Thank you and goodbye

A belated happy new year to readers from all at Wetherby Police Station, writes PC Stephen Atkinson.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 1:14 pm
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 1:16 pm
1st March 2012. Wetherby/Collingham Profile. Pictured Wetherby Town Hall Picture by Gerard Binks.

This, sadly, will be my last report for publication in the Wetherby News as my time is at an end with West Yorkshire Police.

My retirement from the force is imminent, having served for 22 years.

Moves are afoot for my replacement to take up the post of Wetherby Ward Officer in the not too distant future.

Wetherby Police Beat Manager Steve Atkinson. Picture by Janet Harrison

I am sure they will take the opportunity to keep the crime report going.

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to the town and locality I have worked in for the last eight years of my service. I consider myself fortunate to have worked here.

When you join the police you have a preconception of what the job is going to entail. What transpires is often very different. That said I am fortunate that policing a town such as Wetherby did turn out to be something like my initial preconceptions all those years ago.

Wetherby is I feel somewhat unique as far as policing in the Leeds area is concerned. It is a small market town, busy with both shoppers and visitors to the area. It is blessed with its own racecourse which brings other visitors to the area.

Wetherby Police Beat Manager Steve Atkinson. Picture by Janet Harrison

It also has its very own police station which contrary to the popular belief of some is operational 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

It is also relatively crime free, certainly by comparison to other areas within the Leeds district.

For me on a personal level it has been the most satisfying time during my service.

Whilst working in the area one of the things that has really struck me is the amount of people who show such a passion for the area in which they live. These people know who they are and they continue to work tirelessly for the community in general. Great people in a great locality.

Anyway to business.

To date this year, across the locality there have been 10 burglaries to dwellings. These are broken down to one in Wetherby, two in Boston Spa.

Of the remaining seven these have been committed in Scholes, Collingham, Shadwell, Thorner and Scarcroft.

No one area appears to be particularly targeted.

It is also worthy of note that of the 10 offences four were attempts which were unsuccessful whereby the offenders were defeated by security measures.

From the two of the burglaries in Boston Spa three men from the Wakefield area have been arrested for one of them and two youths from Leeds arrested and charged with the other.

In relation to burglaries of sheds and out buildings, there have been 11 across the district so far this year.

By comparison to the same period last year we had at this point had had the same number, 10 house burglaries and also 10 burglaries of sheds etc.

So, some would have you believe crime is spiralling out of control but it really is not the case.

A couple of years ago we had an issue in Wetherby of some local youths breaking into vehicles. That has recently raised its head again and we have had six theft from motor vehicles in the area over the last week or so.

The majority of these were committed on one particular evening and later that same evening two local youths were arrested in possession of items from the attacked vehicles.

Once again it appears that they had been simply trying door handles of vehicles until they found one unlocked and they would then take what they could carry.

Anyway that’s all for now. I would just remind and encourage you to be vigilant and report suspicious activity. If there is an issue or a problem, we cannot do anything about it unless someone tells us.

Finally I wish you all well and thanks for the support you have given both myself and the police of Wetherby and district. It has been an honour and a pleasure to work here.