Cold Higham Parish Council

Serving the people of Cold Higham, Grimscote, Fosters Booth (W) and Potcote

Local Car Crime and Evidence - Police Message

A message of 21st March from Sgt Michaela Simons of South Northants Police addressed to SNAST Neighbourhood Watch:
"At present we believe that the series of offences [primarily car crime] that occurred within Pattishall and surrounding villages are part of a much bigger series being perpetrated on this side of the County.

A male and female have been arrested following similar offences near Brixworth. They are not the same male and female as seen in our recent CCTV footage, however the vehicle that they were with and some property recovered is linked to offences from Brackley area. As such we believe these individuals to be part of a larger group currently offending.

There is a lot of outstanding work to be done in relation to CCTV, vehicle, property and potentially mobile phone enquiries. This will take some time and is being looked at by our Force Investigation Team.

There are issues with CCTV and the trial of evidence is very important. It is often difficult to manage expectations of the public once CCTV stills are placed on local social media sites. The issues that we need to clear are as follows:

CCTV will only be evidential if it shows a person committing an offence.
CCTV that just shows a person only can be used to corroborate that they were present in a location but does not prove that they committed the offence.
CCTV must be produced to Police by the person owning it so that it can be exhibited properly and provides continuity of that evidence for CPS and ultimately court.
Any stills or CCTV forwarded by a third party may be used as intelligence – ie to allow us to quickly circulate to officers to try and identify an offender but we will still need the original footage.

We will consider using stills in any media appeals but in the interests of data integrity we must ensure their provenance. We quite often find that people upload stills to social media and then the wider public expect the Police to immediately identify and arrest an offender when the footage has never been sent directly to the Police.

In conclusion we are making progress. This will be part of a much bigger picture and we thank you for your efforts to try and co-ordinate everyone into sorting their CCTV. If people are struggling to create stills or a copy of the footage then get them to contact us direct and we will try and arrange an officer to come and assist. At the very least we can take our own still or moving image from the footage and exhibit it ourselves. That way we can provide an explanation of the retrieval process and complete the continuity. The last thing we want is a case thrown out at court due to an incomplete evidence trail.

Thanks again for your assistance and patience."

Posted: Sat, 23 Mar 2019 08:47 by Site Editor

Tags: Police