Police Now officer in Surrey does egg-cellent job reducing anti-social behaviour
Wednesday 7 September 2022
Police Constable Inder Singh, who joined Surrey Police in 2021 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, has been preventing egg-related anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Staines Town Centre. Alongside policing and community partners, he is also introducing a new initiative called ‘Staines Young Voices’ to tackle ASB in the long-term.
In December last year Surrey Police received an increase in the number of calls related to youth anti-social behaviour in Staines Town Centre – specifically, an increase in reports of young people using eggs to cause criminal damage and assault members of the public.
PC Inder Singh said: “Although this may sound like a small issue at first glance, it was having a serious effect on the community. Local businesses saw a decline in customers who were avoiding the area for fear of being targeted. One victim suffered Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) as a result of being targeted. It also puts pressure on our force Response teams, which can have a detrimental effect on other victims of crime who would potentially face longer wait times for police attendance.”
Inder and his colleagues on the Staines Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) worked with Spelthorne Borough Council and local businesses to obtain CCTV images, which were shared with local Youth Engagement Officers who had close links with local schools. This led to the successful identification of a number of key individuals involved in ASB, and three arrests were made in relation to the ABH caused. Plain-clothed officers were also stationed around the town centre to apprehend and identify any offenders, and personal ASB warning letters signed by force sergeants and inspectors were hand-delivered to parents of the youth involved.
The team delivered crime prevention advice to local businesses and further liaised with child services, Police Community Support Officers, Early Help Hub, Spelthorne Borough Council and the force’s local safeguarding department – so that Community Protection Warnings could be issued and necessary referrals made.
Thanks to the work of Inder and his force colleagues, there has been a substantial decrease in egg-related ASB in Staines Town. In December 2021 the force received 7 calls related to egg-throwing, and in January this year this had increased to 13 calls in a month. But by February there were no reports of egg-related ASB made to the force and reports have continued to remain low this year.
Ryan Stockton, Security Manager at Staines Town Two Rivers shopping centre, said: “PC Inder Singh has been a massive help to my Two Rivers security team and my security teams across Staines. The difference he has made in the town has been astronomical and Police Community Support Officer Maraucci has also been a huge help. I want to say a massive thank you for all their hard work and support.”
PC Inder Singh said: “We recognise that a lot of young people involved in ASB are vulnerable themselves, and often resort to ASB as a means of channelling boredom or frustration. That’s why we are also looking at long-term solutions and introducing a new project called Staines Young Voices, in partnership with local business.
“We are currently in the process of setting up a number of engagement days for young people to brainstorm their ideas for the changes they want to see in the town, alongside a community youth worker. Guest speakers from businesses will be invited to speak directly with these young people about the negative impact of ASB on their daily lives, and young people will have the opportunity to work with local businesses to gain work experience and enhance their CVs.
“This has definitely been a team effort across the SNT and wider community, and I am incredibly grateful for all the support that my policing colleagues and Police Now have given me during my first year in the force. To be able to make an impact in my community as a neighbourhood police officer, despite being new to the force, is one of the reasons that policing is such a fulfilling – but challenging – career.”