Hip hip hooray for bionic Brodie

A Devon and Cornwall Police puppy has a new lease of life after undergoing a specialist operation of his own.

German Shepherd Brodie has been fitted with two new hips to overcome a debilitating condition.

The 16-month-old dog was born with chronic hip dysplasia, an abnormal development and growth of both hip joints which causes increasing pain and discomfort.

It has meant that Brodie, who is part of the Force’s dog breeding programme, has been unable continue training to be a police dog for the time being.

But he is getting back on his feet thanks to two successful operations since February to fit an artificial ball and socket joint in each hip.

The surgery was carried out by veterinary orthopaedic specialist Peter Attenborough at St David’s Veterinary Hospital in Exeter.

Canine Development Officer Paul Glennon said both operations had gone well and Brodie is well on the road to a full recovery.

“The operations were a great success and we are delighted with Brodie’s progress so far. Both of his hips were abnormal, meaning that this friendly and uncomplaining dog would suffer increasing pain as he grew,” he said.

“Brodie was brought into the world by the breeding programme run by Devon and Cornwall Police. When his hip dysplasia became apparent our duty of care to Brodie meant that our immediate objective was to ensure that he was able to lead a normal life.”

Brodie is now recovering at home in Cornwall with his volunteer puppy walkers.

Paul added: “He healed nicely after the first operation and is expected to be fully recovered in about eight weeks. Watching him in pain beforehand and seeing him after the operation, the decision to put him through the surgery was the best I ever made.

“Within a matter of days after each operation he was pain free and moving around freely. He just needs to slowly rebuild the muscle he has lost.

“We have been told that Brodie can expect to be as fit and well as any dog and there should be no reason why he cannot go on to become a working dog. He certainly has the right spirit and temperament!”

Brodie will be the guest of honour with the police dog handlers at the Force marquee at this year’s Devon County Show for anyone who wishes to meet him.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Police dogs perform at Devon County Show

The police dog display team, together with a selection of police puppies will be showcasing their skills which they learn as part of their police training in the main arena at the Devon County Show.

The police dog display team will be will be used in a firearms scenario with gun fire where the dogs will be used to detain an armed person. They will also demonstrate a search situation and emergency recall where a dog is sent in error to a detained person. The puppies will be showing the crowds their newly learned skills in the agility and obedience classes.

Police dog Brodie will also be attending as the Devon and Cornwall Police guest of honour.

Brodie, from the police puppy scheme who had both hips replaced earlier this year will be on hand to meet the public at the police stand with his puppy walkers and Police Canine Development Officer, Paul Glennon.

Paul commented, “Brodie was brought into the world by the breeding programme run by Devon and Cornwall Police. ‘Bionic Brodie’ as he has affectionately been known, captured the hearts of the public when it was confirmed the only way that Brodie could lead a pain free life was if both hips were replaced after a diagnosis of chronic hip dysplasia. He healed nicely after the first operation and is expected to be fully recovered in about eight weeks,”

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer will be at the Devon and Cornwall Police stand to meet the public during the morning.

Police will also be sharing advice with the public on how to stay safe online when they visit their stand. Tackling cyber crime is one of Devon and Cornwall Police’s top policing priorities and the Force is keen to show people how they can stay safe and protect themselves and their friends and family online. Visitors will receive information packs designed for children, teenagers and adults, each with specific online safety messages.

Visitors to the stand will also be able to get their property, including mobile phones, tablets and cameras marked whilst they are at the show. Other attractions include personalised fingerprint certificates and key rings and police uniform to try on for children. There will also be handouts such as pens, stickers, wrist bands, bookmarks and leaflets, all promoting the stay safe online message.


Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Biggest ever survey to uncover true impact of policing and crime in rural areas

The largest ever survey into crime and anti-social Behaviour (ASB) in rural areas has been launched in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to find out how the police can better serve rural communities. The survey, launched by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), is calling for people who work or live in rural areas to come forward and give their views on policing in their community, the impact crime and ASB has on them and their neighbours and to ultimately help shape the future of crime prevention and rural policing.

Anyone living or working in rural areas is being encouraged to take part in the survey to help build a picture of what is a widespread but often misunderstood issue. You don’t need to have been a victim of crime to have a view on how the police work. You may be concerned about police visibility or response, see incidents that go unreported, or you may have a local officer who is engaged and proactive.

Against a backdrop of policing budget reductions and a growing focus on higher crime areas, the new survey will assess how crime and ASB, as well as the threat of potential crime, affects individuals, both financially and emotionally. It will also shed light on the human implications of crime and the fear of crime seeking to explore the impact not just on individual victims, but also communities as a whole.

Any crime that happens in an urban area can, and does, happen in rural areas too, and how policing is delivered affects everyone living and working there. Traditional farm-related incidents such as fuel theft and sheep rustling make up just one part of the problem; we need to understand all the other issues that affect people in our remoter areas, as well as in market towns, villages and the countryside more generally.

Chair of the NRCN, Julia Mulligan, who is also North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, commented: “The full scale of crime in rural areas has never before been assessed. Whilst official figures show rural crime, like crime in general, is decreasing, we are concerned about the wider implications on people and communities. The fear of crime can be as detrimental to people’s wellbeing as crimes themselves, so we are keen to find out more through this survey. Our aim is to build a clear picture of the issue to shape future delivery of services locally and nationally. By completing the survey, people can really have their say on how crime affects them and what they expect from local police and their partners involved in community safety.”

The survey, which is taking place with support from the Home Office, aims to build a body of information to improve national awareness of crime in rural areas as well as provide a clearer picture of attitudes towards crime to help inform government and local policy.

The findings will be important to ensure the human costs such as psychological impacts of crime are taken into account and police funding is spent where it is most needed, rather than simply being channelled to urban conurbations. The ultimate aim is to make rural communities safer.

While the survey will aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the scale and financial cost of crime and anti-social behaviour, it will also measure the emotional impact of crime in rural areas by asking how incidents made victims feel and the longer term effects on confidence and security.

Mulligan continued: “While average crime rates do tend to be higher in urban areas, tackling rural crime comes with its own specific challenges whether that be the ability of police forces to respond quickly or the scale of crimes which may go unreported. This survey is an important step towards delivering a better service to communities and making the countryside a safer place to live and work.”

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) is supported by 29 Police and Crime Commissioners and police forces across England and Wales. The Network, established in July 2014, includes a wide range of organisations with an interest in community safety and rural affairs such as the National Farmers Union, Historic England, Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.

For a full list of members, please visit the National Rural Crime Network website.

The survey will be open until Wednesday 24 June. To complete the survey, visit http://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net/survey?member=DevonAndCornwall

For more information on the NRCN visit: www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Three men sentenced to 22 years for commercial burglaries

Three men have been sentenced to a total of 22 years in prison at Exeter Crown Court today (Tuesday 19 May) after being found guilty of 54 burglaries across Devon and Somerset.

Op Churchill was a complex and large investigation that involved four men being investigated on suspicion of committing several commercial rural burglaries across Devon and Somerset, as part of two distinct conspiracies.

The total loss and damage for all 54 offences, which took place between May and October 2012, was in excess of £239,000.

The ringleader of the gang Reg Soper, 50, of Culmhead, Taunton, was sentenced to eight and a half years imprisonment, along with gang members Nicky Christian, 24, of Alfred Road, Plymouth, and Percy Soper, 56, of Molesworth Road, Plymouth, who were both sentenced to six and a half years.

The fourth defendant, Danny Small, 24, of Ward Place, Plymouth, originally charged with both burglary conspiracies, was acquitted.

The investigation took over six months and involved three dedicated officers who obtained a wealth of evidence from CCTV, DNA, footwear and witness statements.

Photographs recovered during the course of the investigation show Reg Soper holidaying in Mexico, although he had no income and did not claim benefits.

In the first conspiracy, Reg Soper and Nicky Christian conspired to commit seven jewellery shop breaks in Dunster, Beer, Budleigh Salterton and Ashburton. The total value of items taken and damaged caused was over £124,000. This included some stolen vehicles used to assist in the burglaries.

The second conspiracy involved Reg Soper, Nicky Christian and Percy Soper, who conspired to commit 47 commercial burglaries across Devon. Premises with safes were often targeted, with a total loss of around £115,000, including damage caused.

Detective Inspector Jim Tarr, Senior Investigating Officer based in Newton Abbot, said: “This case involved significant conspiracies to commit burglaries and steal, amounting to 54 recorded offences. The determined, prolific and ruthless gang, based in Taunton and Plymouth, initially targeted jewellery shops in rural locations in Devon and Somerset before moving on to rural industrial estates targeting commercial premises within the same areas.

“The total value of items stolen was in excess of £181,000 with more than £57,000 worth of criminal damage caused in the process of carrying out the crimes.

“The ganger leader was Reg Soper, with Percy Soper and Nicky Christian being enthusiastic and active participants. The crime spree was well-planned and organised with most offences taking place at night. The criminals left a trail of destruction behind them, thought they were untouchable and had an enormous impact on the rural communities of both Devon and Somerset.

“It is not a coincidence that that the crime wave has ceased upon the arrest of the gang. A significant amount of work went into this complex investigation and this has been reflected in the guilty verdicts.

“I would like to thank the victims of these crimes for their co-operation, patience and support during this investigation. They have helped to put these criminals before the courts and be punished for what they have done.

“Rural crime will remain a priority for Devon and Cornwall Police and we will continue to robustly police those who cause harm to our communities.”

Reg Soper and Nicky Christian are pictured in Andrew Humphries Jewellers, one of the premises targeted by the men.

Percy Soper was captured on camera returning to the woods near Polston Parks, near Ivybridge, to collect a stolen safe.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Assault outside Reflex Nightclub Plymouth

Police want to identify a man in connection with an assault outside Reflex Nightclub, Union Street, Plymouth at around 3am on Sunday 19th April.

Police would like to identify the man (pictured) who is described as white, in his 20’s, short hair, wearing a black bomber jacket and light coloured cargo style trousers with black shoes/trainers.

If you know the man or witnessed the incident, please contact the police on 101 or via [email protected] quoting police crime reference CR/028356/15.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Cash point break in at Morrison's in Newquay

Police are appealing for witnesses following an attempted break in to the
ATM/Cashpoint at Morrison’s on Treloggan Road, Newquay.

The burglary occurred between 11pm Tuesday 12th May and 8am Wednesday 13th May – police were alerted by various alarms located at the premises.

The offenders broke into the locked secure ATM room and attempted to steal money from the three machines at the location. They were unsuccessful and no money was taken.

Police are currently investigating various lines of enquiries and request anyone with information of the burglary to contact them on either 101 [email protected] or crime stoppers (0800 555111) quoting police crime reference CR/034082/15.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

CCTV released after Red Cross van targeted by thieves

A British Red Cross van used to deliver mobility aids equipment to vulnerable people in Plymouth and surrounding areas was damaged after an attempted theft of the vehicle last week.

The white Ford Transit van was parked outside the Red Cross centre on Catherine Street, Plymouth when the break-in occurred on the evening of Friday 8th or early hours of Saturday 9th May.

The offenders’ attempt to steal the vehicle failed but they stole a number of items from the van including a Tom Tom Pro777 SatNav.

Police have issued CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.

PCSO Trystan Fentem, from the city centre neighbourhood team, said: “We would like to speak to anyone who recognises the men pictured as they may be able to help with our enquiries.

“We are also keen to speak to anyone who was in the Catherine Street area at the time who may have witnessed the incident or seen any suspicious activity, and anyone who has since been offered the sat nav for sale. The serial number is LH6333KO4929.”

Sam Snelling, health and social care manager at the Red Cross, said: “We are very disappointed by this thoughtless crime. Apart from the inconvenience and the cost to the charity, its impact means that vulnerable people in our community, who rely on the Red Cross to supply them with wheelchairs and other mobility aids, have not received the equipment they need. We appeal for anyone with any information to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.”

The Red Cross mobility aids service provides short-term loans of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and commodes, for up to 12 weeks for people with a disability or illness. The delivery and collection service in Plymouth has been temporarily affected by the damaged vehicle and won’t be fully operational until next week.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police by emailing [email protected] or calling 101quoting reference CR/032349/15, or alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

For more information about the mobility aids service in Plymouth please contact Samantha Goff, British Red Cross, Plymouth Public Dispensary, 18 Catherine Street, Plymouth, PL1 2AD Tel 01752 831817.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Police appealing to the public following telephone fraud in Winkleigh

Police are reminding the public to be vigilant about telephone scams and to follow some simple advice to prevent them from becoming a victim of this type of crime.

This follows an incident in Winkleigh recently where the victim was contacted by a person claiming to be from the bank in an attempt to gain personal information and to relieve the victim of his bank card.

Detective Constable David Major said: “The person on the phone claiming to be from the bank was very convincing, they explained to the victim that they needed a new bank card and over the course of a few conversations, managed to get the victim to confirm details relating to their address and pin number.

“A little while later a woman arrived at his home in Winkleigh and obtained his bank card. Thankfully, the victim contacted the bank almost who immediately blocked the victim’s bank card before any money was accessed.

“We are appealing for witnesses and would like to speak to anyone who witnesses a woman wearing a fluorescent yellow coat in or around the Townsend Hill area of Winkleigh between 1-3pm on Saturday 25th April.”

If you have any information that could help, please contact Bideford CID on 101 or [email protected]
quoting police crime reference CR/029020/15.

DC Major added: “The police take these types of crimes extremely seriously and we are determined to prevent further members of the public becoming further victims of this type of crime. We urge you to talk to your friends and family and ensure they are aware of the scam.

“If you receive a call from suspicious persons, then report the incident to
police by calling 101. Remember to wait at least 5 minutes after the incident
or call from a different phone, or the call may still be connected to the same

“The police and the banks will NEVER ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money or ask you to transfer money to a bank account of someone you do not know.”

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Witnesses sought after serious collision,Paignton

A man has been seriously injured following a collision in Paignton on Sunday 17th May.

Police were called to Marine Drive, Paignton at 1.45am after a collision between a blue Volvo V50 and a pedestrian near to the Redcliffe Hotel entrance.

The male car driver was uninjured but the pedestrian, a 20 year-old man from Paignton, suffered life threatening injuries and was taken to Torbay District Hospital. He was later transferred to Derriford Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision and would like to hear from anyone who saw the pedestrian or car before the time of the collision to contact them on 101 quoting ref 70 of 17th May.

Serious collision investigators attended the scene and the road was closed until 11am while enquiries took place.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

Two men attempted to steal dog, Bodmin

Police are investigating an attempted robbery at a park in Bodmin where two men tried to steal a dog.

A 22-year-old male dog walker was approached by two men from behind in Athelstan Park on Thursday 7 May between 11.30am and 11.55am.

One of the men grabbed the victim while the other man grabbed the dog.

The victim, who was threatened with a knife during the incident, managed to grab the dog back and run away from the men.

One of the men is described as white, in his thirties, 5ft 11in or 6ft tall, of average build and wore a brown hooded top, dark blue jeans and Adidas trainers.

The other man, who held the knife, is described as white, in his 40s, tanned, 5ft 8in or 5ft 9in tall, of stocky build, wearing a blue hooded top, blue tracksuit bottoms and work boots.

Officers are appealing for information and are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident.

Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation is asked to email [email protected], call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, quoting reference CR/031597/15.

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News