Royston Rural Watch - August 2020

PC Mark Ellwood 371 & PCSO 6531 Penny Tomsett, PCSO Chris Brabrook 6522

Sgt Jon Vine 1841

Our non emergency number 101

On the Beat –

Illegal raves targeted by North Herts Officers – Update!

I talked about the rise in illegal raves in last month’s newsletter. This month Police teams in North Herts have had some results I would like to share with you.

• Police in North Herts clamp down on illegal raves to protect local residents and potential partygoers.

• Sound equipment and electronics seized during a raid at an address in Bassingbourn.

• Suspected organiser served with a Community Protection Notice Warning.

A rise in the number of illegal raves being organised across North Herts has prompted local police teams to take preventative actions to safeguard local residents and potential party goers.

Following the illegal rave which was held in a cattle tunnel off Baldock Lane in Letchworth overnight on Saturday 18 July, officers have launched a new operation to tackle the emerging issue.

“On the weekend in question hundreds of people descended on the location, where a pre-organised illegal event was taking place,” explained Neighbourhood Inspector James Lant.

“Due to the large number of attendees and the remote location of the rave, it was deemed unsafe to try to shut the event down, so my officers tried to manage the party until it was safe to disperse people, and officers from British Transport Police were able to assist at the railway station.

“During the event, officers also had to be deployed to close the A1M several times, as people tried to cross the motorway, putting themselves and other road users in great danger, in order to access the venue.

“Once the crowds had dispersed at the end of the event, we were able to seize sound equipment and launch an investigation into any licensing and other offences that had been committed by the organiser.”

On Friday 24 July, a warrant was executed by North Herts Scorpion officers at address in Bassingbourn. A large amount of equipment was seized from the property including speakers, amplifiers, decks, and other sound and lighting equipment. Computer and communication devices were also seized.

A Community Protection Notice Warning (CPNW) was also served on an individual suspected to be the event organiser, during the warrant. The warning notice includes stringent conditions that should prevent further illegal raves being held in North Herts.

Officers have also linked in with local land owners, alerting them to the potential for their fields to be used for illegal events and advising them on what they can do to protect their land.

“Over the last weekend we maintained a high visibility presence around the site of the previous rave and other locations that we perceived to be vulnerable,” continued Inspector Lant. “We also worked with our colleagues at British Transport Police who were monitoring the local railway stations and our special constabulary colleagues provided extra resources.

“We are appealing to anyone who has any information relating to future illegal events to get in touch. We understand that people are desperate to go out and enjoy themselves since the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, but this is not the way.

“These events are unlicensed and therefore the checks and conditions that have to be in place to put on large scale events, are not there. They are therefore not safe for those attending and put other members of the public at risk, as large numbers of people try to reach the remote locations, often using unsafe routes, with no medical or security staff on site and poor access for emergency services.”

If you have any information about illegal raves or events please report information online, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101.

Volunteer to make your roads safer

• Do you live in or around Royston?

• Are you concerned about speeding in your local area?

• Could you spare a few hours a week to help your local Drive Safe team?

If you live in Royston, have concerns about speeding in the area and can spare a few hours a week to help tackle the problem, then the Royston Drive Safe Team would love to hear from you.

The team has been running for the past two years and everyone in it, is a volunteer. Using speed detection equipment at the roadside, they monitor passing motorists at locations where there is a perceived speeding issue. If they detect a driver exceeding the speed limit, an advisory letter is sent by the scheme and the driver’s details are passed on to the police. Drivers who repeatedly speed through the area can expect a visit from a police officer Royston Neighbourhood PCSO Chris Brabrook said: “The Drive Safe scheme is about empowering local people who want to make a difference to the community in which they live and make the roads safer for everyone.

“This volunteer-led group provides us with vital information that allows us to determine where the problem areas are for speeding, whilst identifying the most prolific offenders. I am hoping we will be able to find some more willing volunteers so that this group can continue their excellent work.”

If you are interested in joining the Royston Drive Safe Team please contact 01438 757935.

Catalytic Converter Thefts

• Operation Feline launched in response to increase in catalytic converter thefts

• Drivers offered advice and free security marking

• Visit for details

Following a growing number of catalytic converter thefts across the county this year, Hertfordshire Constabulary is launching a new campaign to help drivers protect their vehicles.

Operation Feline aims to help drivers protect their catalytic convertors and provide practical crime prevention advice to help deter thieves. As part of the campaign certain garages across the county will be offering a free security marking services. Catalytic converter thefts have increased this year due to the precious metals they contain and the high metal prices, with thieves even trying to steal them on the roadside and in car parks during broad daylight.

Inspector Nicki Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “Over the past year we have seen a big rise in thieves targeting catalytic convertors. They are particularly targeting specific hybrid models such as the pre-2008 Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius (2004-2016) and Toyota Arius (2012-2018).

“We have teamed up with garages around the county to offer free catalytic converter security marking. We would also urge the public to follow our advice, remain vigilant and report incidents of suspected catalytic converter theft, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads. If you see this happening, please call 999 immediately.”

Details of the security marking scheme can be found at

In order to minimise the chance of becoming a victim we offer the following advice

•Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage when parked at night if possible.

•When using a garage is not possible, park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft difficult.

•Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.

•Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible and this can also act as a deterrent.

•If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.

•Fit protective coverings on catalytic converters, such as the Toyota manufactured CATLOC device, (these are made for Toyota Prius made between 2004 and 2009) as these can make it much more difficult for thieves.

•Have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked, and put stickers in the windscreen to say this has been done.

•Look for car parks with a Secured Car Park sign which have recognised levels of security. If you have a garage at home, ensure you use it and lock it properly.

•Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don't want to alert you to their approach.

•Never leave valuable items or tools on display in your vehicle as this may encourage a thief to break in.

More advice on how to make your vehicle safe is available at:

If you have information about thefts from vehicles you can also report information online or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat.

Local Crime Information

G4E - Ashwell, Hinxworth, Bygrave, Newnham and Caldecote

Theft from Motor vehicles – Lucas Lane, Ashwell

On 16th July between 13:30 and 15:00 two builders vans were targeted in Lucas Lane, Ashwell. The vans were targeted whilst the builders were working at the building site in Lucas Lane. The offenders have forced entry into the vans and have taken power tools. 41/56936/20 and 41/57629/20 Refers

Theft – Claybush Road, Ashwell

On 13th July between 15:30 and 16:00 a resident of Claybush Road had temporarily left a hedge cutter on his driveway. When he returned to the hedgecutter it had been stolen. 41/55191/20 Refers

G4D – Barley, Barkway, Reed, Therfield, Kelshall and Nuthampstead

Theft – Bell Lane, Nuthampstead

Between 24th to 27th July a 14 tonne trailer was stolen from a barn in Nuthampstead. 41 59181/20 Refers

G3C - Sandon, Wallington, Rushden, Clothall and Weston

No Reported Crime

Your local Neighbourhood Police Teams website

Useful Links

Royston Rural Neighbourhood Team Tel – 01438 757935

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