02:34PM, Friday 14 January 2022
Windsor residents have been urged to log more suspicious incidents to the police after reports of youths 'abusing' commuters in the town.
Speaking at a Windsor Town Forum meeting last night (Thursday), Cllr Jon Davey (WWRA, Clewer & Dedworth West) asked for more guidance about how people can report such problems to the force.
He said that there had recently been incidents of young boys asking commuters for their bikes in Pirate Park, an issue which was posted on to one of the local resident-only Facebook groups.
"I am not sure they got hold of any bikes but what they did do was intimidate a lot of people," Cllr Davey said, adding that one of his friends had been forced to walk to work because they feared using their bicycle.
"Do we have an employee of the police who sits on social media watching what is going on locally so we can create a response?
"If there was somebody doing that and they saw somebody posting something, then there could be a reaction and the blues [the police] could go past and spook the kids and start preventing this sort of thing.
"Are they [the offenders] doing this because they are seeing a complete lack of policing on the street and therefore feel they can do whatever they want?"
Cllr Davey added that the Thames Valley Police (TVP) website can be confusing for people to report crimes if they are new to it.
In response, Jeff Pick, who works in communications for TVP, said that a crime reporting tool is available to view clearly on the force's homepage.
He added that the police can only register with Facebook groups if they are local to that area, making it tough to survey all social media pages out there.
"There are so many individual Facebook pages that it is almost impossible for us to do that," Mr Pick said.
"That [the commuter incident] would be recorded with us as a suspicious incident - that could be lads walking along the road shining torches; there were kids in Datchet over the weekend who were using catapults and shooting them at houses and street lights.
"That comes through to us, and goes through to the neighbourhood team, who then go straight out and have a look - but it does mean somebody has got to physically report it to us."
Mr Pick added that people were 'quite happy to tell their neighbours' of such problems on social media sites, but were often reluctant to report things to the police because 'they believe it is a complicated process'.
Earlier in the meeting, Mr Pick was on hand to provide councillors on the forum with an update on Windsor's crime stats.
Over the past 31 days, there had been nine domestic burglaries; 19 theft from vehicle offences; 10 theft of motor vehicles and 11 thefts of bicycles.