Woman’s necklaces taken during Plymouth robbery

Police in Plymouth are appealing for witnesses after a woman’s necklaces were taken during a robbery.

On Friday 16 January at around 9.15pm a 43-year-old local woman was walking home alone from the Herbert Pub in Stoke after attending a funeral that day.

She was approached by a man as she was walking across the rear courtyard which runs between Herbert Street and the Keat Street flats.

The suspect grabbed her and ripped three gold necklaces, worth over £300, from her neck.

The woman shouted and screamed and bravely attempted to fight back against her attacker.

She was then pushed to the floor and the suspect ran off with the necklaces, which measure 12 inches, 20 inches and 30 inches.

The victim suffered slight hand and chest injuries and was left shaken as a result of the incident.

The suspect is described as white, in his mid 20s, 5ft 7ins, of slim build. He was wearing a black zip-fronted jacket.

Detective Constable John-Paul Eccles, based at Devonport police station, said: “I would like to stress that this is a very unusual incident for Stoke but residents should be vigilant.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the robbery or saw a man matching the description in the area at the time.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference CR/003812/15, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Elderly pedestrian seriously injured, Exeter

An 87-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries after being in collision with a lorry in Exeter yesterday (19 January).

Police and emergency services were called to Topsham Road around 1.15pm after the elderly pedestrian was in collision with the HGV.

The woman, from Exeter, sustained a serious leg injury and was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

The driver of the 18-tonne truck, a 43-year-old man, was interviewed by police and has been released while police enquiries continue into the circumstances of the incident.

Police closed the road for two-and-a-half hours while officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit examined the scene.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the collision and anyone with information is asked to contact the Exeter Serious Collision Investigation Unit via 101, quoting log number 346 of 19/01/15.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Man attacked by suspects with a trowel, Plymouth

Police are appealing for information after a man was assaulted by three suspects in Plymouth.

A 28-year-old man from Plymouth reported that he had been assaulted by two women and a man in the rear lane area between Laira Bridge Road and Radford Avenue between 00.30am and 00.50am on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

He suffered minor hand and groin injuries as a result of being attacked with a trowel.

Police have carried out house-to-house enquiries in the area and would like to hear from anyone else who may have witnessed the assault.

Anyone who was in the area at the time and saw this incident is asked to call police on 101 quoting crime reference CR/003589/15.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Police appeal for witness following Christmas day assault

The 30-year-old woman from Newquay was getting a lift home when the male driver of the car sexually assaulted her. She managed to get out of the car before the man drove off.

The incident happened near Asda in Carnsew Road between midnight and 3am on Thursday 25 December 2014.

Officers are keen to trace the driver of a white van, who had a dog with him, who may have witnessed part of the incident.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Detective Constable Harvey at Penzance police station on 07921 938206, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference CR/133071/14.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Police Commander pays tribute to Special Constables in South Devon

Superintendent Glen Mayhew has praised the work of the Special Constables in South Devon who collectively worked over 21,000 hours during 2014.

With over 1,000 hours policing the night time economy and the remainder assisting the busy neighbourhood teams and responding to emergency calls, over 150 arrests were made by Special Constables in 2014 and nearly 90 roadside breath tests carried out.

“The work of the Special Constabulary is invaluable to South Devon” said Superintendent Glen Mayhew. “I receive letters of appreciation on a weekly basis, recognising the important work they do in helping our regular officers keep crime levels in South Devon to a minimum and offering reassurance to communities across our diverse landscape”.

Two Constables will be leaving the Special Constabulary shortly. Special Constable Sgt Jamieson of Newton Abbot has been accepted for the MOD Police and Special Constable Sgt Anthony Wilson of Torquay has been successful in securing a permanent post as a Police Community Support Officer for the Force.

South Devon includes Torbay, Teignbridge and South Hams.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Investigation into man's death, Plymouth

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a man’s death after he was found in the water in Plymouth at the weekend.

Emergency services attended Sutton Harbour Marina on The Barbican at around 6.15am on Sunday 18 January following a report of a body floating in the water.

A 21-year-old man from Macclesfield was recovered from the harbour.

The man was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.

Officers are investigating the circumstances of how the man came to be in the water and are treating the death as unexplained.

Formal identification has not yet taken place but his family have been informed.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference 168 of 18 January.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Police launch Operation Jessica to protect elderly from fraud

Following a rise in the number of frauds against the elderly in the North and West of Devon, Police have developed Operation Jessica.

It aims to warn and protect elderly and vulnerable residents against the perils of frauds, particularly those designed to catch people off guard via phone calls or mail.

Since May 2014, thirty five elderly victims have fallen foul of frauds operated by organised criminals, defrauding them out of life savings totalling over £600,000. Police suspect the figure is higher, with many incidents going unreported. The average age of victims is 75.

Operation Jessica has been launched to reduce the likelihood of further elderly people becoming victims.

“This operation is about protecting the most fragile members of our community from frauds which come through the postal system and by phone. By raising awareness of them and by working with the community, we intend to make North and West Devon a less profitable environment for criminals to operate within.” Said Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo.

“We all have a role to play in preventing this type of crime, and this could be as simple as discussing these types of fraud with an elderly relative, friend or neighbour and giving advice on what they can do to prevent themselves from falling victim to one of these frauds.” He added.

In liaison with Trading Standards, police have identified 340 people whom fraudsters may be targeting. As part of the operation, uniformed police officers will be visiting people on this list, enabling them to take steps to reduce the likelihood of further victimisation.

Donna Woolway, Crime Prevention Officer advises people to always check the identification of anyone making contact and if for any reason you are unsure, end the call. Be suspicious of any call purporting to be from the police or bank reporting any fraud on your account. Never give your PIN, security or bank details to anyone over the phone.

If you receive a call you are unsure of, wait at least five minutes before attempting to make another call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender. Use a different phone such as a mobile or a neighbour’s phone. If this isn’t possible, phone a known friend to test the line to confirm you aren’t still unwittingly connected to the offender.

Operation Jessica derives its name from ‘Think Jessica’ a national campaign set up to protect elderly and vulnerable people from postal and phone scams, founded by Marilyn Baldwin OBE.

“The full price of fraud is not just financial or economic; it causes emotional and psychological harm to individuals and damages businesses.” She said.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Devon & Cornwall Police ready for Rugby World Cup in Exeter

It is now officially Rugby World Cup Year in Exeter and across the UK.

Devon and Cornwall Police have been planning for this prestigious event since March 2014. A specialist team of officers has been working with management at Sandy Park rugby stadium and with a multitude of partner agencies including England 2015, the world cup organisers, and local authorities.

Placing Exeter on the world stage means that the team has planned for the security of visiting heads of state and politicians from around the world, and are aware of any potential risks.

Devon and Cornwall Police will also police the traffic management plans put in place by Devon County Council, Exeter City Council and the Highways Agency.

Inspector Richard Hooper-Bennett, part of the police planning team for Rugby World Cup 2015, explains that there are many other elements to consider in the policing plan:

“From the traditional behaviour of rugby fans we don’t anticipate trouble and disruption. There are many things to keep an eye on, not least ticket touts given the massive popularity of the Rugby World Cup. We’ll be at the stadium and fanzones but our presence will be very discreet in line with the national policy of England 2015.”

As well as matches at Sandy Park, there are events in the city at designated “fanzones”, such as screening games on large screens set up in the open air.

Police are confident that the sporting event which starts in September, with Sandy Park as one of 13 host venues, will go off smoothly and safely with its comprehensive and detailed planning, named Operation Blackjack.

Chief Inspector Daniel Evans is in leads the team in charge of operational policing of the event as Silver Commander. He said:

“We have been planning our response with partner agencies for some time, identifying areas that could prove problematic or require the police to have an organisational or physical presence. It’s a huge privilege for us to be hosting such an event in Exeter, I’m sure the City’s reputation as a venue for such a large scale sporting event will be significantly enhanced.”

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Fugitive drug trafficker captured in Spain

A fugitive drug trafficker who headed a crime group that supplied huge amounts of heroin to the South West of England has been arrested in Tenerife.

Stephen Blundell, aged 36, of Leathers Lane, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin but fled to Spain before he could be sentenced in April 2013. He was later jailed for nine years eight months in his absence.

Blundell (pictured in 2013 and now) controlled a crime group which included a Cornish grandmother caught transporting £50,000 heroin under pasties in her shopping bag.

He was apprehended on a European Arrest Warrant when he handed himself in to the Spanish authorities at a police station in Tenerife on Monday.

Extradition proceedings will begin tomorrow when Blundell appears at the Spanish National Court in Madrid.

Blundell is the 64th fugitive to be located out of 76 publicised through Operation Captura – the multi-agency initiative between Crimestoppers, the National Crime Agency and the Spanish authorities. He featured in the Captura ‘unlucky thirteen’ campaign launched in November 2013.

Devon and Cornwall Police targeted Blundell as part of an 18-month long investigation into the supply of heroin from Merseyside into areas such as Bodmin, Exeter, Tiverton and Torquay. The other members of his crime group received sentences totalling 77 years.

Detective Constable Jason Braund, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Enquiries revealed Blundell was hiding in Tenerife and we are now working closely with the National Crime Agency to ensure he is returned to the UK to serve his sentence.

“We will continue to hunt down those that abscond from justice whether they be here or overseas. The dismantling of Blundell’s drug network highlights we will not tolerate the supply of drugs in our communities and will continue to make Devon & Cornwall a safer place to live.”

Hank Cole, Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: “Blundell would have been constantly looking over his shoulder after his mugshot appeared across Spain as part of the Captura ‘unlucky thirteen’ campaign.

“It was only a matter of time before he was caught as the Spanish National Police had been carrying out intelligence-led operations in Tenerife. The law enforcement net was tightening and I believe he handed himself in when he realised his days on the run were numbered.

“We will continue to work with our partners to pursue fugitives wherever they are on the world. Spain is not a safe haven. Sixty four fugitives have been caught since Captura was launched, and many more linked to other operations.”

Founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers, Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, said: “I am delighted to see that once again the collaborative work between Crimestoppers, the NCA and the Spanish Police bears fruit as we see another wanted criminal off our streets.

“The media and the public play a big role in putting pressure on these individuals, who continue to think they can evade capture, and Stephen Blundell handing himself in to the authorities is an example that eventually you will be caught or you will have no choice but to give yourself up.”

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Serious collision, Colyton

Police are at the scene of a serious collision near Colyton.

A car and tractor were involved in the collision at Broad Down in Southleigh at around 11.35am on Wednesday 14 January.

Highways have been informed, as well as the Serious Collisions Investigation Unit who will carry out an investigation of the scene.

The road is expected to be closed for some time.

Road closures have been put in place at Horse Shoes and Chelsdon Cross.

Any witnesses to the collision are asked to police on 101 quoting reference 290 of 14 January.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News