Leicester Neighbourhood Watch launches pet campaign

By Kira Gibson

Neighbourhood Watch in Leicester has today launched a social media campaign for protecting pets.

The campaign is called ‘PROTECT YOUR POOCH’ and will run online from today (May 17) till May 30.

One of the images that accompany the pet campaign

It has been set up in response to the ever-growing worries of pet theft in Leicestershire.

The campaign aims to make pets “SECURE, IN SIGHT and SEARCHABLE” and to make pet theft a specific criminal offence.

Along with emails being sent regarding the campaign, people are asked to share posters and social media posts regarding the campaign to raise awareness and encourage others to sign a petition or contact their local MP.

On May 27 at 5pm there will be a dog theft webinar held by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne about the campaign and why it is needed.

The Sussex PCC conducted a survey of 124,729 people and of those surveyed, 22 per cent have either had a dog stolen or knew someone who had their dog stolen.

According to the Pet Reform campaign, only one per cent of all cases of dog theft in recent years have led to a prosecution.

The campaign looks to change the current restrictions on dog theft, as they are currently classed as ‘property’ under the Theft Act 1968.

To find out more about the campaign, please go to www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch or click here to sign the petition.

Police raid parties and issue fines as students flout lockdown restrictions in Covid-hit Leicester

By Laura Murphy and Sarah Danquah

A student who was fined £800 for contravening lockdown laws and attending an illegal party says he doesn’t regret going to the party – he only regrets getting caught.

The 19-year-old student, who was visiting his girlfriend at DMU from his uni in London, was arrested by police after they broke up a huge party in student accommodation.

The incident happened on Saturday night (FEB27) at Inka Studios in Percy Road, near to the University of Leicester. There were more incidents nearer to DMU the previous night.

“We just wanted to be around people and didn’t really think about the virus,” admitted the 19-year-old student, who did not want to be named. 

Young people gather in the street after police put a stop to their illegal party.

“The police turned up at 4 am and shut everything down. I’m not really around people so who could I really pass the virus on to? All the people that are vulnerable are currently being vaccinated anyway.

“If you’re willing to break the law, though, you should be able to face the consequences.”

‘Several illegal parties’

It was one of several illegal parties students held in the city last weekend, according to Leicestershire police. Leicester currently boasts the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the East Midlands.

Similar parties were broken up by police in student households in Dover Street, Marquis Street and Tudor Road, near DMU, on Friday night.

Police estimate more than 100 students had attended the parties and that 35 people were issued with £200 forced penalty fines.

The Friday night party seemed to start in one house and move to others, say neighbours, as the police attended and broke-up gatherings.

Harvey Mills, the director of Cloud Student, the company that owns the student property in this area, said calls were made to police and they attended promptly. Mr Mills called on DMU to crack down on students breaking restrictions.

Residents of Tudor Road were disgusted at the blatant disregard for the rules.

“Some of us have lost our jobs so it’s quite disturbing seeing all these people being inconsiderate and not caring about what is happening around them,” one resident said.

Another resident who witnessed the partying said students were being irresponsible. “Parties like these occupy the police at the weekend,” she said. “The police shouldn’t have to deal with students being inconsiderate.”

A police spokesperson said they will be patrolling the Tudor Road area to prevent other gatherings from happening. 

Will it stop the gatherings? It might not. One student who ran from las weekend’s party and was not caught remains unrepentant.

“I wanted to have fun. I am tired of staying of indoors. I feel like Covid is never ending,” she said.

“I’d definitely go to a party again – not this week but probably next week.”

We asked DMU to comment on this, but they did not respond.

DMU police officer leads city colleagues to £4,000 heroin bust

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

A De Montfort University police officer helped city force colleagues make a £4,000 drugs bust on Monday afternoon (NOV9) after spotting someone acting suspiciously on campus CCTV.

A male suspect was arrested in Castle Gardens on a number of drugs related charges and £4,000 worth of heroin was seized after the eagle-eyed DMU officer led colleagues to him.

The bust involved a drugs dog and was part of an ongoing national anti-knife campaign called Operation Sceptre.

“What people don’t realise is the quality of CCTV is getting better and better,” said the officer, who wished to remain anonymous but who has 14 years of experience with the force.

“When I started, it was VHS tapes and you were lucky if you could pick anyone out, now the quality is unbelievable.”

DMU cameras cover much of the campus and has made spotting suspicious activity “easier than it ever was” according to the officer.

“Criminals don’t realise how good it is and I’m good at spotting ‘stuff’ taking place,” he said.

A passive drugs dog was able to confirm the suspicions of the DMU officer by indicating the man had been in contact with an illegal substance which allowed Leicester City Police to move in and make the arrest.

The Leicester City Police Twitter account praised the DMU officer for his role in the arrest, calling it a great example of teamwork.

Ram-raiders smash their way into Kirby Muxloe shop

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The One Stop store, Main Street. Photo credit: Google Maps

By Rosie Vacciana-Browne

Ram-raiders struck at a village shop in the early hours of this morning.

A red Mazda was driven into the front shutters of the One Stop store in Main Street, Kirby Muxloe at around 1.30am.

The crooks were able to get into the premises and steal an undisclosed sum of cash.

Detectives have launched an investigation and a 44-year-old Leicester man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary.

He remains in police custody.

Detective Constable Joseph McCormack is appealing for anyone with information about the incident to get in touch.

He said: “From our inquiries so far, we believe four suspects were involved and made off in the Mazda heading towards Ratby Lane.

“We would ask anyone who have witnessed the burglary or who saw any suspicious activity which could be linked to what happened to please contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting 19*158875.

Leicestershire police launch appeal for cadet leaders

By Bethany Surridge

Leicestershire Police have launched an appeal to inspire more young people to volunteer as police cadet leaders across the county.

The cadets meet for one evening per week during the academic year, and they are imperative in making a positive difference in local areas.

This includes helping almost 300 young people who are enrolled in the cadet programme to carry on through their policing journey.

De Montfort University (DMU) student Georgie Hughes is a cadet leader as well as balancing out her studies at university.

She said: “We need more people to inspire the younger generation from all backgrounds. Being a leader enables the cadets to have experience of things they may not otherwise get to do.”

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Cadet Leader Georgie Hughes. (Photo: Leicestershire Police)

Cadet leaders offer their time to assist the running of the cadet programme run by Leicestershire police, which guides and encourages cadets through their policing journey.

Leicestershire Police are looking for “inspiring and enthusiastic” individuals to join this programme as a cadet leader.

From joining this programme, Leicestershire Police believe they will benefit from learning new and important skills by working with other people and developing their confidence.

Anyone is welcome to become a cadet leader, providing they are over the age of 18.

Leicestershire Police have had people from all diverse backgrounds taking part in this programme, from police offices, PCSO’s, to members of the public.

Georgie added: “Joining the police cadets is an invaluable experience. You don’t have to want a career in the police to join as it’s not just solely based on the police, it’s a great way to make new friends.”

To find out more, or to apply to be a cadet leader, go to https://leics.police.uk/join-us/volunteer-police-cadets/become-cadet-leader