Friday, February 15, 2013

The Day After Valentine's

Another Valentine's Day comes around and nobody was more surprised that me, when the weather improved enough to get this year's flying proposal done at the Hindhead nature reserve, just off the A3 in Hampshire.

When I left Manston in the morning, the weather, in a 500 foot low overcast and drizzle was still pretty awful but as you can see from the video-clip of yesterday's action, that once I reached Blackbushe airport and the area behind the advancing weather front, there was a marked improvement in conditions.

On Wednesday, as you may have noticed from my Twitter sidebar updates, there was a Police and Community Partnership meeting at the Garlinge primary school and I was very pleased to hear, that in general local crime is down on last year. However, locally, burglary is up, please be warned and we have one juvenile, who is reportedly responsible for skewing the statistics and the police appear deeply frustrated that the criminal justice system have no answer to this one-boy campaign of crime. So please be particularly aware of the potential for shed and garden theft. For your phone book, the area office telephone number for Thanet's community wardens is now 01797 321884

Kent Police have re-designed their website with lots of useful local  information and statistics and you can find the link here.

In Westgate, Police and the Council have asked for residents help in finding the Lymington Road 'Dog Vandal.' I suspect this may be a 'Staffie-type' breed being trained for dog-fighting but whatever it is, the animal has now caused over £1,000 of damage to the dedicated children's recreation area and this has to stop as the money for constant repairs these days simply doesn't exist. If you live locally and see anything suspicious please call 101.

The Police have had some real success in closing down cannabis factories lately but I'm concerned at news that the influence of the London-based Jamaican drugs gangs is finally moving in our direction, where before we had been almost unique in not having suffered their violent presence.

Yesterday, on my early morning walk along the seafront, I cam across the car in the photo, lights on and engine running. Curious, I approached it and through the steamed-up glass, I could see a man covered in a blanket. I tried waking him but with no luck and so more than a little worried, I called the police 101 number.

Once again, this revealed the acute problem the police have with incidents taking place off the road grid with a control centre lacking any local knowledge. What really annoyed me was a long call, more interested in determining who I was and where I lived, rather than the circumstances and condition of the unresponsive man in the car. I commented to the police operator, that the call was now taking so long, that if carbon monoxide rather than possibly alcohol was involved, the driver was now 'Past his sell by date.'

This morning, I'm trying to help the latest homeless person to arrive in Westgate. You will know her when you see her and her name is Sarah, if you are able to buy her a cup of coffee rather than the can of cider she was drinking after 8am this morning. Her's like so many others, is a tragic story and I need to try and find the right department of the Council and the Porchlight charity to take action to find her somewhere to shelter out of the cold.

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