much property of sentimental value was taken and not recovered."

August 31st, 2010

Bully Adam Meade who assaulted and humiliated another youth by making him walk round an open air car park with his trousers down reciting 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star', has been jailed for a year.

Meade, of Old Bedford Road, Luton pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm on Friday 27 August.

Prosecutor Faras Balloch told the court on 17 February this year a number of young men had met up at the Vicarage Street car park in Luton for a 'car cruise'.

She said: "There was a verbal altercation between Meade and the victim. Then he punched and humiliated him to such a degree that he forced him to walk round the car park with his trousers down singing the nursery rhyme."

Yasmin Punjani, defending, said: "He accepts he has an horrific record and his family are at a loss to know what to do with him.

August 27th, 2010

A Dunstable hairdresser who won a local edition of the TV show Come Dine With Me last year was jailed for 21 days on Friday for lying to avoid a conviction for speeding.

Luigi Muscella, 49 claimed his cousin from Belgium was driving the car that was caught by a speed camera doing eight miles above the speed limit.

But his barrister, Neil Sylvester, told Luton Crown Court; "With hind sight this was an idiotic offence. If he had taken the medicine as he should have done it would have been a £60 fine and three points on his clean licence.

"It has been a mystery trying to find some sort of rational explanation."

Muscella, of Badgers Gate, Dunstable who runs a salon in High Street North pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and speeding.

In addition to the jail term he was also ordered to pay £500 costs and his licence was endorsed with three points.

Prosecutor Beverly Cripps said the speeding offence occurred on Jan 10 this year in Church Street, Dunstable. A Nissan car was recorded doing 38 mph in the built up area.

A notice of intended prosecution was sent to the business address and was returned, purportedly completed by his wife, naming a cousin as the driver and including a letter appearing to be written by and signed by the cousin.

But when police went to the hairdressers to ask for more details about the cousin, Muscella admitted he had been driving.

However in interview he retracted that and said he had been pressured into admitting it.

Police then contacted his wife, who said she had never seen the form or letter and had not signed it, and that the named cousin had not been in the country at the time. Muscella was re interviewed and made full admissions.

Mr. Sylvester, defending said: "This is a serious and sad matter. He is a hard working man and contributes to the community. To say he is remorseful would be an understatement. The gravity of the matter did not cross his mind. If it had no rational or sane person would have done it."

Judge Peter de Mille said: "It is always sad for a court when someone of good character comes before the court facing an almost inevitable custodial sentence.

"But this is an extremely serious offence. It was a relatively sophisticated attempt by you. You forged two signatures to support your claim that your cousin was the driver.

"The public interest demands that, in all but exceptional cases, there has to be a custodial sentence and this is not an exceptional case."

August 27th, 2010

A Merseysider who was found with more than £123,000 in his car after he was pulled over by police was convicted by a jury for possessing criminal property.

John Farrell, of Athol Street, Liverpool, was convicted at Luton Crown Court on Friday 27 August. He will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court where he has pleaded guilty to two armed robberies of Ladbrokes bookmakers in the city.

Recorder Tim Clark ordered that the £123,445 should be confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard Farrell swerved as he exited the M1 at Luton, a dog handler decided to pull him over for a word. But the officer and his dog later found almost £125,000, wrapped in cling film, concealed in the back of a seat.

Prosecutor Neil King told the court the inevitable conclusion was that the cash was the proceeds of some crime, because Farrell was living on benefits and had declared no income since 2003. He said the probability was that Farrell was acting as a courier.

But Farrell, 42, told a jury that he was a successful gambler and the money was his winnings from betting shops and casinos.

He said he was coming to Luton thinking there might be a couple of boutiques for clothes shopping, and maybe find a liquidation auction and visit a friend in Bedford.

Farrell also told the court that he regularly left his pool of money in his car parked outside his home in claiming people did not steal cars like his.

He also admitted that while winning thousands at the bookies he was also stealing from cars because "that was the way he was brought up."

August 27th, 2010

A man from Hatfield has been charged with robbery following an incident on Wednesday afternoon (August 25) at a bookmaker in the town.

The incident occurred in Ladbrokes in Crawford Road, at 5pm. It is believed a man entered the store, asked the cashier for money and stole a large quantity of cash. No one was injured during the incident.

PCSO Tony Bailey from the Hatfield Neighbourhood Team was in the area with a colleague and was approached by a member of the public who directed him to where the alleged offender made off and, following a short pursuit, he detained a man.

Brian Woods, 42 years old and from Goldings House in Hatfield has been charged with robbery. He appeared at Hatfield Remand Court yesterday (August 26) where he was remanded into custody.

August 27th, 2010

Armed robbers escaped with a considerable amount of cash from the Lancer Public House in Leighton Buzzard on Tuesday night (24th August).

Three men entered the pub, which is located on Lake Street, at around 11.30pm as the staff were closing up for the night.

They came in through the rear fire exit and threatened one of the staff members with a knife before moving to the office area. One of the offenders then held what is believed to have been a handgun at a female member of staff in a bid to get the contents of the safe.

The cash was handed over and the offenders fled the scene on foot via the back of the pub.

It is believed that all three males were black and in their 20's.

The man believed to be in possession of a handgun is described as having a stocky build. He was wearing a navy blue hoody with the hood up and a dark coloured scarf across the lower part of his face.

The offender in possession of the knife was of a slim build and was also wearing a dark coloured hoody with the hood up and a bandana over his face.

The final offender was also wearing a hoody with the hood raised.

Det Con Michelle Sears, investigating, said: "We are treating this as an isolated incident at this time but would still urge local publicans to be extra vigilant when closing up their premises, and to call the police if they see any persons acting suspiciously in or around their premises. None of the staff were hurt during the robbery but they are considerably shaken up by the incident."

Anyone with information can contact Det Con Michelle Sears at Bedfordshire Police on 01582 473055 or 01234 841212, text 07786 200011, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

August 27th, 2010

A woman was followed and grabbed by a man in a BMW as she pushed her baby in her pushchair along a Luton street.

At around 4.15pm on Monday 23 August in Bishopscote Road, the white Polish woman was walking with the pushchair containing her 12-month-old daughter towards the Tesco Express when a dark blue BMW stopped alongside her.

The driver asked for her telephone number.  As she speaks very little English, the woman made no attempt to reply and kept walking. The car followed and alarmed her to the extent she crossed to the other side of the road and went back the way she had come.

The BMW than did a u-turn, followed her for a short distance before stopping alongside her as she turned into Bristol Road. The driver reached out of his window, grabbed her upper arm tightly and tried to pull her towards the car. She managed to break free and crossed to the other side of Bristol Road.

Again the BMW followed, pulled up alongside the woman with the driver saying something to her she did not understand. It then turned left into Blundell Road and drove away.  

The woman was scared and very shaken by the experience.

The driver of the BMW is described as an Asian male, aged approximately 30, with short black spiky hair, which looked to be gelled on top. He had a neatly trimmed beard that followed his jaw line and was wearing a light blue t-shirt. The car was a shiny, metallic, deep-blue colour and possibly was a 3-door. It had a distinctive shark fin on the roof at the rear - a solid structure that holds the aerial.

If you witnessed this incident or can identify the man or the car involved, please contact Police Constable Natalie Whitchurch at Luton Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 401212, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

August 26th, 2010

An 'angry young man' with a disdain for people in authority was told by a Judge that he was a blight on the country.

Peter McIlveen threatened a court security officer with a hammer and hurled racial abuse at a supermarket security guard. He also repeatedly reacted violently when paramedics tried to help and police tried to arrest him.

The 30 year old, from Burr Street, Luton was before Luton Crown Court on Thursday to be sentenced for seven offences committed over a three month period. Some he had admitted and some he had been convicted of after trial at Magistrates Court.

He was jailed for a total of a year.

Simon Shannon, prosecuting said on Feb 10 McIlveen turned up drunk at a help centre in Bailey Street, Luton and collapsed. An ambulance was called but he was abusive to paramedics and staff at the centre. Police were called and he struggled when arrested. He pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour.

On Mar 24 he was lying on the ground in Old Bedford Road, Luton and an ambulance crew had to call for police assistance when he became aggressive and abusive as they tried to assist him. He pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly.

A month later on Apr 26 he was drunk in The Mall shopping centre in Luton and had been causing a problem. When police arrived he swore at them, called them 'pigs' and threatened to head butt them.

He resisted being arrested and was eventually restrained with hand cuffs and leg restraints. He pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

On May 1st he was in a Morrison's store in Hatfield. A security guard believed he had something under his top. McIlveen produced a glass bottle.

He was racially abusive as he was escorted from the store and arrested. He pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour but was convicted.

On May 7 he was waiting at Luton Magistrates Court for one of his appearances, but because of his behaviour he was asked to wait outside. But he objected and threatened a security officer with a hammer. When arrested he said in his opinion his behaviour had been fine because everyone in uniform was a w.....

He pleaded not guilty to a public order offence and possessing an offensive weapon but was convicted.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to surrender to bail in May.

Debbie Gibson, defending, said: "Custody is inevitable today. He is an alcoholic with issues, who behaves inappropriately."

Recorder Leslie Cuthbert told the defendant: "You are a blight on this country. You have a complete lack of remorse and no conception of the impact of your words. Your behaviour shows your disdain for officials and those in authority. You are clearly an angry young man.

"I know the words I say to you will have little impact but I am hopeful that you may come out of custody with a slightly different attitude."

August 26th, 2010

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was left with serious injuries to her face and neck from being attacked by a dog in Hatfield recently.

The incident occurred at around 7.45pm on Tuesday, August 3 in Cherry Way Park, near to Acacia Street.

The woman, who is 40 and from Hatfield, was walking her dog in the park when she saw a dog running towards them. The dog began attacking her dog so she pulled it off, but the dog then started to attack her and bit her on the face and neck several times. Her dog had injuries to its ear.

A man then jogged over to the dog and pulled it away from the woman and continued to drag it away from the area.

The dog was described as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, possibly crossed with a pit bull. It was the size of a Labrador. It was brindle (tan, brown, black and grey mix) in colour with a white chest.

The man who led the dog away is described as a white, 6ft tall, with a slim build and aged in his mid 20s to early 30s. He had dark brown, flat, short, hair and was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. He was with two other white men.

PC Kelly Bailey is investigating the incident and said: “The woman suffered significant injuries to her face and neck which will leave her with scarring and possibly requiring surgery.

“Our investigations are ongoing to determine who the owner of this dog is and I would appeal to anyone who knows who he may be, or who may recognise the dog, to contact me as soon as possible via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.”

August 22nd, 2010

A man who tried to steal a £27,000 Mercedes convertible from a compound at Thurleigh airfield has been jailed for four years at Luton Crown Court on Friday 20 August.

Roger Betts, 33, of Bedford Road, Marston Moretaine, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and criminal damage, committed on 7 April this year and burglary and vehicle interference on 24 July.

He claimed he had been made to do it by travellers, but investigations within the travelling community “drew a blank” said prosecutor Beverly Cripps. Betts came up with a similar story when he was caught red handed sitting in a car outside a water sports club at Box End in Kempston. That time he said he was ordered by two black men to fetch some drugs from the car.

The court heard he had previous convictions for 99 offences, many relating to motor vehicles. Miss Cripps said Betts caused about £10,000 worth of damage when he tried to drive the Mercedes car through a perimeter fence at the compound owned by Paragon Automotive at Thurleigh. He was detained by security guards at the scene.

On 24 July a man had parked his black VW Golf at Box End to go for a day's water sports activities. He left his property in a locker and when he returned found the locker had been broken into and his rucksack taken.

He ran outside and was relieved to see his car was still there. He alerted the management of the centre and when he went back outside saw Betts sitting in the driver's seat.

He was detained until police arrived and the manager took photos of him sitting in the car wearing white gloves.

His barrister Seth Levine urged the court to give Betts a drug rehabilitation order. He said: "There is a kernel of truth in the explanations he gave. He has been addicted to Class A drugs and has accrued debts to drug dealers. These were not sophisticated offences.”

But Recorder Samantha Leigh said the offences merited immediate custody. "In your effort to take an extremely high valued vehicle you caused £10,000 worth of damage. It was a planned and targeted offence."

August 22nd, 2010

A man who struck his victim on the head with a hammer was given a two year community order after being made stable with medication.

Luton Crown Court heard on Thursday 19 August Vincent Adams, 47, attacked Rafaqat Dad near his home in the early hours of the morning for no reason and told the police it was "like hitting an egg."

Adams was arguing with a woman in the street outside his home in Wingfield Street, Luton, when Mr Dad walked by. He then approached Mr Dad and said: "Hit me first I will show you," said prosecutor Sarah Porter.

Mr Dad tried to gesture Adams away, but he swung the hammer and hit him on the side of the head, causing a centimetre gash. One witness heard him shout: "I am going to kill you." Adams then produced a kitchen knife and Mr Dad quickly left the scene. He was treated in hospital.

He was arrested and said: "The man deserved it. It was like hitting an egg. There was blood everywhere."

The police had Adams Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He was released from hospital on 19 January this year, having been treated since his arrest on 5 August.

In an earlier confrontation, on 13 April last year, Adams was seen waving a Samurai Sword in Portland Road at 9pm. He was shouting: "I will kill all of you lot," said the prosecutor. A police Armed Response Vehicle was called and Adams was confronted, holding the sword behind his back.

He refused to put the sword down and was tasered by a police. His home was searched and a machete was found under the shower cubicle along with 0.6 grams of cannabis.

Adams pleaded guilty to wounding, possessing a bladed article and possession of cannabis. David Noble, defending, said Adams had been stable since taking his medication.

Recorder Tim Clark passed a two year community order with 2 years' supervision. He must abide by an electronic curfew between 8pm and 6.45am. He also ordered the destruction of the machete and the cannabis.

The judge told him: "You committed these offences when you were clearly unwell. If you had not been unwell you would have been facing a lengthy prison sentence.

"Please listen to the professionals who are there to help you and keep out of trouble. The supervision will be quite intensive. I hope we won't see you in court again."

August 20th, 2010

A robber was jailed for four years after robbing a man who he had been in prison with.

Rhys Williams, 21, of Cowdray Close, Luton, appeared for sentence at Luton Crown Court on Thursday 19 August, having pleaded guilty to robbing Michael Matthews at half past midnight on 13 February this year. He has 30 previous convictions including offences of robbery, wounding affray and battery going back to when he was a juvenile in 2001.

Prosecutor Sarah Porter told the court: "Mr Matthews was approached by the defendant. They knew each other as they had been in prison together. He grabbed him by the jacket and pushed him against a fence."

Williams was located two hours later on CCTV and was arrested

Defence barrister Kristan Berlevy asked for credit for Williams' guilty plea which was on the day of his trial. He said no weapon was used in the robbery.

Recorder Tim Clark jailed him saying: "You have a very bad record and you are a high risk of re-offending."

August 20th, 2010

A 44 year old man who has been convicted of raping two women in Luton, was only recently out of prison from a six year sentence for another charge of rape.

Prosecutor Isabel Delamere said Cyril Donovan Brown was violent towards women he formed relationships with, controlled them and raped them when they did not want to have sex with him. He also had a previous conviction for assaulting another women who refused to have sex with him.

But Brown claimed in the witness box at Luton Crown Court that he was having affairs with 15 women at the same time, and said women would jump on him for sex often when he had only just met them. He denied he was violent to them.

After being convicted of eight charges of rape and three of assault on Friday Judge Barbara Mensah said she was considering passing an indefinite sentence because of the risk he poses to women.

She ordered a psychiatric report saying; "In my opinion he displays delusional behaviour."

Brown, of Lyndhurst Road, Luton was jailed for six years in 2004 after being convicted at the same court of raping a woman in Hitchin.

Miss Delamere said in Dec 2008 Brown met a 51 year old lady in Luton with mental health problems. She said he moved into her flat uninvited, demanded a key and wanted sex every day even though she said no. She said he would frighten her and refused to leave.

She told an outreach worker what was happening and they went to the police to report him. She told them; "It feels like someone has broken into my world."

He was arrested in March last year and he told police she was crazy, and she was the one who always wanted sex.

He was released on bail and by July was seeing another woman who lived in Aylesbury. One day he punched her when they were in her car and she reported that to police.

He was arrested for that matter and said it was she who had tried to beat him up because she was jealous. He was granted bail again with a condition that he did not contact her. However they attempted a reconciliation and she told police she did not want to continue with the charges. By September they were no longer together but she arranged to collect some of her belongings from his flat.

"No sooner had she got there than he locked the door and snatched her phone. Over three days she felt like his sex slave. If she refused he punched and strangled her. He told her he had captured her and if he was not going to have her no one else would," said Miss Delamere.

The victim managed to make a phone call to her daughter and speaking in her own language told her to call the police.
 
He was arrested on Sept 11 and said she had wanted sex and her injuries were nothing to do with him. He claimed she was out to get compensation and made up the rape charges after police told her about his previous conviction.

Brown will be sentenced in October after the preparation of reports.

August 19th, 2010

Eleanor Hughes is just 27-years-old and, to all those who know her, has been leading a happy and normal life.

But she kept a dark secret. And today, because of that secret, she has been locked in prison.    
 
In her bedroom at the family home in Luton, Eleanor was storing a Reck Self-loading pistol, a silencer and ammunition – along with other goods that included a black and white hooded top.

At an earlier hearing, when Eleanor Hughes pleaded guilty to ‘possession of a firearm’, the court heard she had been storing the gun and other items for her ex partner. 

Today she returned to Luton Crown Court to hear her fate.

Sentencing her to five years imprisonment, Judge Barbara Mensah said, “I want to send out a strong message to communities that possession of firearms is taken seriously as they are capable of killing, maiming or intimidation.

Judge Mensah added, “This is a message to any girlfriend looking to do this.” 

Detective Inspector Richard Wall, of Luton CID, said, “What has happened to Eleanor Hughes should send out a clear message to anybody else who is hiding guns, ammunition and other weapons for people they know – when we catch you, you could and probably will, end up in prison. I urge anyone who is already in this position, to tell us before it is too late. And I appeal to those with information about similar situations to pass the details to us. This is not just a matter of dropping somebody in it. These weapons kill and those who use them are potential killers. This is actually a matter of saving lives.”

If you have information about firearms, knives or any other weapons and want to help the police prevent tragedies in our communities, please contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

August 19th, 2010

DETECTIVES investigating a high value commercial burglary in Stevenage are appealing for witnesses and information.
Around £100,000-worth of video equipment was stolen from Widget UK Limited on the Arlington Business Park in Stevenage during the course of last weekend (between 6pm on Friday August, 13 and 7.45am on Monday, August 16).

The video equipment comprised 1,700 ‘Flip Mono’ camcorders.

Detective Sergeant Gez Ellis is investigating and commented: “It would appear that this was a highly organised burglary and I am appealing to anyone who noticed anything suspicious occurring on this part of the Arlington Business Park over the course of last weekend to contact us. We would also ask anyone who is offered camcorders for sale, either as a bulk or individual sale, to contact police or Crimestoppers in confidence.”

Anyone with information should contact DS Gez Ellis on the Hertfordshire Constabulary non emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could be entitled to a cash reward.

August 18th, 2010

A man received serious head and chest injuries after being attack in an alleyway in Luton.

The 45 year old was set up in the alley off Stanley Street at about ten past seven last night in a motiveless attack.

At the time of the incident, it is believed a green car, possibly a Vauxhall, stopped close to where the man was standing. An unknown number of men are then thought to have carried out the attack. They are all described as being of Asian appearance.

Detective Constable Rosheen Lenihan, the investigating officer, said, "This was a particularly nasty attack on this man with no apparent motive.

She said: ""We know there were other people in the area at the time and feel sure some of them would have seen the attack. I am appealing to anybody who witnessed this incident to contact me in complete confidence."

August 18th, 2010

Daniel Pateman Hertfordshire Constabulary is seeking the public’s assistance in tracing a Stevenage man who is wanted on warrant.

Daniel Patemen, 28, is wanted for failing to appear in relation to two matters.

He failed to appear at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday, August 9 in relation to a charge of aggravated theft of motor vehicle.

He also failed to appear at North Herts Magistrates Court on Friday, August 13 in relation to a charge of theft.

Daniel is believed to frequent the Roebuck and Marymead areas of Stevenage as well as the Town Centre.

If members of the public have any information on his whereabouts they should contact police on the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555111.

August 17th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses following two burglaries in Gustard Wood, near Wheathampstead recently.

The first incident took place in Gustard Wood (road) between 9am and 2.24pm on Wednesday, August 4. The offenders broke a sash window, searched the property and made off with items including cash and a distinctive 1935 Omega pilot’s watch and a set of 18ct gold antique cufflinks which were engraved with 'WH'. There was also a large quantity of 'Rachael Jeffrey' jewellery stolen.

The next incident occurred at a second property in Gustard Wood (road) between 12.15pm and 2.30pm on the same day. The offenders forced open the front door, carried out a search of the property and made off with a laptop and a television.

DC Richard Fitton is investigating and said: “The burglaries both took place in a rural location but during the day and I am appealing to anyone who was in the area and believes they may have seen activity which was out of the ordinary that day to contact me.

“Also the jewellery and the watch are quite distinctive and I would ask anyone who thinks they may have seen them since to phone police.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non emergency number 0845 3300222, quoting crime reference number F2/10/1466.

Crime Prevention Advice
• Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
• Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out
• Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
• Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
• Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
• At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
• Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
• Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

August 16th, 2010

Police in Dunstable are investigating a spate of robberies and assaults.

A 14 year old boy was robbed of his £1000 customised bike by three youths in Kingsway last Monday.

A number of similar attacks took place on Friday. At three 3.30 three youths aged about 18 approached younger boys playing football on the Astroturf behind Go Bowling.

A bike and bag were stolen adn one of the victims was punched in the face and neck, suffering a cut lip and bleeding nose.
One of the offenders tried to take a bike away from one of the boys and another then hit him to make him get off of the bike.

Later that day, at around 6.30pm, on the public footpath at the rear of Go Bowling, another young boy walking into town, talking on his mobile phone, saw four young men. One gave a short whistle  and as the victim walked towards them approached him and punched him twice in the face. The other three then joined in punching, kicking and elbowing him in the face, head and body. They tried to grab his phone but he got free, running into the field at the back of the Astro Turf, where he has attracted the attention of a passer-by who called the Police.

There was another attempted robbery early in the morning of Saturday 14 August. At around 6am in the Asda car park the victim's car was approached by three young men who spoke to him before one reached into the car and attempted to take his wallet. The victim drove off with the offender still leaning into the car. He tried to swerve and dislodge him, but lost control of his vehicle and crashed through a fence into a hedge. The offenders then made off.

Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Michelle Sears said: "We are concerned about such a number of robberies and assaults occurred in the centre of Dunstable over these two days. So far none of the victims have been seriously hurt but the incidents have left them shaken. Serious injuries can result from someone falling to the ground on a hard surface, so we want to track these offenders down before someone gets hurt. We are keeping an open mind on whether the same offenders are involved in all these robberies and assaults and we want to hear from anyone who recognises any of these descriptions or knows of youths acting suspiciously or in an anti-social way in the area around Court Drive, Go Bowling and the recreation ground. Young people using local footpaths or recreation grounds should be vigilant. Be aware of anyone else in your immediate area and try to avoid bring attention to your possessions by listening to music or using your phone in these areas." 

Anyone with information should contact DC Michelle Sears, on 01582 473055, Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, or text to 07786 200011 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

August 13th, 2010

A Hatfield man who launched a drunken attack on his mother's partner has been told to go on an "anger replacement treatment programme."

Carl Webb, 25, turned up at his mother's home in Somers Road, Welham Green at half past midnight December 27 last year after spending the night drinking.

St Albans crown court heard on Friday that he got into a row with his mother. Her partner, Michael Harris, intervened and hit Webb on the lip, causing it to split.

With his lip bleeding, Webb went away only to return and attack Mr Harris. He punched him to the ground both inside and outside the house in a repeated attack.

Webb, of Queenway House, Queensway, Hatfield pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm. The court was told he earns £300 a week working in the Ocado distribution centre in Hatfield.

Defence barrister, Patrick Harte asked for a community order to be passed to assist in reconciling the family. "The ultimate goal is one of familial harmony. Mr Webb needs to address his anger problems with professional intervention," he said.

Mr Harte said Webb had been provoked and the injury caused to Mr Harris was not intended. Since the night he said he had stopped using alcohol.

Recorder Elizabeth Isaacs told him: "You behaved disgracefully." She passed an 18 month supervision order with the anger replacement treatment programme, which will last for 18 days. He must also carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

The Recorder also passed a 12 month restraining order preventing Webb from contacting Mr Harris or going within 50 metres of his home. He must also pay £500 costs.

August 12th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after a road rage incident in St Albans recently.

The incident occurred at approximately 1pm on Thursday, July 29 on Hemel Hempstead Road when there was an altercation at the temporary traffic lights involving the drivers of two vehicles, a white Ford transit van and an Audi A4.

Following the altercation, it is alleged the driver of the transit van made a racist comment before getting in his car and driving off. Whilst doing so, he clipped the Audi and failed to stop.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.
A 19 year old man from St Albans has been arrested in connection with this incident. He has been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.

August 11th, 2010

A man who broke a woman's nose outside a St Albans nightclub escaped jail yesterday.

Quang Loung, 20, head-butted Jade Poole in a late night confrontation outside Batchwood Hall.

Prosecutor Neil King said the aggravating factors in the assault were the fact that Loung was under the influence of alcohol and was bigger in size and stature from his victim. He is 5 feet 11 tall, she is slender and just 5 feet 3.

Her nose was broken in two places and she needed an operation under a general anaesthetic. As a result she had suffered in her studies and had lost confidence in going out.

Loung of Lefevre Walk, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 had been convicted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm on 14 July. He was of previous good character.

He returned to St Albans crown court for sentence after probation reports had been prepared.

Defence barrister Mumim Hashim said Loung is "extremely sorry" and hopes Miss Poole recovers. "There may have been an exchange but it does not justify what took place," he said. He said Loung had £1,000 in savings and soon hoped to get a job at City Airport, meaning he could pay compensation.

Recorder David Mayall told him: "Despite clear evidence you did not accept your responsibility and pleaded not guilty. It was a shocking affair. Only custody is appropriate as a sentence, but the only thing that allows me to suspend it is your good character. It is a touch and go decision."

He passed a 32 week sentence suspended for 15 months and order Loung to carry out 180 hours unpaid work. He must also pay Miss Poole £2,500 compensation - £1,000 within two weeks and the remainder at the rate of £100 a month.

August 10th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a man from Stevenage.

29 year old Lucan Chowles, who is from Shephall View, is wanted on warrant for failing to appear before Luton Crown Court in connection with a public order offence in Stevenage from April 2009. He is also wanted for a serious assault which took place in Letchworth on October 18, 2009.

If you see him out and about but don’t know where he lives, please call 999 giving his location so police can take immediate action. Anyone who knows his whereabouts should call Hertfordshire Constabulary on 0845 3300 222. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

August 9th, 2010

Detectives are investigating a blaze that badly damaged seven tipper trucks parked at the depot of Thomas Brothers, Nursery Road, Luton. Five of them were severely damaged, the other two less so.

Police and the Fire Service were called to the company’s premises at about 11.50pm on Friday night, 6 August 2010. Upon arrival, a number of trucks were found to be on fire. 

Police are treating the incident as possibly ‘suspicious’ and are appealing for witnesses. 

The investigating officer, Detective Constable Lavern Charles said, “Whilst it was quite late at night when police were alerted to the fire, we believe there may have been witnesses in the locality. If you were in or near Nursery Close on Friday between 11.00pm and midnight, did you see anybody hanging around the area, anything suspicious or vehicles parked in unusual or secluded locations? If you did, no matter how trivial it may seem to you, we would like to hear from you.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information they feel may help the police investigation, should contact Detective Constable Charles at Luton Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 394313, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

August 9th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses after a serious assault in St Albans at the weekend (Saturday, 7 August).

The incident occurred at approximately 3.10am on Victoria Street. Two men in their twenties, from St Albans and London, were approached by a group of four to six black men, who are believed to be in their early twenties. The group started a fight and repeatedly assaulted the two men. The offenders then ran off.

One of the main offenders is described as black, 6ft tall, early to mid twenties, with a skinny build, goatee beard, wearing a white bandana on his head, white t-shirt and black tracksuit bottoms.

DC Gemma Badat from the Local Crime Unit in St Albans said: “This is a serious GBH where one of the victims sustained significant injuries to his face which has required reconstructive surgery. Although this took place in the early hours of the morning, Victoria Street is a main thoroughfare in the town and I would like to speak to anyone who may recall this incident or seen the group running from the scene.”

If you have any information about this incident please contact police via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.t

August 9th, 2010

Police are appealing for witnesses and information following a road traffic collision in Hatfield on Saturday (August 7).

The incident occurred at around 8.12am when a Blue Vauxhall Corsa and White Vauxhall Combo Van were in collision on the service road of Tesco, 100yds from the junction with the A414, Great North Rd.

The Corsa left the scene but the car and driver was later located in Hatfield. The driver of the van, an 85 year old male from Hatfield, was taken to the QE2 Hospital with a head injury. He remains in hospital in a stable condition.

PC Denise Rayner is investigating the collision. She said: “We are trying to establish the circumstances of the collision. I am appealing for anyone who saw the Corsa prior to the collision, in Tesco car park or petrol station, or anyone who saw the collision occur and the Corsa driving away.

“If you believe you have information I would really like to talk to you. Please contact me via the non-emergency number, 0845 3300 222, as soon as possible.”

August 9th, 2010

Detectives in Luton are appealing for witnesses after a man was stabbed in Inkerman Street, Luton, at approximately 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon, 8 August 2010. 

At this time, a 17-year-old man was walking in Inkerman Street when he was attacked and stabbed in the leg and back. He was later taken to the Luton and Dunstable hospital where his injuries were described as ‘not life threatening’.

It is thought he could have been attacked by two or three men.

Detectives would like to speak to anybody who may have been in Inkerman Street, Alma Street or an adjoining alleyway at about 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon and who may have seen this attack taking place. They would also like to speak to anyone who saw a small group of two or three men in that area at the relevant time.  

Two men have since been arrested in connection with the incident and released on police bail. 

If you think you can help the police inquiry in any way, please contact the officer in the case, Detective Constable Sophie McGrath, at Luton Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 394331, or text information to 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

August 5th, 2010

A thief strolled around a supermarket eating and drinking from the store. To change his appearance as he left he stole a T shirt. The man was captured on CCTV at Asda on Wigmore Lane in Luton, Beds eating the shop's food and drink on Tuesday 27 July.

He then picked up one of the store's red T shirts and changed from his own blue/grey one.

Images of the thief were released by Beds police in the hope that he is recognised.

August 5th, 2010

A father who was selling cannabis from his home, where his four young children were living has been jailed for eight months.

Judge Michael Kay QC told 28 year old Wayne Creasy; "It is a great shame that cannabis has clouded your judgement. It is no sort of example to your children for their father to be a drug dealer. It strikes me as an aggravating feature that you dealt from your house which is home to four young children. You said you kept the drugs away from them but there is evidence that drug paraphernalia was in the kitchen for all to see. I feel huge sympathy for your family but you should have thought of that at an earlier stage."

Creasy, of Watling Gardens, Dunstable will also miss the birth of his fifth child which is due in eight weeks time. He pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possessing cocaine for personal use. Prosecutor Sarah Porter said that police went to the address with a search warrant on July 22 last year.

Creasy co operated with the search which revealed cannabis worth about £870 in deal sized wraps, three sets of scale, two mobile phones and cash. There were incriminating text messages on his phones and he went on to admit that he had bought in bulk and sold some cannabis on to support his own habit. He said he had been dealing for about six months, initially to friends, but then 'it snowballed'.

Police also found cocaine worth about £250.

Stuart Sprawson, defending urged the court to suspend the inevitable custodial sentence.

"He has been incredibly selfish in his life style. When he lost his employment in 2009 and realised he could not make ends meet, he did not give up using cannabis but sought another route to fund it. He did not know then how serious this was, but he does now. He is extremely worried about custody not for himself but for his family. This has been a watershed in his life," said Mr. Sprawson.

Judge Kay said; "Cannabis is dangerous because it can lead to serious mental health problems."

Creasy will face a hearing in October to decide what assets can be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

August 4th, 2010

A seventh member of the drug gang arrested in Lewsey Farm in September last year has been found guilty at Luton Crown Court today.   

Michael Birch, aged 20 of Rush Court, Leighton Buzzard, was remanded in custody and will  be sentenced next month for his part in a major organised crime gang.

He is one of nine people who were arrested in a huge police operation – codenamed Paddle - which followed months of surveillance and intelligence gathering. Over 400 officers were involved at the September arrest phase, many of them armed, in raids that took them to 23 properties in Luton, Stevenage, Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard.

The gang were involved in supplying cocaine and other Class A drugs to Luton and south Bedfordshire.

During the raids a firearm, drugs and cash were found, and dangerous chemicals found at one house – thought to be used in the production of drugs – necessitated the evacuation of all the residents until it was made safe.

One of the gang, Niall McErlane, aged 20, from Moorland Gardens, Luton, was recently found guilty of murdering Houghton Regis resident Richard Long in a row about drugs. His identity has been prohibited by the court up until now for legal reasons but can now be revealed. He had been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs as part of this operation but as he is now serving 26 years for murder, the courts have ordered this charge to lie on file, rather than proceed with it.

The other members of the gang, who pleaded guilty at earlier hearings were:

Mark Birch (born 18.11.85) aged 24, of Chatsworth Court, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs, namely Cocaine and Diamorphine.

Cliveroy Birch (born 24.11.89) aged 20 of Park Street, Luton, pleaded guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.

Fabreece Mullins (born 25.09.91), aged 18, of Huckleberry Close, Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs

Alicia Murphy (born 04.02.88), aged 22, of Chatsworth Court, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to Money Laundering.

Ori Cyrille (born 01.10.90) aged 19, of Wedgewood Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.

Mohan Rahman (born 16.07.86) aged 23 of Strangers Way, Luton, pleaded not guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.

Det Insp Ged McCarthy, who led Operation Paddle, said it was a direct response to public concerns. “We are acutely aware of the fear drugs and violence bring to communities, which is why this operation was carried out. It has taken many months to piece together the necessary information, intelligence and evidence in order for these court cases to happen. People living in Lewsey Farm and further afield in Luton are much safer now that these particular criminals have been taken out of circulation. The Birch trio and McErlane in particular would do almost anything to defend what they thought of as their business – but they made the common mistake of thinking we would not be able to stop them,” he said. “Far from being popular or glamorous, their lifestyle and methods were abhorrent to local people and the community gave us a lot of support during the enforcement phase of this operation,” he said.

“While we had spent months collecting information about their methods, even we were surprised to find a massive amount of dangerous chemicals at one of the flats we raided last year – other innocent residents could have been really hurt had it not been found,” said Det Insp McCarthy.

One person has outstanding charges against him in respect of this operation and has failed to answer his bail or attend court for his trial. Gary Burke (born 03.09.87) aged 22 of Osborne Road, Luton, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs. He is now wanted by police and anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately.  

July 27th, 2010

DETECTIVES are warning householders to be on their guard after five burglaries on the same night, in a small area of Dunstable town centre.

The first offence happened between 7.30pm and 8.00am Saturday (July 24) when offenders entered the front door of a house in George Street. The offenders stole a handbag which was later discovered in Ashton Road. The purse and bank cards had been removed.

The second offence happened in Printers Way between midnight and 5.30am Saturday (July 24) when offenders entered the front door of a house. The offenders took three handbags which were later discovered in gardens close by with purses and bank cards removed.

Another handbag was stolen from a house in Sheridan Close between 11.00pm and 9.00am Saturday (July 24).  Offenders entered through the front door and removed the bag from the hallway.

 It follows two other similar offences in Crabtree Way and Readers Close between 11.30pm and the early hours on Saturday (July 24) where laptops, a digital camera, an IPod, a mobile phone and other electrical items were stolen.  Offenders entered the front doors and removed the items from downstairs rooms.

DC Michelle Sears, of the Crime Investigation Department, wants to remind householders with UPVC doors about the importance of lifting handles AND turning keys, since this ensures they are dead-locked. Open doors and insecure first or second floor windows also let unwanted visitors such as opportunist burglars.

She added: “We would reassure residents patrols have been stepped up. However, they can help us by reviewing security and contacting us if they saw anything suspicious near either of these properties.”

Anyone with information about burglary can contact DC Michelle Sears, in confidence, on 01582 473055, the main switchboard on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800- 555 111 or text to 07786 2000 11.

July 26th, 2010

BEDFORDSHIRE Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a man used a dog lead and his two dogs to carry out an assault on his victim. 

The offence happened at 6.15pm on Tuesday (July 13) in Park Road North, Houghton Regis, where a man in his thirties was approached by a male walking two dogs. 

As the men passed one another, the offender spoke briefly to the victim, and then approached him from behind.  He repeatedly hit the man in the face with a dog lead. 

As the man attempted to break free, the offender set his two dogs onto his victim causing a broken wrist and facial injuries.

DS Joanne Dyer, investigating, said “Someone may have seen the attack, as this would have happened in the early evening when people were on their way home.  A passing motorist or pedestrian may recall seeing the attack. I would urge people to contact us.”

Anyone with information can contact DS Dyer , in confidence, on 01582 473273

July 19th, 2010

POLICE are asking for witnesses after a man was attacked by a dog in Hatfield recently.

The incident occurred at around 9.15am on Tuesday, July 6. It is believed the victim was chased by a dog whilst cycling along Heathcote Avenue. The dog, which wasn’t on a lead, then bit the man on the backs of his legs, causing injuries that required hospital treatment.

The man, who is 47 years old and from Hatfield, managed to ride off. The dog is described as a large, dark brown Rottweiler cross.

PC Shaun Deal from Hatfield Police Station said: “This attack left the victim with bite injuries to the back of both legs. This could have been more significant if a child or more vulnerable person had been unfortunate enough to have encountered the animal and I am keen to prevent further incidents.

“I would urge anyone who believes they witnessed the incident to make contact with me via the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

July 14th, 2010


POLICE are trying to find the owners of this watch, which is believed to have been taken during a burglary in St Albans or Harpenden.

It was recovered during a burglary search warrant in Luton, carried out by Bedfordshire Police.

The watch is a Raymond Weil man’s watch with a silver strap and blue face.

DC Georgina Fenge, from the Specialist Investigation Unit, has been telling Heart: “I am keen to trace the outstanding owner so I can return their property to them.

“This watch looks valuable and may have sentimental value, so I am sure it will be missed.”

A man in his 20s from Luton has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and remanded in custody .

Anyone with any information on this crime should ring DC Fenge via the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555111.

July 13, 2010

POLICE are issuing advice after two thefts from Sainsbury’s cash point in St Albans last Wednesday (July 7).

The first incident happened between 5pm and 5.30pm outside the store, on Everard Close. A woman went to use an ATM with a blank screen and it swallowed her card. She was than approached by a man was said the same thing had happened to him and she needed to insert her PIN to get the card back.

She did this, but did not get the card back. When she went into the store to report it, the man took her card and used it to take money.

The second incident happened between 5.35pm and 5.40pm and was very similar, although the female victim received an error message on screen and was persuaded to go inside to report to staff.

It is believed there were three or four men involved in the scam, one of them standing nearby on a pushbike, and that they fitted a skimming device to the ATM.

PC Ben Kirby, Neighbourhood Officer for Sopwell, is investigating the offences and he been telling Heart: “The individuals responsible were particularly cunning and have played on people’s trusting natures.

“I would encourage anyone who uses this cash point or any in the area to be extra vigilant of any ATM that looks like it may have been tampered with and any people who are standing nearby.

“Never leave your card in the machine if it gets stuck and don’t necessarily trust the advice of strangers – they could be part of the scam.”

He added: “If anyone saw men acting suspiciously on or around the times mentioned or has any information, I would encourage them to get in touch.”


Police are issuing the following advice:

• NEVER disclose your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone.
• Always look around you when approaching and using the cash point, if you see anyone acting suspiciously call police or a bank official.
• If you think a cash machine has been tampered with, call police immediately and inform the company the ATM is attached to (eg Sainsbury’s, Barclays bank etc).
• Where possible, use a cash machine inside a bank or building society.
• Never leave your card unattended in the machine. Instead, signal for help from where you are.
• Be wary of advice from strangers, especially if it involves putting in your PIN number or leaving your card unattended in a machine.
• If your card is taken, always contact your bank immediately, in any circumstances, to reduce the risk of your card being used.
• Always have your bank’s helpline number for reporting lost or stolen cards to hand so you can contact them straightaway.

Anyone with any information on this crime should ring PC Kirby via the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers (an independent charity) anonymously on 0800 555111.

July 13th, 2010

 
POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses to a robbery in the Grovehill area of Hemel Hempstead over the weekend.


At around 3.40pm on Sunday (July 11) two boys aged 14 and 15 were approached on the basketball court on Stevenage Rise behind Henry Wells Square by a man with a dog. It is believed he threatened the boys. One of the boys handed over his wallet containing a small amount of cash.


The offender is described as a white man aged around 17-years-old, between around 5ft 10in and 6ft tall with short blonde hair. He was wearing a grey Nike t-shirt and grey ¾ length shorts and white Nike trainers. The dog is described a being mainly white with a brown patch around the right eye and wearing a black collar.

 
Detective Constable Marc Willmore, investigating, has been telling Heart:

“We are keen to identify the offender in this incident and would urge anyone who was in the area at the time who may have witnessed the incident or seen a man and a dog matching this description to call us.”

 
Anyone with information should call police on 0845 33 00 222.

 

July 7th, 2010

TWO men have been arrested following an Automatic Number Plate Recognition - ANPR Operation in Hemel Hempstead on Monday (July 6th) as part of Operation Sentinel.

Tamas Pinter, 36 from Wharfedale, Hemel Hempstead has been charged with possession of a class B drug and driving without insurance. He is due to appear at West Herts Magistrates Court on July 20.

A 23-year-old man from Watford was cautioned for common assault which took place on June 25th on St Albans Road Watford.

Five vehicles were also seized for having no insurance as part of the operation.

Chief Inspector Mike Pryce, Chief Inspector for Dacorum, said: “These operations will continue to be conducted in Dacorum with the support of Headquarters and the ANPR intercept team, who are a team of specially trained officers. ANPR has already proved to be an invaluable tool in helping officers arrest hundreds of criminals across the county and by conducting these operations in Dacorum we continue to deny these criminals the use of our roads.”

The Operation Sentinel Team carries out proactive operations with local policing teams, as well as neighbouring forces.

The Constabulary has a dedicated ANPR focus desk in the Force Control Room to support Operation Sentinel. An integral part of the team, the operators provide 24 hour intelligence and radio support to the ANPR Intercept Units.
About ANPR:
• An ANPR camera can read a number plate every second.
• In 2008, ANPR led to over 900 arrests for offences including possessing offensive weapons, burglary and drug dealing, as well as the seizure of over 1500 unsafe vehicles.
• ANPR is a crime reduction and investigative tool – it reads number plates and comparing them against national police and vehicle databases.
• ANPR targets criminals, not innocent law abiding motorists.
• ANPR not only reduces crime but can be used to reduce road deaths and serious injuries on the roads by highlighting un-roadworthy vehicles – drivers without insurance are more likely to have been involved in other crimes.

July 7th, 2010

A MOTHER and son who have admitted harassing their neighbour, are to be sentenced at Stevenage Magistrates Court on July 16.

Louise Pritchett, 35, now of Chauncy Gardens and Lee Watling, 19, of Bittern Way, Letchworth, pleaded guilty to harassment of their next door neighbour while they were both living in Orchard Road, Baldock.

Pritchett and Watling moved into Orchard Road in June 2008 and police were called on many occasions to reports of noise and anti social behaviour. The Housing Association began proceedings to evict the pair, but they have since voluntarily moved out.

The pair’s behaviour was described as being “extremely anti social”. Anti Social Behaviour Officer for North Herts PC Julie Ann Cundell said: “This pair were making residents’ lives a misery. They were being kept awake and their children were witnessing incidents and overhearing foul language.

"This has been the worst case of Anti-Social Behaviour I have seen and my praise goes to the residents of this street who have remained strong and persevered through what must have been a horrendous time.

“Law abiding people have every right to expect a peaceful and quiet life. They should not have to be subjected to the terrible behaviour of a minority. Such behaviour is criminal and we will use the law to confront it.

“We would urge anyone who is experiencing anything similar to get in touch. We are here to help. You can contact me by calling 01438 757725 or email me at Julie-ann.cundell@herts.pnn.police.uk. For more information and advice on crime prevention, go to www.herts.police.uk.”

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It was a nightmare living next door to them. They would play music into the early hours, bang on the walls and call me every name under the sun.

“It’s been like heaven since they moved out. Eventually, all the neighbours pulled together and said, no – enough is enough. I would really like to thank Julie-Ann for all her support and help.

“She has been absolutely brilliant and made sure to keep me informed of everything that was happening. I can’t thank her enough.”

July 2nd, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and possible victims to come forward after four people have reported being shot at by what is believed to be a ‘BB Gun’ in the Cottonmill estate in St Albans over the past week.
 
The first incident took place at 3.45pm on Thursday, June 24. The victim, a 12 year old boy, was walking along Stanhope Road when he was hit in the neck by what is believed to be a pellet from a BB Gun. The boy was not injured.
 
A second incident occurred in Holyrood Crescent at around 9pm on Tuesday, June 29, when a man reported that a shot had been fired at him but had missed.
 
The same evening at 10.20pm on Tuesday, June 29 in Catherine Street, when a man in his 30s was hit to the head with a pellet, causing him to fall and sustain an injury to his leg which required hospital treatment.
 
Shortly after, in the same evening at 10.30pm, a man, who was outside his property on Bricket Road, felt something hit the side of his face. It is believed he was fired at with an air gun. A car was seen driving off from the scene. The man suffered minor swelling and bruising.
 
PC Richard Wicks said: “It is believed the shots were fired from a BB Gun from a passing vehicle. It is an offence to carry a BB Gun in a public place.
 
“I would like to speak with anyone who has witnessed these incidents, or any other similar incidents in the past week. It may be that you have been hit or shot at and may have not reported the incident to police.”
 
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Richard Wicks or PC Neil Pugh via the non-emergency number, 0845 3300222.
 
Three 18 year old men from St Albans have been arrested in connection with these incidents.
They have been released on police bail and are due to return on 4 August.

June 30th, 2010

SIX people were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on June 25 for a string of over 40 burglaries across West London, Hertfordshire and Surrey.

The court heard of offences committed across an area as far north as Bedford and as far south as Southampton in January and February 2009.

Homes were targeted in Westlea Avenue, Watford; Abbottswood Road, Luton and Vicarage Gardens, Flamstead. A car was also stolen and members of the public were threatened during these incidents.

On 22 February a man in Potters Bar discovered his door open and when he looked out he saw his BMW being driving off at speed. Police officers followed the vehicle until the driver decamped on the M40 where he was arrested and identified as the 17-year-old boy.

Four of the gang members were arrested on February 25 in Bedfordshire after the stolen vehicle they were in crashed at junction 13 of the M1. The gang were then linked to numerous other offences.

Michael Delaney, 21 of Whitefield Way, Rickmansworth pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to burglary, and was sentenced to two years and ten months.

A 19-year-old Larry Delaney pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to burglary and was sentenced to four years.

Peter John Stewart, 20 of Bishops Grove, Hampton, pleaded guilty of one count of conspiracy to burglary and one count of distraction burglary. He was sentenced to four years.

A 15-year-old boy from Hayes was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to burglary and he was sentenced to 18 month detention order.

Patrick Cassidy, 19 from Watling Street, Beds was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to burglary. He was sentenced to two years.

A 17-year-old boy from Romford was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to burglary. He was sentenced to an 18-month community supervision order.

Detective Sergeant Paul Hedges from the County Prolific Offender Team said: “Tackling callous burglars who try to profit from the more vulnerable members in our communities has long been a priority in Hertfordshire. The proactive operation we set up with our partners in neighbouring forces including the Metropolitan Police Service and Thames Valley Police aimed to deal with such offenders and this sentencing demonstrates the value in working together to bring them to justice.”

DC Janine Horn of the Metropolitan Police Service said: "This group have shown no regard for the law or their victims, particularly picking on the old and vulnerable who they seem to have regarded as easy pickings. This has been an investigation complicated by the number of incidents and geographical spread of the crimes. By working with Hertfordshire Constabulary and Surrey Police, together, we have ensured the best possible evidence has been put before the courts. The movement of vehicles was tracked across the region even though number plates were changed around, witness accounts ensured we were able to prove the guilt of those involved.”

June 30th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for further information and witnesses to the damage of a war memorial on Belswains Lane, Hemel Hempstead earlier this month.

Between around 6pm and 6.30pm on Thursday, June 10, it is believed offender(s) approached the war memorial next to the construction site and attempted to remove the copper plaque causing damage.

Investigator, Adam Johnson, said: “We believe there were people in the area who were either walking or driving passed at the time of the offence and may have been witnesses. We are urging these people to come forward and talk to police as their information could prove vital to our investigation and ensure those responsible are dealt with appropriately.”

Anyone with information about this incident or about who may be responsible is asked to call police on 0845 33 00 222.

Two men, 18 from Dunstable and 19 from Bedford, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary and criminal damage. They have been police bailed until July 5.

30th June, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following an alleged GBH in Danestreet, Stevenage on June 17.

The incident is alleged to have taken place between 5pm and 6pm when a 42-year-old man from Stevenage was drinking outside The Standard Bearer pub. The man is then believed to have been hit over the head a number of times with a walking stick by a man who started a brief conversation with him outside the pub. The man with the walking stick then left the scene in an unknown direction.

The 42-year-old man sustained serious injuries as a result of the incident and needed hospital treatment.

Investigating officer DC Matt Creese, said: “Thankfully incidents of this nature are rare in the area. We currently believe that this is an isolated incident and I am appealing for any witnesses who may have been in the area at the time it took place to get in contact as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can contact DC Creese on the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222 citing crime reference number K2/10/1620.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 45-year-old man from Stevenage has been arrested in connection with this incident. He has been bailed and is due to return to Stevenage police station on August 8.

June 29th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a public order offence in Welwyn Garden City.

Officers attended Moors Walk at around 10pm on June 12 where a group of people were involved in a fight. Officers were alerted to the fact that one of the men was in possession of a weapon. Officers restrained a man and seized a weapon.

DC Andy Boyer from the Local Crime Unit in Hatfield said: “I would like to appeal to members of the public who were in the area at the time to jog their memories and if they have any information which may be of assistance to contact police with information.”

Taury Ponting-Meade, aged 21 and from Little Hardings in Welwyn Garden City, has been charged with affray and having an offensive weapon in public. He has been remanded into custody.

Anyone with information should call Hertfordshire Constabulary citing crime reference number B1/10/1760. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

June 29th, 2010

A 23 YEAR old Stevenage man who admitted causing criminal damage with graffiti throughout the town, has been fined £365 and ordered to pay total compensation of £640 with £85 costs.

Balaam Camp, of Orchard Crescent, Stevenage, admitted:

Criminal damage in Grace Way, Stevenage between March 23, 2009 and May 2, 2010; Criminal damage in Orchard Crescent, Stevenage between March 10, 2010 and May 20, 2010; Criminal damage in Clovelly Way, Stevenage, between May 2, 2009 and May 2, 2010; Criminal damage in Fairlands Way, Stevenage, between May 3, 2009 and May 2, 2010, Criminal damage in Orchard Crescent, Stevenage, between May 3, 2009 and May 2, 2010 and Criminal damage in Fairlands Way, Stevenage, between May 3, 2009 and May 2, 2010.

A further 20 offences were taken into consideration. He was ordered to pay the compensation to Stevenage Borough Council for damage incurred and also to the owner of a fence he damaged.

The court head that some of the murals were six foot high and five foot wide, painted with black and white emulsion. Camp had targeted a garden fence and underpass walls for his ‘graffiti’.

He had also used permanent adhesive to stick drawings of the same image to walls and roadside furniture including an electrical box, causing damage.

Camp appeared before North Herts Magistrates Court on June 23.

Stevenage Chief Inspector Richard Liversidge said: “'I am pleased with this conviction because this type of crime increases people's fear that a neighbourhood is unsafe, when this is not the case in Stevenage.

“People responsible for similar damage in Stevenage should be aware that graffiti is a criminal offence.

"Stevenage Neighbourhood Policing Team will always act on information likely to result in the identification of persons responsible for offences and would welcome any information about those responsible for similar crimes.

"If you have any information about criminal damage or any other crime, please ring 0845 33 00 222 or you can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always ring 999."

June 29th, 2010

A 43 YEAR old woman has been charged with two purse dipping offences after being detained in Stevenage Town Centre.

Carol Thomas, of Camden Road, Walthamstow, was charged with theft from 64 year old lady in Tesco’s, The Forum, Stevenage, on June 12, 2010 and an attempted theft from an 87 year old lady in Poundland, Stevenage, on the same day.

She was further charged with possessing a bladed instrument in a public place and fraud by false representation, also on June 12.

Thomas appeared before Hatfield Remand Court and has been remanded in custody to appear before Stevenage Magistrates Court on July 20.

June 29th, 2010

Luton police are hunting a man with a big beer belly who was behaving indecently at playing fields.

The man, who is in his 50s or 60s, was seen at Ashcroft Park playing fields off Hitchin Road at around 7.30-8pm last Thursday (24 June.)

He is about 5'8" to 5'9" tall, is chubby with a large beer belly and a clean shaven fat face, balding but with white hair at the sides.

He was wearing a blue polo top with a white horizontal stripe and white shorts. He walks with a limp and was seen leaving in the direction of the Total garage.

PC David Elias said: "The park was very busy that evening with plenty of people around. In particular there was a group of young teenage boys playing football there. When they left the playing fields they went along Hitchin Road towards the Total garage and the offender followed them in this direction but he was not visible by the time they arrived at the garage.

 "There were a lot of young people about at the time so we are very concerned and want to identify and find this man as soon as possible. If anyone recognises this description or saw anything suspicious at this park around 7.30pm last Thursday  they should contact me immediately on 01582 394030."

June 28th, 2010

Detectives in Luton are appealing for information following a Robbery in which the victim’s car was taken. 

The offence happened on the 25th June in Tinsely Close between 11pm and 12 midnight. The 33 year old victim was waiting at the location when he was approached by two men. One climbed into the passenger seat and demanded property, when the victim got out of his car the two men assaulted him with a metal pole. 

They took his keys and mobile phone before fleeing the scene in the victim’s car, an Orange Honda Civic, leaving the victim with head and ear injuries. 

The Honda has been modified to have a sporty front bumper and skirts along with tinted windows; it bears the registration number of R157 HGH. 

Both offenders are described as Asian men, approximately 20-22 years old and about 5’6” in height. One had a medium build with short black hair and side burns and was wearing a cream coloured top. The other had a chubby build and a thin goatee beard. 

Investigating officer, Det Con Kaysie Conroy said: “The vehicle has not yet been found and we are asking for anyone who has seen it since the offence to come forward with either its whereabouts or information that may help us track down the offenders.” 

Anyone with information can contact DC Conroy on 01234 841212, or call the main switchboard, in confidence, on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

June 28th, 2010

A STUDENT returned to her blue Ford Fiesta parked in Tesco in Oldings Corner to find her handbag, containing cash, keys, credit cards and her driving licence and £17 in cash stolen between 3.45pm and 4pm yesterday (Sunday June 27, 2010).

“This is a common story if driver’s leave their belongings on display in their car,” said Welwyn Hatfield Neighbourhood Inspector Ian Grout. “It only takes an opportunist thief minutes to retrieve the items tempting them. All too often people are in a rush and think they’ll ‘only be a minute.’

"It only takes seconds to take your belongings with you or put them in the boot out of sight – preferable before parking. It takes a lot longer to replace your personal and valuable items.”

Although Welwyn Hatfield has seen a decrease in thefts from motor vehicles, the major of offences involve people leaving their cars insecure or leaving their valuables on display.

He added: “Theft from motor vehicles is a crime we can significantly reduce further by working with members of the public.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary advises:

Remove your Sat Nav and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a Sat Nav is stored in your vehicle.

Never leave any valuables in your vehicle - not even in the glove-box or boot - and keep ALL other possessions out of sight.
Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.

Register your stereo, Sat Nav and any other property on the free online property database www.immobilise.com . It only takes a few minutes and could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.”

Follow these tips and help bite back at car crime! For more advice, visit www.herts.police.uk

June 28th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for information and witnesses to a robbery on London Road in the Apsley area of Hemel Hempstead last week (Thursday, June 24).

At around 2.45pm, a security guard was returning to his vehicle in the car park by McDonald’s restaurant when he was approached from behind.

It is believed the offender(s) have pushed him and made off with a cash box to a waiting vehicle which turned right down London Road towards Kings Langley. The vehicle, a silver Ford Galaxy, was subsequently found abandoned in Chipperfield Road, Apsley.

The security guard suffered a minor graze to his elbow when he fell to the ground.

Detective Inspector Fraser Wylie, investigating, said: “I would like to hear from anyone who was in and around McDonalds that afternoon who may have seen the Ford Galaxy and its occupants or the incident itself.

“We’re also keen to find people who may have the seen the Ford Galaxy in and around the Chipperfield Road area either before or immediately after the incident.”

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 0845 33 00 222 immediately.

June 28th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a burglary in Wheathampstead on Friday (June 25).
 
The incident occurred at a property in Waterend Lane between 8.30am and 2.30pm.
 
The offender(s) forced entry to the rear of a property and whilst inside, carried out a search and removed a number of items, including a pair of silver 'juggler' cufflinks and a pair of silver cufflinks with the initials GB inscribed on them.
 
PC Chris Chadwick is investigating and said: “Although this is a quiet country lane it appears to be a popular cut through for both vehicles and people on foot. I would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious people between the stated times.
 
“Please contact me as soon as possible on the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 0845 3300222, quoting crime reference F2/10/1221.”  
 
Residents can help to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of burglary by taking note of the following advice:

  • Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
  • Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out 
  • Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
  • Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
  • Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home.
  • At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
  • Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to climb into the garden.
  • Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

June 24th, 2010

THREE months on from an incident in Stevenage where a woman was raped a reconstruction is being released to encourage new witnesses to come forward.
 
The incident occurred on the morning of Wednesday, March 24, when the victim, who is a nurse and aged in her early 30s, was walking to work. She was walking along the path which runs along Chequers Bridge Road towards Fairview Road at approximately 6.30am.
 
It is believed a man approached her from behind and raped her, before running from the scene. It is thought he may have been disturbed by a passer by or a car starting.
 
The woman ran out of Watson Road, along Fairview Road towards the Leisure Park and came to a stop in an underpass where she called for help. It is believed a number of people, possibly commuters walking towards the train station, passed the victim whilst she was sat in distress in the underpass.
 
Officers have only a brief description of the offender, however they have established that he was wearing distinctive leather ‘driving style’ gloves. He was also said to have smelt of tobacco and may have been running, as he was out of breath. Actors have been used in the reconstruction and the man playing the offender may not bear a resemblance to him.
 
DC Kelly Adams from the specialist Sexual Offences Investigation Team is just one of the officers working on the case. She said: “This woman was subjected to unimaginably frightening assault. The rape has deeply affected her and specially trained officers are giving her support through this extremely traumatic time.
 
“It is extremely uncommon for an incident of this nature to occur in the county, let alone Stevenage. We are determined to find out who this man was, which is why we have created a reconstruction of the sequence of events that morning. 
 
“In relation to the morning itself, it was a fine and dry day and it was light because it was just before the clocks went forward. Did you see a man following our victim, or running to or from the scene? Did you see a woman in distress running from Watson Road, or see her sat in the underpass? It may be that you didn’t realise she needed help, but recall seeing her there.”
 
A witness reported seeing a man acting suspiciously in the two days prior to the incident, at the same time in the morning. He has not been seen there since. The man is described as a black man with light coloured skin, aged between 18 and 30, with a slim build. He was said to be clean shaven and wearing a light blue long sleeved sweat shirt with dark cotton bottoms. He had running trainers which were said to be dirty.
 
DC Adams added: “We are very keen to speak to this man or find out more information about his identity. Did you see a man matching his description on the day of the offence or in the days prior? If you are this man I would urge you to make contact so we can eliminate you from our enquiries.
 
“You may think your information is small but it could prove vital to this investigation. Please call the investigating team via the non emergency number on 0845 33 00 222. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

June 24th, 2010

Bedfordshire Police want to contact the driver of a light coloured Mercedes van after a serious road traffic collision on the Higham Road between Barton-le-Clay and Higham Gobion this morning just before 8am (24 June 2010).

A black Ford Focus was in collision with a tree and the driver had to be cut from the car by the fire service before being taken to hospital by the Air Ambulance.

It and another car, a grey Seat Leon, had been travelling from the A6 Barton roundabout towards Higham Gobion along Higham Road. The collision occurred near Westney Manor and the road has been closed.

The light coloured Mercedes van was travelling in the opposite direction towards the A6 and had been overtaking a cyclist. Police believe the driver may have seen the accident.

PC David Clarke of the Collision Investigation Unit said: “We would like to talk to the driver of this light coloured Mercedes van as we believe he can help us to understand what happened this morning. If he has any information he should call us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information can contact PC Clarke on 01234 842492 or 01234 842469, or text to 07786 200011 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

June 23rd, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following a burglary in Datchworth on June 10.
 
Between 7.45am and 5.10pm offender(s) have forced entry to a property on Baines Lane before making off with items of jewellery and a laptop.

A man was seen in the area during the afternoon. He is described as a man in his 30s who has tanned skin. He was wearing a dark green baseball cap, red jumper, green or grey shorts and trainers. He was carrying a dark back pack with him.
 
Detective Constable Neil Palmer is investigating and said:

“I would like to speak to the man described in connection with the investigation. It may be that he has vital information about what happened and we can eliminate him from our enquiries.
 
“I would also like to appeal to anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously on that day to contact police with information.”
 
Anyone with information is asked to call Hertfordshire Constabulary on 0845 3300 222 citing crime reference number A6/10/275.

 Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

June 22nd, 2010

Three masked robbers armed with a gun robbed a shop in Luton.

The men, who were wearing balaclavas, went into Johal General Store on Bishopscote Road at half past ten on Saturday night.

One grabbed the store owner around his neck, holding him in a headlock.

He produced a black handgun and held it to the back of the owner's head.

The owner was then pushed to the till area where he was forced to open the till and one of the offenders stole the money.

All three offenders ran off from the shop in the direction of Bristol Road.

Investigating officer PC Rachel Chandler said: "This was a violent and distressing  attack involving a gun and a knife. We need to stop these men before they use their weapons on innocent people.

"We are looking for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Bishopscote Road/Bristol Road area between 10pm and 11pm before the robbery took place or as the robbers left the scene. We believe they made their escape in a silver car and are keen to hear from anyone who might have seen this."

June 21st, 2010

Detectives in Luton are appealing for information following two unconnected robberies in the town last week. 

On the 12th June at approximately 11.30pm, a 30 year old man was set upon by two men in Shanklin Close. They punched and kicked him before taking his Sony Ericsson phone and leaving him unconscious on the floor. 

The victim received serious facial injuries including a broken nose and cheek bone; he was taken to the Luton and Dunstable hospital where he underwent surgery. 

The offenders were described as white men wearing dark hooded tops, approximately 18 to 24 years old. Both had fair hair although one of the males had his short blond hair twisted into knots. 

Later in the week, on the 15th June at 6.20pm, a 20 year old man was walking from Moor Path onto Brooks Street when he was approached by an Asian male who asked for directions to Whitby Road. This man then attacked the victim by punching and slapping him around the head before he stole a small black gym bag and ran off down Brooks Street. 

The gym bag contained various diabetic equipment and medication along with clothing. The victim sustained cuts and bruises but did not require hospital treatment.   

The offender is described as an Asian man, 19 or 20 years old, approximately 5’ 08” with a chubby face and a stocky build. He had short black hair gelled into spikes, a black beard and was wearing a black jacket, black t-shirt with dark coloured jeans and white trainers. 

Det Con Joanna Bosson said: “These are both serious unprovoked attacks, both victims have been left shaken by what has happened and one them has sustained potentially life changing injuries. We would ask anyone who recognises the description of the offenders or who has any information in connection with either incident to come forward.”

June 18th,2010

MERSEYSIDE police is becoming increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of 41-year-old Christopher Liggett, who has been missing from his home in Litherland since Tuesday, 8 June. It is believed he could be in Hertfordshire.

Christopher was last seen at his home address on Bleasedale Way and has not been in contact with any friends or family since then.

Christopher is described as white, 5ft 9in, stocky build, with dark brown hair, brown eyes, and hair usually worn in a "skinhead" style. He speaks with a Liverpool accent and was wearing cream shorts and a blue t-shirt.

He has been known to frequent Liverpool city centre and Crosby Marina. It is now believed that Mr Liggett could possibly be in the Hertfordshire area.

Officers would urge anyone who may has seen Christopher, or Christopher himself, to contact 0151 777 4001, or the Missing Persons Helpline in confidence on 0500 700 700.

June 18th, 2010

POLICE are urging people not to make it easy for burglars following a number of incidents in Hemel Hempstead recently where offenders have gained entry to properties through insecure windows and doors.

Incidents include the following:

• Heath Lane between 10.15am and 3.15pm on Tuesday, June 15. A lap top, television and jewellery were taken.
• Fairway Court between 10pm on Tuesday, June 15, and 5.10am on Wednesday, June 16. Car keys and car (a Mercedes Benz), television, mobile phone and cash were taken.
• Bracknell Place between 10.30pm on Wednesday, June 16, and 4am on Thursday, June 17. A handbag, cash and a digital camera were taken.
• Thatchers Croft between 10.45pm on Wednesday, June 16, and 7.30am on Thursday, June 17. Nothing taken.
• Crawley Drive between midnight and 7am on Wednesday, June 17. A mobile phone and car keys were taken.
• The Bounce between 10.15pm on Wednesday, June 16 and 6.10am on Thursday, June 17. Car keys, handbag and credit cards were taken.

If anyone has any information about these incidents or saw any suspicious behaviour in the areas please call police on 0845 33 00 222.

Residents can help to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of burglary by taking note of the following advice:

• Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
• Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out
• Consider installing alarms and ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting
• Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
• Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
• At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
• Don’t leave any boxes which advertise to thieves what’s available in your home outside by the dustbin. Where possible, keep your wheelie bin a good distance behind the gate or fence to prevent them being used to get into the garden.
• Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.

Tony Carrington, 19, of no fixed abode, was arrested in connection with the burglary at Fairway Court and has been charged. He appeared at court yesterday (Thursday, June 17).

June 17th, 2010

FOUR people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage following an incident in Welwyn Garden City on Friday (June 11).

Police were alerted to a group of young people causing damage to cars in Vine Close at around 11.10pm. Officers from the Neighbourhood Team attended and found four cars had been damaged. It is believed the offenders jumped on three vehicles and kicked the fourth.

Four people were arrested suspicion of causing criminal damage. They are a two 19 year old men and a 19 year old woman, all from Welwyn Garden City.

Scott Musicka, 21, of no fixed abode in Welwyn, has been charged with criminal damage. He has been remanded into custody.

PC Ben Satchfield said: "This area has suffered from numerous incidents of criminal damage to vehicles over many months. We are also investigating other incidents of criminal damage in the area around Harwood Hill.

“I hope that the response given to residents and the actions taken will reassure the local community that incidents of this nature will be taken seriously by your local policing team."

June 17th, 2010

A 6th form social night at Dunstable Football Club ended in violence when a 17 year old punched a fellow student in the face.
Nathan Nelson's single punch caused serious injuries to his victim.

The boy, who was also 17, suffered a broken nose and a badly fractured jaw.

His teeth were badly damaged and he spent three days in the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

On Thursday Nelson who is now 18 and who lives with his family in Chelsea Gardens, Houghton Regis appeared at Luton crown court to be sentenced.

He admitted a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on the 17 year old youth.

Prosecutor Daniel Siong told the court how the scene of the attack was outside Creasey Park, the club house of Dunstable Football Club on March 13 this year.

He told how that evening a social event had been organised in the club house for sixth form students from Queensbury School and Manshead Sixth Form College.

Late that night the victim emerged from the club house having drunk around four or five pints of beer
The court heard he had no recollection of being attacked and his next memory is being in pain with blood pouring from his nose and mouth and people gathered around him.

Mr Siong said and ambulance took the boy to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital where he underwent surgery on his jaw and his nose had to be reset.

The court heard other students had witnessed the attack by Nelson on the youth.

A young girl saw the defendant deliver the single blow and the victim fall back into bushes.

Afterwards said Mr Siong, she saw Nelson and the group he was with walking off doing "high fives" and shaking hands with each other.

The court was told she spoke to the defendant later on Facebook and asked him why he had attacked the boy.

The prosecutor said Nelson replied "To let off some steam."

The court was told at the time, Nelson was on bail for an offence of assault. Five days after the attack he was arrested for assaulting two police officers.

Judge Michael Kay hearing the case was told Nelson was genuinely remorseful and would never have walked away from his victim that night had he known of the injuries he had caused.

Judge Kay ordered Nelson to serve 12 months detention in a young offenders institute.

He told the teenager that as is so often the case, young people had attended a sixth form social event and drunk far to much.

"There was absolutely no reason for the attack you launched on your victim in this case," said the judge.

The result had been for the 17 year old to fall backwards.

"It's not unknown in these circumstances for people to die from one punch," he added.

The judge said Nelson's victim had suffered depression following the assault and was wary now about going out.

The judge said he was pleased Nelson had the support of his family who were sitting in the public gallery.

"You are letting them down and they deserve better from you" he told Nelson.

June 16th, 2010

Police in Luton are appealing for information after a robbery took place at The Late Shop in Marsh Road in the early hours of Monday morning (June 14). 

The incident happened just after midnight when three men wearing balaclavas and dark clothing walked in to the shop and forced a customer to stand by a fridge while threatening the shop owner with a gun.  

One of the offenders had problems opening the till and dropped it on the floor from where cash was grabbed. The offenders left the scene taking with them bottles of alcohol as well as the cash.  

PC Rachel Chandler, investigating, is keen to trace witnesses to the robbery or anyone who saw the three men in the area.  

PC Chandler said: “Although this robbery happened late at night Marsh Road is a busy area and it is possible that local people may have noticed three men acting suspiciously in the area prior to the robbery or motorists may have seen three people running from the scene.”

June 16th, 2010

Police in Luton are appealing for information after a 14 year old girl was assaulted during the early hours of Tuesday morning, June 8. 

The incident happened in the smoking hut at the Royal British Legion in Marsh Road after the victim had met a man in the Marsh Road and Roman Road area at approximately 11pm (Monday night). 

The victim asked the man for a cigarette and began a conversation.  A short time after they walked to the hut together where they continued their conversation. The man then assaulted the girl before she managed to leave the hut at 1.45am. 

The man is described as Asian with a skinny build, black hair, between 30 and 40 years of age and wearing a dark coat. 

PC Rachel Chandler, investigating, is keen to speak to anyone who saw the man and girl walking to the hut or anyone who saw them in the hut.

June 16th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information after a badger sett is believed to have been purposefully obstructed in Pryors Wood, Stevenage between Tuesday, May 25 and Tuesday June 1.

It is believed that offender(s) placed large rocks and sticks outside two entrances to the badger sett hindering the animals from entering or leaving their home.

Investigating officer, PC Nicola Davies, said: “Badger setts are holes in the ground and could be mistaken for rabbit holes. Whoever obstructed the setts must have known that they would be preventing animals from entering and leaving their homes, which would only succeed in causing them distress and suffering.”

She added: “Badgers are protected under the Bagder Act of 1992. Tampering with their setts in anyway is a criminal offence and anyone caught doing so will be dealt with robustly by police. I am appealing for anyone who has information regarding who could be responsible, or if you saw any strange behaviour in Pryors Wood between the stated times, to get in contact.”

June 16th, 2010

Detectives in Luton are appealing for information after a fast food delivery worker was robbed on Spinney Road.

At approximately 6.30pm on the 6th June, the 21 year old went to deliver food to an address in Spinney Road when he was approached by two men outside the property.

They asked to see the food but the victim said he would need to be paid first. One of the men then struck the victim on his shoulder so the delivery driver returned to his car with the food.

Another man then approached the victim whilst he was in his car and put a hand on his shoulder before intimating that he was in possession of a knife. He said: “Do you wanna give us the food or do you wanna finish?”

The victim handed over the food order and the offenders fled the area on foot.

The man believed to have a knife is described as white, approximately 19 years old wearing an open white shirt over a black t-shirt. He had dark coloured bottoms and white Velcro trainers.

The other men are described as black, between 17 and 20 years old. One was wearing a black and white chequered shirt with a silver coloured neck chain and black combat style trousers and a black baseball cap. The second is described as chubby and wearing a light blue t-shirt with light grey jeans.

Det Con Kaysie Conroy, investigating officer said: “This appears to be a planned attack on someone going about their normal work. We believe there may also have been a fourth male with this group. The group may have been waiting in the area prior to the robbery and we would ask anyone who saw a group matching these descriptions to come forward.”

June 15th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for witnesses and information following two incidents which occurred in Stevenage on June 13 and June 14.

The first occurred at around 9.25pm in Cuttys Lane on Sunday, June 13. A 17 year old was approached by two men who threatened him before stealing his mobile phone. The suspects are described as a black man in his late teens who was 6feet tall and of a stocky build. He was clean shaven and wearing a hooded top and jeans. The second suspect is described as a white man in his late teens. He was 6 feet tall and of a skinny build.

At 00.58am on Monday, June 14 in an underpass near to King George’s Playing Field a 31 year old man was approached by two men on pedal cycles. They snatched the man’s phone and when he tried to recover it he was attacked. He suffered cuts and bruises. The suspects are described as two black men in their late teens, one was wearing a hooded top and jeans. One of the bikes was a white BMX type.

June 15th,2010

Police in Luton have taken the unusual step of appealing for a victim to come forward.

The man was hurt in a confrontation which began outside the VS Food and Wine Store in Manchester Street and ended close to the taxi rank at about one o'clock in the morning on Saturday June 5.

Three men were arrested at the time and have been released on police bail pending further investigations.

PC Adam Simmons, investigating, is keen to trace a man who is believed to have been injured during the incident.

PC Simmons said: "The man we need to trace is white and wore a green/grey shirt.  We believe he may have been trying to calm the situation but could have been injured during the incident.  I would like to urge this person or anyone who knows his identity to come forward and help with this investigation."

Anyone with information relating to this incident can contact PC Simmons at Luton Police Station, in confidence, on 01582 394283, or text 07786 200011, or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

June 14th, 2010

Detectives in Luton investigating an assault which happened on Saturday night (June 12) are appealing for help from the public.

The incident happened at the junction of Cromwell Road and New Bedford Road between 11.15pm and 11.30pm.

A  25 year old man was assaulted after an altercation between three men who are all described as 25 years of age and of Asian appearance.

The victim was taken to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital for treatment to a cut to his head and bruising.

June 14th, 2010

POLICE are appealing for a woman to contact them who witnessed and assault in Hatfield on May 21.

At around 4.15pm in Queensway, between the swimming pool and the supermarket, a 29 year old man was confronted by a man who punched and kicked him. The offender walked off towards the Galleria after a member of the public intervened.

PC Paul Dicker is investigating and said: “We believe a woman saw what happened and told the offender to stop the assault and we would like to hear from this woman. If that was you please give me a call. I would also like to appeal to anyone who may have any information about what happened to make contact with me.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Paul Dicker on 0845 3300 222 quoting crime reference number B2/10/2110.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name and you could be entitled to a cash reward.

June 14th, 2010

POLICE are releasing CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a theft in Berkhamsted in April.

The incident occurred on Friday, April 23, at around 2.20pm at the jewellers Bailey and Son on Lower Kings Road. It is believed an offender has taken a wallet, containing bank cards and a small sum of cash, from the counter and left the shop.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Pete Huffer said: “We have some very clear CCTV images so we are hoping that someone will recognise the man. If you do recognise him please contact police. It may be that he is a vital witness and has information to help with our enquiries. Alternatively, if you know anything about the incident, please get in touch.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0845 33 00 222.

June 11th, 2010

Patients in Bury Park and Sundon Park are being reassured after two GP surgeries lost their practise managers suddenly. 

The GPs running Westbourne Road and Sundon Park practices ran into financial trouble and the Westbourne Road practise has now closed.
Luton PCT told Heart: “All patients, even those who regularly use the Westbourne branch surgery, remain registered with the main practice in Sundon Park and their immediate health needs will be met there. Those patients who have immediate needs and do not wish to cross town to see a doctor will be directed to local practices specially geared up to provide extra appointments.”

NHS Luton has also put added staff in place to advise patients on how to register with another GP – a team will be at the community centre on Dunstable Road from Monday 14 to Friday 18 June.

If you have any questions you can also call 01582 532109.

The Drs Ali-Khan wish all their patients well for the future and are working with NHS Luton to ensure all their patients continue to have access to medical care. 

June 11th, 2010

Police in Luton are appealing for help from the public after a 45-year-old man was assaulted on Saturday evening, June 5. 

The incident happened between 6pm and 7pm as the man was walking along New Bedford Road, close to Mill Street and the hairdresser’s shop. 

The victim was walking towards the town when he dropped his bag that contained DVDs.  Two men picked it up and began to walk in the opposite direction. As the victim followed them they turned and threatened him before punching him in the face causing a small cut to his eyebrow. 

Police are now appealing for information from members of the public who may have witnessed the assault or can help identify the offenders. 

One of the offenders has been described as a white man, approximately 23 years old, wearing a beige jumper and black trousers. There is no description of the second offender available.

June 10th, 2010

POLICE continue to clamp down on dangerous and anti social riders. The operation to target the illegal use of off road bikes and nuisance vehicles will continue throughout the summer.

Members of the Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been out and about clamping down on nuisance motorcycles.

Officers recently carried out another Operation Meteor initiative and found themselves issuing 8 section 59 notices, a fixed penalty notice for driving elsewhere than on a road and seizing an off road bike.

Police warn that Operation Meteor will continue in Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Sundon, Barton, Caddington, Totternhoe and Leighton Buzzard together with other areas of mid-Bedfordshire to ensure those off road bikers who upset local residents and put themselves, families, walkers and horse riders at risk by using local footpaths and bridleways are stopped.

Safer Neighbourhood Sergeant, Darren Turney, said: “Members of the community can help by continuing to report any incidents they witness to the police.

“We will continue to use all resources at our disposal to apprehend people involved in this type of anti-social behaviour. If people are going to break the law, we will take action. People who continue to use their bikes illegally will see it seized and possibly destroyed.”

June 10th, 2010

TRADERS and drivers are being warned to be on their guard following a theft from a van in Caddington.

It happened in the early hours of yesterday morning (June 9) when offenders forced the boot of a pickup truck in Manor Road.

They stole a quantity of tools including a Spit hammer drill in an orange container, a Makita battery screwdriver and a black Stanley toolbox containing various plumbing tools.

PC Jenny Buckley, investigating, is keen to speak to anyone who saw people hanging around in the area or recalls seeing unfamiliar vehicles parked in the area.

She added: “It is very likely the offenders will now try to sell this property on and we would urge residents and those in the trade to contact us if they are offered property they believe is stolen.”

Police are doing everything they can to catch the offenders and traders can help by:

• Removing, where possible, all tools from vehicles at night and placing them in the house or a secure garage
• Ensuring tools are security marked and adequately insured
• Fitting vans with alarms, immobilisers and security chests
• Blacking out any windows and fitting security grilles
• Backing your van up to a wall to make it difficult for rear doors to be attacked
• Fitting stickers saying no valuables are left in vehicles overnight

June 10th, 2010

Have you checked your doors and windows are locked properly?  Householders are giving an open invitation to burglars by leaving doors and windows unlocked.

Over the last few weeks there has been an increase in burglaries in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard especially during the hot weather.

During the summer month’s lots of people leave their doors ajar or windows open to let a little air in to their home whilst they are out gardening or in another part of their property.  However, open doors and insecure first or second floor windows can also let in unwanted visitors such as opportunist burglars.

Houses and flats have been targeted during the day and night and homeowners have had high value items taken such as laptops, handbags and car keys.

Crime Reduction Officer, PC John Shiels, said: “This spate of burglaries has happened across central Bedfordshire where residents have left windows and doors ajar while they are in another room or in the garden. This has encouraged offences to be committed by opportunist passers-by.

He continued: “I would like to remind residents not to leave attractive items in view and to close doors and windows whenever possible.”

Bedfordshire Police is keen to educate the public about how to protect their property as using a little common sense and taking crime reduction advice seriously can prevent most summer burglaries.

Residents in Bedfordshire are urged to follow this advice:

• When you go out lock all the doors and windows. Do not leave fanlight windows open at the back of the house.
• If you are at home with the doors and windows open, when you leave the room shut them after you.
• If you want to leave your windows open while you sleep or if you live in a bungalow or flat fit window limiters to stop people opening them further to climb in.
• Fit security features such as window locks, patio door locks and a burglar alarm – if you have a UPVC door, always push the handle up before DOUBLE locking it.
•  Fit outside security lights and put gates across side passages.
• Never leave keys under mats and flowerpots, it’s the first place burglars look!
• Keep valuable items out of sight.

June 9th, 2010

Police are appealing for witnesses following a robbery which began outside McDonalds on Watling Street in Hockliffe yesterday (Tuesday 8th

At around 8.45pm the 22 year old victim and his friend had bought food from the drive through. They were parked up in the car park eating their food when the friend went into the restaurant to order some additional items.

Two men then climbed into the victim’s vehicle and held a knife to his neck ordering him to drive to Bidwell Hill in Houghton Regis. 

When they arrived at the location at approximately 9pm, the men stole £800 cash, a black IPhone and the victim’s car keys before fleeing the scene in another dark grey saloon style vehicle. 

One of the men is described as a Black man, approximately 30 years of age who had his face covered and may have been wearing a hat. The second man is described as an Asian man of a skinny build wearing jeans. 

Investigating Officer, Det Con Claire Brennan said: “This is clearly a distressing event for the victim and we are eager to speak to witnesses who may have been at either location. You may recall seeing two men acting suspiciously at the McDonalds or you may remember seeing a dark grey saloon in Bidwell Hill . ”

June 9th, 2010

COCAINE with a street value of up to £3,700 was found when police raided a home in Hemel Hempstead.

Mobile phones, scales and wraps were also discovered in a blue chest of drawers at Danny Wheeler's address in Wood End.

When police raided his home in Wood End Close on 9 October last year, the 32-year-old told the officers: "It is all upstairs. I will show you what you want," said prosecutor Alison Ginn at St Albans crown court on Tuesday.

In all, 62 grams of the drug were recovered. It had a purity of between 11 and 18 per cent and had a street value of between £2,480 and £3,720. Two of the mobile phones recovered were examined and showed signs of drug dealing.

Wheeler, a man of previous good character, pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs.

Defence barrister Jessica Sabey said Wheeler was selling the drugs to clear his debts to drug dealers. He was supplying the drug on a social, not a commercial basis.

"The offence was a wake-up call. Since his arrest, he has gone 'Cold Turkey' to get off drugs himself. He is of previous good character and is due to be married," she said.

Judge John Plumstead jailed him for 15 months. He said: "There is no alternative but to send you to prison. You were in the position where you knew in your heart what a bad business dealing in cocaine is. If I thought you were a commercial dealer you would have got four years."

June 9th, 2010

Bedfordshire Police are looking for information about two children who have gone missing from their foster placements.

Jasmine Woodbridge, aged 15, and her brother Matthew Woodbridge, aged 13, are believed to be in the Luton area, probably being given a home by family friends who do not realise they are breaking the law.

Jasmine is described as white, about 5ft 2ins tall, with shoulder length light brown hair and green eyes. She went missing from her temporary care home in Leicestershire in early May.

Matthew, who had been placed in Luton, left his placement about a week later. He’s described as white, 5ft 1in tall, chubby built with short light brown hair and a dimple in his right cheek.

PC Jayne Klein, from the Vulnerable Missing Persons Unit, said: “Matthew and Jasmine left their foster placements some time ago and we have been busy trying to track down where they are staying. We believe they are likely to be in the Luton area, probably staying with friends who think they are helping by giving them a roof over their heads.

“However, Matthew and Jasmine are under the care of social services and should be in properly approved care placements where they can be looked after and receive education.  Friends may feel they are supporting the children, but in fact they are breaking the law by not returning them to their placements and any adult found in company with them will be arrested on suspicion of harbouring a missing child.”

“The children may have changed their hairstyles and clothes and may well be moving from house to house every few days. So far we have not been able to track them down but, along with social services, have carried out a number of warrants on addresses where we think they have been. We’ll continue to do that until we find them,” said PC Klein.

“Anyone with information about where Jasmine and Matthew are should contact us immediately – they can do so via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 if they prefer,” she said.

Anyone who can help can contact the unit on 01234 841212, via Crimestoppers, or via text on 07786 200011.      

June 8th, 2010

Police in Luton are appealing for help from the public after a 27 year old man was assaulted on Wednesday, June 2.

The incident happened as the man was walking home from work along Dunstable Road at approximately 12.50pm.

Three teenagers approached the man and in what appears to be an unprovoked assault one of the teenagers began to attack the victim.  The victim lifted his arms to defend himself and sustained a cut from an unknown weapon.

The first offender is described as a male with a light skinned Asian appearance, approximately 17 years of age, 5’ tall with a thin build.

The second offender is described as a male with an Asian appearance, approximately 17 years of age, 6’ tall with a large build and short black hair.

The third offender is described as a male with a dark skinned Asian appearance, between 13 – 15 years of age with a thin build and short black hair.

Detective Constable Colin Knight, investigating, is keen to trace independent witnesses who saw the assault.

He said: “During the assault the victim managed to push one of the offender’s bicycles into the road and we have traced a number of people who saw this happen but we still need to trace residents, pedestrians or motorists who witnessed the attack itself.”

June 8th, 2010

Vandals caused hundreds of pounds' worth of damage after using golf balls to smash car windows.

At least 8 cars were targeted in Walkern Road and Ellis Avenue in Stevenage in the early hours of Monday. (June 7)

In most cases rear windscreens were smashed.

Detective Inspector Gary Atkinson said: "It does appear that a number of golf balls were found around these damaged vehicles. We don't know if those responsible were throwing the balls at cars or using something to propel them. However the damage was caused, it was mindless and pointless. Causing deliberate damage to someone else?s property is a crime and something we take very seriously. Whoever was responsible has caused a lot of distress, not to mention inconvenience for the owners of these vehicles. We are working hard to trace the offenders and ask the public if they have any information."

 

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