In November, a public meeting with Staffordshire Police was attended by about 40 people, following incidents of vandalism which had caused local concern. Chief Inspector Jane Hewitt and Inspector Mark Joynson represented Staffordshire Police.
Those present were told that investigations into the two most significant crimes in Gnosall during 2016 (the arson attack on the Boardwalk and the multiple tyre-slashings) were still ongoing. Parishioners were reminded how important it is to report every single crime, because police statistics that determine how officers are deployed depend on the amount of crime reported. Since the meeting took place, we have learned that no action can be taken on the tyre slashing incident because of insufficiently robust evidence.
Residents expressed frustration when ringing the Police's non-emergency 101 telephone number, with many people saying how long it took for calls to be answered. Unfortunately, it appears that this is a national problem and it is not something that Staffordshire Police can do anything about. Gnosall Parish Council said it would take this up with Sir Bill Cash, the local Member of Parliament, but in the meantime the message from the Police was 'Please be patient when using 101. The system is not as efficient as it should be, but please do not let this stop you reporting crimes.'
Despite these two serious and concerning events, overall, Gnosall has a low crime rate and some of the figures quoted in reports in the Press, according to Staffordshire Police, have been inflated. It is also worth noting that whereas Facebook can be a very useful tool to share information quickly (our own Parish Council Facebook page has become a great way of sharing village information) speculation can sometimes weaken a case, so we must all bear this in mind when we share and comment on crime-related Facebook posts. The Parish Council disassociated itself from reports of an online crime survey which had been done anonymously shortly before the meeting took place.
Cllr Gail Gregory, who chaired the meeting, stressed the fact that despite the recent problems, Gnosall was still a lovely place to live and this feeling was shared by those attending.
The public asked the Parish Council to provide more information on how they can keep aware of police matters. They were advised to register with Staffordshire Smart Alert -
For further information please contact the Clerk, details above, or Staffordshire Police & Crime Commissioner - https://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/staffs.
Best Kept Village plans for 2017
Following the success in 2016, the Best Kept Village team are planning an exciting range of new projects! We have acquired the old red phone box opposite the Post Office and we are considering a number of possible uses from art gallery, flower displays to book exchange. If there are other great ideas out there then please let us know.
There are new Welcome to Gnosall Best kept Large Village signs as you come into the village on the A518 and we are planning a new brick built flower bed and sign on the grass area opposite the lock-up.
Our main efforts will, of course, be to maintain the high standards achieved in 2016 with litter free roads, no doggy poos, newly painted benches, useful notice boards, colourful flower beds and hanging baskets.
Our canal team are working to improve the tow path, planting bulbs and primroses, cutting back bushes and painting benches and iron work.
All this work to make our village a great place to live takes a lot of effort. We are always keen to have new volunteers, so keep an eye on the notice boards and in the GPN for dates of meetings and activities.