Two charged in Cannock under Operation Nemesis

A man and a woman have been charged as part of Staffordshire Police’s campaign Operation Nemesis targeting those suspected of drug dealing.

Rohan Baig, aged 23, of no fixed address, and 20-year-old Grayce Jodie Gittings, of Mozart Court, Cannock were arrested on Eskrett Street, Hednesford, Cannock at around 2pm yesterday, Tuesday, February 16.

They have been charged with being concerned in the supply of Class ‘A’ drugs.

Both have been remanded in custody to appear before Magistrates tomorrow, Thursday, February 18.

Detective Sgt Stuart Carter, from Cannock Local Policing Team (LPT) said: “Yesterday’s operation was an immediate response to information received from the local community about suspected drug dealing in the area. We responded to these concerns and we remain committed to acting upon the information we receive.

“Operation Nemesis is the force’s commitment to tackling drug dealers and bringing them to justice; we do not tolerate drug dealing and drugs misuse in Staffordshire.”

Two officers were injured during the incident. An officer was treated at hospital for minor leg injuries and discharged. A second officer received treatment from paramedics at the scene but did not require hospital treatment.

Anyone suspecting drug dealing in their community is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101. Alternatively, contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, calls cannot be traced and you will not have to go to court.

Anyone who may have witnessed the Hednesford incident is asked to call 101, quoting incident 393 of February 15.

Man jailed following fatal road traffic collision, Rugeley

A man has been jailed for four years for causing death by dangerous driving following a collision in Rugeley in December 2014.
James Masters, aged 19 and from the Rugeley area, was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court today (Wednesday).

James Masters
James Masters

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving; failing to stop after a road accident and failing to report that accident at an earlier hearing.

In addition to the prison sentence he was disqualified from driving for five years.

At approximately 2.30am on 6 December 2014 two members of the public came across a man on a footpath on Western Springs Road, at its junction with Church Street, and called for help.

The man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified as Joseph Hunt, aged 22, from Rugeley.

Joseph Hunt
Joseph Hunt

A statement from Joseph’s family reads: “Words cannot express how much Joe meant to our family. He was so loved by us all. He was hugely popular with hundreds of friends who loved him too. We miss him every day and will always remember him with love and pride.”

DI Dan Ison, senior investigating officer, said: “We welcome today’s sentencing and hope it brings some comfort to Joseph’s family and friends.

“This case should serve as a timely reminder to all motorists to drive carefully and with consideration, otherwise face the consequences.

“We are committed to working with our partners to ensure safety on the county’s roads and reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries.”

Urgent police warning: Be aware of courier fraud

Residents are urged to be on their guard against cold callers at the door following continued reports of courier fraud.

We have received numerous reports of this criminal activity in the south of the county in the last week.

Most recently, on Monday 8th February, we received four reports from concerned residents in the Burntwood and Lichfield areas. They had received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer from the Metropolitan Police. The residents were told that a debit/credit card had been cloned and a suspect was in custody in connection with this in the London area.

Residents were then told someone would be calling at their address to collect the card. The man has asked lots of questions about account activity and on one occasion became verbally aggressive when the call taker questioned his motives.

THIS IS COURIER FRAUD.

The courier scam is when fraudsters call and trick you into handing your cards and PIN numbers to a courier on your doorstep. There are many variations of the scam, but it usually follows this method:

  • A fraudster will cold call you on a landline, claiming to be from your bank or the police. They state their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.  This is not true – Hang up your phone now.
  • In order to reassure you that they are genuine, they suggest that you hang up and ring the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you are actually still speaking to the fraudster.
  • They then ask you to read out your PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or financial service provider.  DO NOT give them any information.
  • Finally, they send a courier to you to collect your bank card. The fraudster will have then obtained your name, address, full bank details, card and PIN.  DO NOT engage with anyone who calls to collect your card or pin.

If you receive one of these calls end it immediately.

Protect yourself against courier fraud:

• Your bank will never send a courier to your home
• Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
• Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN

Please share this advice with friends or relatives who may not have access to our updates, particularly elderly parents, grand-parents, friends and neighbours. In this instance the caller claimed to be from the Met Police, but on other occasions they have said West Midlands Police.

Fraudsters have targeted the Codsall, Burntwood and Lichfield areas recently but residents in all areas are warned to be on their guard as they can target any location.

Call us on 101 to report any suspicious calls or if you have any information.

To report fraud phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Please visit the action fraud website for more information and advice: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

 

NEWS: Driver jailed for attacking motorist at M6 services

A driver who stabbed another motorist after a road rage incident on the M6 motorway in Staffordshire has been sentenced to four years imprisionment.

Peter Bentley, aged 56, was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on Monday, February 8 for Section 18 wounding with intent to cause grevious bodily harm and to being in possession of a bladed article.

He had pleaded guilty to both charges at a hearing on November 6, 2015.

At the earlier hearing, the court was told that following the road rage incident on the night of August 5, Bentley followed 21-year-old Lewis Worrallo from the M6 on to the northbound services at Hilton Park, Cannock.
Both drivers parked up and Bentley got out of his Hyundai estate with a lock knife he had used for work. He calmly approached Mr Worrallo’s BMW and without warning stabbed him with the knife several times through the open driver’s window.

Mr Worrallo sustained injuries to his head and neck and suffered a large loss of blood. Bentley stopped his attack only when Mr Worrallo’s girlfriend, who was in the front passenger seat of the BMW, shouted at him.

Bentley then walked calmly back to his car before driving away from the scene. He was arrested in the early hours of August 6 at his home in Redwing Drive, Cannock.

DC Ian McDonack said: “This was a very serious and unprovoked assault with a prohibited weapon. It is only by luck that Mr Worrallo’s injuries were not more serious. They could easily have proved fatal. It was also good luck that a passing off duty doctor came to his aid prior to the arrival of the ambulance service.”

Mr Worrallo, who is from the Willenhall area, was treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and has made a full recovery.
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Young people urged to Say No to Sexting in new campaign

#1Young people and parents across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being reminded of the dangers of ‘sexting’ in a new campaign.

 

The ‘Say no to Sexting’ campaign is being run by Staffordshire County Council and partner agencies and launches as part of Safer Internet Day on 9 February 2016.

The two-week campaign aims to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and in particular the dangers for young people around sexting.  A brand new website at www.knowaboutcse.co.uk has information and advice for both young people and parents. The website also includes access to a new App to help young people say no, along with useful videos and resources for parents, professionals and schools.

#2

Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video, usually in a text message or through other messaging services.  Sexting is on the rise, yet most young people think that it’s harmless fun.  Not only is it illegal but also puts young people at a much higher risk of being sexually exploited online or offline.

John Wood, Joint Chair of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Children Safeguarding Board said: “We have made great advances with our partners in protecting children, bringing together public and voluntary agencies to tackle child sexual exploitation.

#3

“Sexting’ is an activity we have become increasingly aware of amongst young people and many may not realise that what they are doing is illegal or that it may be potentially harmful to them in the future.  So many think that it’s a normal part of a relationship and just don’t understand that images can end up all over the Internet, and this can lead to them being bullied, exploited or blackmailed.  Many young people also don’t know they could be breaking the law.

#4

“We all have a part to play in helping young people stay safe online  and I would urge everyone, especially parents, to visit the new website at www.knowaboutcse.co.uk/parents  to find out more about sexting and pick up a few tips to start the conversation with their child.”

18-year-old Katie O’Brien has helped develop the campaign and has starred in one of the sexting videos made especially for the campaign.  Katie said: “When we first got involved in the campaign we didn’t realise how serious an issue sexting really was.  We knew it went on amongst some young people, but from research we did, we quickly discovered that the issue was much more serious than we ever could of imagined.  We really enjoyed the project and making the videos. We hope that young people and their parents will watch them so they know about the consequences of sexting and avoid getting caught up.”

Mike Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children at Staffordshire County Council added: “For young people it’s about knowing the consequences of sexting and staying in control of their online conversations. For parents it’s knowing how to start conversations with their children to help keep them safe – and there’s lots of helpful advice on the campaign website.  It’s also great that lots of schools are joining in the campaign on Safer Internet Day and I would encourage them to download the materials and resources from the website.”

#5

Louise Rees, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Executive Director – People, said: “Child sexual exploitation can have devastating consequences on people’s lives and raising awareness of aspects of it like ‘sexting’ is incredibly important. The Say No To Sexting campaign is aimed at educating young people and their parents about these dangers, and how to stay safe.”

Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: “Sexting is a serious concern because it leaves children and young people in danger of being sexually exploited. That’s why this campaign is so important. I’d urge parents to use the new website to get some practical tips so they can help their children to say ‘no’ to sexting.”

The campaign is being supported by the partners of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Boards, including Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, health organisations and schools. The new website also has advice and guidance on other ways to keep children safe online.

Anyone concerned about ‘sexting’ can go to the website at www.knowaboutcse.co.uk, talk to an adult they trust or call NSPCC on 0800 800 5000, it is free and available 24 hours a day and the number won’t appear on a telephone bill.  If you think that your child has been forced to send or receive an indecent image or video, or is engaging with them  inappropriately you can contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or report it online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEO) at www.ceop.police.uk

How safe is your purse? Warning to shoppers in Cannock and Rugeley

Police are issuing a warning to shoppers in Cannock and Rugeley to guard against purse thefts.

There have been several purse thefts reported over the last week from Morrisons, Aldi and Asda stores in Cannock. In each case the offenders, described as being of Eastern European origin,  have been captured on CCTV walking around the stores targeting elderly shoppers.

They are looking for people who have their bags on display before distracting them and stealing their purses. (Incident numbers 224, 281 and 317 of 5 February and 501 of 6 February)

In another incident an elderly victim was distracted in Lloyds Bank, Cannock, after taking money out from an ATM machine. He later discovered that the money had been stolen. (Incident number 342 of 3 February)

Offenders also targeted shoppers in Tesco Superstore in Rugeley, stealing a purse from a handbag. (Incident number 281 of 7 February).

Local Police Teams will be offering reassurance within the Town Centres and working with store security to try and disrupt this activity.

Shoppers are reminded of the following advice

  • Shoppers are advised to remain alert when shopping and to pay extra attention to their belongings.
  • Make sure that your purse is not easily accessible to offenders and be aware of your possessions if you are distracted as this is when your belongings are most vulnerable.
  • Bags should be kept close to the body and kept closed unless in use.
  • Purse bells are available as extra security and are to be issued by patrols in the area.

Anyone with any information on the recent thefts is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting the relevant incident number.

You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.

Attempted break-ins in Cannock

We received two reports yesterday (3 February) of attempted break-ins in the same street in Cannock.

In one incident, offenders have attempted to gain entry to a property in Mill Crescent between 9pm and 10pm on Tuesday evening (2 February), through the conservatory door. (Incident 640 of 3 February).

In another incident in Mill Crescent, offenders attempted to break-in to a property by forcing open the UPVC kitchen window. The incident happened over the last 4 or 5 days. (Incident 546 of 4 February).

Residents are reminded of the below crime prevention advice to help keep burglars at bay:

  • Keep windows secured, particularly when leaving home, or when going into the back garden or going upstairs.
  • Ensure valuable items are not left in plain view and in  easy reach of an open window.
  • Fit mortise locks to all front and back doors and locks to windows that are in easy reach.
  • Keep house and car keys safe and away from doors, windows and letterboxes.
  • Keep garages and sheds secure.
  • Fit low cost security lighting as a deterrent.

Anyone with any information on either of the above incidents is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, giving the relevant incident number.

You can also report crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.

 

Have you seen quad bike stolen from Rugeley?

We received a call just after 2pm this afternoon (Wednesday 3 February) reporting the theft of a quad bike from Rugeley.

Between 7.30pm last night (Tuesday) and 9am this morning, offenders have stolen the quad bike from an address in Yoxall Road.

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire police on 101, quoting incident number 344 of 3 February.

Alternatively, they can contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.

 

Car stolen in Cannock – did you see anything?

We received a report just before 11am this morning ( 3 February) reporting the theft of a car in Cannock.

Between 4pm yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) and 10am this morning (Wednesday) offenders stole a silver Chevrolet Mitza parked outside a residential address in Shakespeare Grove.

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire police on 101, giving the incident number 186 of 3 February.

Alternatively, they can contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.

 

MAN GIVEN HOSPITAL ORDER FOR SERIOUSLY INJURING POLICE OFFICER

A man has been handed a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act after a police officer was seriously injured in the line of duty.

A jury found Matthew Tearle, aged 35, did cause grievous bodily harm to former police sergeant Jon King and was in possession of a prohibited weapon (a paintball gun) following a trial of facts at Stafford Crown Court.
Tearle had been declared unfit for trial after an assessment of his mental health.

The jury heard the incident occurred at an address on Wat Tyler Close, Rugeley, on Sunday 19 October, 2014, where Tearle discharged a paintball gun.

As a result of this Jon King, a Sergeant at Cannock Chase District Local Policing Team (LPT), received an eye injury which resulted in the loss of his right eye. He has since retired from the force on medical grounds.

ACC Nick Adderley, from Staffordshire Police, said: “We acknowledge today’s outcome.

“Every day our officers face danger as part of their role to protect the people of Staffordshire.

“Sadly on this occasion the actions of Matthew Tearle had devastating consequences for Jon, which not only affected him, but his whole family.

“As a result of the serious injury sustained Jon was forced to retire on medical grounds from his role as a hardworking and dedicated Police Sergeant. He was an excellent officer and is already much missed by all his colleagues.

“Although this was an isolated incident it is a prudent reminder that policing carries an element of risk, and officers regularly face dangerous situations. But their priority remains the same – protecting the people of Staffordshire.

“This was a distressing incident but Jon did what the public would expect without hesitation. His actions at the time are to be commended.”

Following the trial of facts Tearle was handed the hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act, with a section 41 restriction order.

At today’s hearing Judge Eades announced that High Sheriff of Staffordshire awards will be awarded to Jon King; Inspector Kevin Mulligan; PC Steven Davenport and Special Constable Sydney Cooper in recognition of their efforts to help Mr Tearle.

Mr Tearle’s mother and brother will also be awarded the same honour.

Jason Corden-Bowen, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“Paint-ball competitions are a popular and widely pursued recreational activity and paint-ball products are legitimately available for purchase. Ordinarily paint-ball guns are classified as air weapons and are exempt from legislative restrictions. However, where an air weapon is sufficiently powerful it ceases to be free from that exemption and is categorised as specially dangerous. If an air weapon is specially dangerous it is considered to be a firearm in law.

“In this case, although the air weapon that Matthew Tearle used was purchased lawfully, after it was discharged at very close range into a police officer’s face, it was tested by experts and found to be powerful enough to be classified as a ‘specially dangerous air weapon.’ As a direct result of that power it was not exempt and fell into the ordinary firearms legislation.

“The dimensions of the air weapon concerned were also such that it constituted a prohibited weapon and attracts a minimum sentence under the Firearms Act.”