January 2019

Shipston’s Safer Neighbourhood Team takes action to tackle local crime

Shipston’s Safer Neighbourhood Team has been working hard to investigate rural crime, with many notable successes.

PC Craig Purcell and Shipston’s team of police community support officers have been taking a proactive approach to tracking down stolen property and arresting offenders. Using a mixture of established policing techniques, supported by new technology such as drones, the team has managed to return stolen goods to the rightful owners, prevented drugs from being distributed and tracked down some of the area’s “most wanted.”

The team shared its latest video with Shipston Town Council to highlight what has been going on. PC Craig Purcell describes some of the cases:

“We invited ourselves along to two operations in Cleeve Prior, knowing we have previously imprisoned people for dealing Class A drugs in Shipston that were linked to supply from that area. Using the drone, PCSO Andy Steventon guided other officers to find the male wanted under a court warrant. Acting on our own research, I then looked for evidence of drugs and soon spotted some cleared ground in woodland which had been missed in an earlier search. Officers subsequently unearthed a significant amount of Class A drugs buried underground, together with jewellery from a burglary in Ilmington.”

The team has also recovered a stolen dumper truck and caravan in Shipston as well as trailers, quad bikes, a horse trailer, and medals from other locations. These successes have largely been down to Shipston SNT’s determination to get involved in various operations, sometimes as the only Warwickshire officers present.

“We take all reported crime seriously and do our best to take action wherever possible. It’s really important that all crimes are reported to the police so that we can build an accurate picture of what is happening in and around the local area.” Craig added.

Deputy Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “On behalf of the town, I would like to thank the Safer Neighbourhood Team for all their hard work and for taking the time to share some of their recent activities with the Town Council”.


Who's your hero volunteer?

As we start the New Year, the town council is asking residents to think about who should be the 2019 recipient of the Shipston Award.

The Shipston Award recognises an individual for the voluntary work they have done for the local community. Past winners have included people who support the town in a variety of ways, from running events to supporting young people and providing emergency care.

Last year’s winner was Phil Wragg for his work running the Shipston Area Flood Action Group - you can read more about their successes on page 6.

Look out for the nomination form for this year which will be printed in next month’s Forum. Alternatively, you can email your nomination to clerk@shipstontowncouncil.org


Do you have what it takes to become a town councillor?

In May 2019, elections will take place for Shipston Town Council. This presents an ideal opportunity for those interested in local democracy to put themselves forward for election. With at least two current councillors due to stand down, we’re calling on local residents to consider throwing their hat into the ring. To help you decide whether becoming a town councillor would be right for you, we will be interviewing councillors over the next few issues to find out what they think are the best things about being a councillor, as well as the challenges to be aware of.

Councillor Marianne Westwood has been serving on the town council for five years.

What prompted you to put yourself forward?The Portabello campaign made me attend council meetings. I found them interesting and decided I might be useful.

How easy did you find it adjusting to your role?At the start I felt I knew very little and was always asking questions. The courses I attended were all essential to understanding my role. It took time and I’m still learning.

What aspects of being a councillor do you find most rewarding? I find it all rewarding. I love being able to help people and being part of the decisions that affect our town.

Why should residents put themselves forward for nomination?Shipston is a special place to live and deserves people that care about it to serve. The council needs people from all backgrounds and with different life experiences. It’s not always easy. Things take much longer than you think, but as long as you care about Shipston and are willing to learn and listen, you will find being a Councillor a rewarding and interesting experience. 

Councillor Brian Cooper joined the council just under four years ago. He will be standing down at the next election. 

What prompted you to put yourself forward?I wanted to do something for  the community, and contribute to the work being done by the other  volunteer councillors. 

What aspects of being a councillor do you find most rewarding? Being able to influence matters of relevance to the community, and being able to contribute, in a supporting role, to the preparation and adoption of the Shipston Neighbourhood Plan. 

What advice would you give future nominees? Attend a town council meeting before you decide to  stand for election to understand the range of activities covered. 

Why are you standing down? I can no longer devote the time needed to handle the volume and complexity of planning application consultations. 

Why should other residents stand? If you have the time available, it can be a very satisfying way of helping to influence the future of Shipston.