Police Now participant wins Problem-Oriented Policing Award for tackling drug dealing in Humberside
Tuesday 26 October 2021
Police Constable Philip Williamson, participant on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, has won an award for his work to tackle drug use and drug dealing, as well as associated anti-social behaviour (ASB) and violence in Hull.
In his role as Community Beat Manager for the Avenue Ward, PC Williamson and the Hull West Neighbourhood Policing Team were alerted to multiple issues at a disused rail platform, including increased reports of drug dealing and drug use and associated ASB. There were also reports of possession of weapons and knife-crime in the area.
PC Williamson and the team implemented a new range of tactics to tackle the issues, including focused days of action, use of a passive drugs dog, use of Humberside Police’s Humber Talking initiative, media releases and the support of British Transport Police.
One of these days of action saw PCs, PCSOs and Special Constables deployed across key routes through the area. PC Williamson organised for patch walks to be done in conjunction with ASB officers from Hull City Council, managers of local hostels where a number of offenders were staying, and other partner agencies such as Renew, who support substance users.
The action day resulted in 16 stop-and-searches, three seizures of drugs including cannabis and amphetamines, two cautions and one summons. The patrols are an ongoing commitment to ensure long-term improvement across the ward.
PC Williamson has also arranged for additional CCTV to be installed later this month, improved signage to highlight that the area is subject to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), and is in talks with Hull City Council to explore changing the physical environment of the hot spot areas in order to further disrupt crime.
PC Williamson said: “It has been really fulfilling being able to provide a positive impact in the local community, and whilst the project is incomplete and ongoing, we have already noticed a reduction in reports of ASB in the area.
We have also been able to increase engagement with support services for several of the substance users involved. It is my hope to continue to support this engagement, whilst continuing to reduce the incidents of ASB and drug use and supply in the area.
“We pride ourselves on being a community-focused organisation. The concerns of the local community drive our priorities and, as we have shown through the commitment to knock on every door in our area through the Humber Talking initiative, we use the information provided by the local community to target those engaging in criminal behaviour.
“None of it would have been possible without the dedication of everyone involved. I am incredibly proud of the work that the team has done and I am extremely positive that, as we engage more partners in the project, we can return the local area to one that people want to visit, as opposed to it being known for incidents of ASB.”
The Humberside Police Problem Oriented Policing Awards were held earlier this month (Tuesday 12th October 2021) in Melton, Hull, and were hosted by Supt Jenny Bristow. PC Williamson was presented his award in the ‘student officer’ category by Assistant Chief Constable Darren Downs.