Western Park Gazette October 2018The Western Park Gazette is YOUR local community magazine and keeps you informed about all that's going on in West Leicester.

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Officers are continuing enquiries in the Belgrave Road area of Leicester as part of the investigation to find missing man Paresh Patel.

A dedicated team of specialist officers has been set up in force as the search for Paresh, who was last seen in the area more than a week ago, continues.

A number of police officers have been in Belgrave Road and the surrounding area speaking to potential witnesses, carrying out house to house enquiries and further CCTV checks covering a wider area.

Officers are also in the Abbey Park area of Leicester today carrying out searches in a broad area of the park and surrounding waterways. A police drone is also assisting with these searches.

A public portal has also been set up to allow people with any information regarding Paresh to submit this online.

Paresh, 48, was last seen at around 9pm on Saturday 10 November when he left his home in the Melton Road area of Leicester. He was captured on CCTV at 9.20pm that evening walking along Belgrave Road, close to Abbey Park. He has not been seen since.

The investigation to find Paresh was previously with the Missing Persons team within the force who carried out extensive enquiries including CCTV checks, searches of areas and making public appeals.

As part of ongoing enquiries, the dedicated team of specialist officers has now been set up to continue this investigation. This has allowed for more resources to be allocated to the case and for further enquiries to be carried out within the investigation.

Inspector Paul Allen, NPA Commander for East Leicester, said: “We are extremely concerned about Paresh. His disappearance is very out of character and the search for him remains a priority. Following extensive enquiries by the Missing Persons team, the team of specialist officers is now continuing this investigation.

“Officers will continue to be in the area as part of these enquiries. We urge anyone who has any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to contact police. This can be done by contacting 101 or through the public portal. Anyone who has any CCTV or dashcam footage from the area at the time should also make contact.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped with the search so far by speaking to officers, providing information and sharing our appeals. Please continue to do this to help us find Paresh.”

Paresh is described as having light brown skin, is around 5ft 5ins tall and of medium build. He is bald, wears glasses and has a red tattoo of a Hindu religious symbol on his upper right arm.

When he was last seen, he was wearing a navy blue coat, a grey jumper, blue jeans, brown shoes and a brown flat cap.

Anyone with any information should call 101 quoting incident 71 of 11 November or visit the public portal. Information submitted through the public portal can be done so anonymously if required.

A dog handler and his dog, who arrested two armed robbers after tracking them for more than two hours across five kilometres of fields, have been awarded the John Chowanski Memorial Bowl.

The award, handed out at the Chief Constable’s Award Ceremony last Thursday, was given to PC Gregor Robbie who was judged to have performed the most outstanding individual piece of dog handling in terms of technical brilliance and heroism.

Gregor and Police Dog Grace were called to a job after a report of an armed robbery at a local post office in February 2017, where two offenders had assaulted the post mistress, stolen £4,000 in cash and made off in a vehicle belonging to the victim.

PC Robbie and PD Grace got to the scene over an hour after the car had been found abandoned. There were no signs of the suspects, however, after tracking numerous fields and crossing roads, Grace indicated that she had found some discarded property. PC Gregor checked and confirmed that it was clothing Grace had found, matching the description of the offenders at the time of the offence.

Grace was adamant that the track went through the canal so PC Robbie, trusting Grace, walked over ½ a mile along the edge of the canal before he could cross over and walk back on the opposite towpath.

The duo continued through wooded areas and a farm yard until arriving in a field with two abandoned outbuildings. PD Grace indicated there were people inside the building, when tasked to search the building she began to bark at what first appeared to be a pile of old sacking. Upon closer inspection, the sacking began to move and two men who were wet, muddy and very cold, appeared and gave themselves up.

The men were arrested and removed from the outbuilding, after the team searched the area they found £4,000 in one of the sackings. Subsequently, both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced to four-and-a-half years each in prison.

PC Robbie said: “I am honoured to have won this award but it was all down to Grace’s determination and abilities that we found them. “It’s even more special as sadly, due to an injury she sustained just a few weeks later, Grace had to retire early.

“So this job was her swan song and a fantastic way to finish a very successful career, during which, she found numerous offenders and saved at least two missing people’s lives by finding them. Thank you Grace”

A short film made for Leicestershire Police as part of a campaign about rape has a second award.

At a ceremony held in Birmingham last night (Tuesday 20 November), “All is not Lost” won the Best Production Craft Gold Award from the Royal Television Society (RTS) Midlands.

It had also been shortlisted as a finalist in the Short Film category.

Last month it won a Silver award in the international Lovies awards.

The All is Not Lost campaign was developed by the Force’s Communications and Engagement department last year to encourage greater reporting of the crime and to increase successful outcomes for victims.

Central to the campaign was a two-part film about a fictional rape that takes place within marriage. Produced by Affixxius films of Loughborough and featuring a cast of professional actors, the film was launched online in October 2017 and has been viewed across various platforms more than 200,000 times.

Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said she was delighted that the film had been recognised by the RTS.

She said: “Rape is an appalling crime and one which, for a variety of reasons, is often challenging to investigate. We spent a considerable amount of time talking to victims, to investigators, to support groups and many others in developing the campaign, at the heart of which lies this film.

“The film highlights the importance of preserving evidence. It is also illustrates the types of myths and prejudices that can often, unconsciously, sway a juror’s mindset when considering the guilt or innocence of the alleged perpetrator.

“Perhaps most importantly, the film does not show a stranger leaping out of the bushes and committing an offence. Statistically, such crimes are extremely rare. Instead, it shows a rape happen within a marriage, because around half of all such reported offences take place within a domestic setting.

“Winning this award is a tribute to the careful and detailed planning undertaken by our communications department to raise awareness of the subject of rape. It is also a tribute to the creative skill of Affixxius Films who captured our brief sensitively, but powerfully.

“But most importantly, this / these awards will generate further publicity for the film and encourage people who have not yet seen it to watch it. If that helps support a victim, and increase our chances of prosecuting offenders, then we will have achieved our aim”.

WARNING These videos contain information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering.

A team of Special Constables willing to tackle anything, a Cadet who champions community volunteering and a Special Sergeant who dedicated 22 years of her life to the force were among those commended at the Chief Constable's Commendation Awards ceremony last Thursday (15 November).

Chief Constable Simon Cole hosted the ceremony and presented awards to officers, staff and volunteers who had been nominated by colleagues and members of the public for their outstanding work.

Superintendent Natalee Wignall, lead for Volunteers in Policing, said: “The Chief Constable holds the awards each year to celebrate the outstanding work of members of the force, and some of these inspirational people are volunteers. They choose to dedicate their own time to come in and support us, while often working full-time jobs or attending school or college. Their contribution is tremendous and these awards are a brilliant opportunity for us to show our gratitude. I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

The awards for volunteers, specials and cadets were kindly sponsored by David Saville, former Chair of the Police Authority.

Saville Shield 2018 Winner - Central Leicester Dedicated Neighbourhood Team (DNT) Specials

The Central Leicester Specials have truly embedded themselves into local policing and are keen to support the Central Leicester Neighbourhood area in any way they can.

Recently the team have been involved reducing violent crime in the city. They accompanied a drugs dog around the city to stop and search individuals suspected of possessing illegal substances. Their work recovered not only drugs, but also weapons, which if used could have had fatal consequences.

The team hasn’t just contributed to operations, but has also provided consistent support to the day-to-day policing of the City Centre.

PC Andy Gardner works on the City Centre DNT and said: “The team’s dedication to come in for our operations, events and general duties is exceptional, and they are a credit to the city. Their tremendous contribution has improved the effectiveness and capability of the City Centre Neighbourhood Team, and each and every one of them has made a positive difference to our community.”

Saville Award 2018 Winner – Volunteer Police Cadet Reece Jordan

16-year-old Reece is a very committed and enthusiastic police cadet, who in the past year has volunteered an impressive 397 hours to Leicestershire Police, while also taking his GCSE exams and volunteering for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

He willingly gives up his weekends to participate in cadet events, and on multiple occasions has assisted City Centre Police Community Support Officer’s (PCSOs) to provide high visibility reassurance and crime prevention advice to community members.

Members of the public are always happy to see Reece out at events, and he has already started to get to know the area and make contacts on the beat. He’s also recently been appointed as Lord Lieutenant Cadet for the year, which means he’ll support Lord Lieutenant Mike Kapur at ceremonial events. Reece is a brilliant role model for cadets and young people everywhere.

After winning the award Reece said: “When I heard my name read out I felt really proud of myself, and I knew that all of my hard work had paid off. I’m thankful for everyone who has believed in me, and especially my Cadet Leader Jade for nominating me.”

Saville Trophy 2018 Winner - Patrick Dunham

Pat joined the Coalville Neighbourhood Team in February 2005 and was a Police Support Volunteer until he sadly passed away in November 2017.

During his time with the force he helped out with countless activities and community events and was a great support to his fellow volunteers.

The team could always call on Pat at the last minute, and he’d be there, happy to assist with anything. His IT expertise was a great asset, and he spent many hours sitting with other volunteers showing great patience and fortitude while explaining the mysteries of the online world.

Pat is remembered by his team as a perfectionist with a dry sense of humour, a true gentleman who was reliable and helpful. He was part of the policing family and dearly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with him.

Pat’s wife, Vicki, attended the Awards Night and accepted the award on his behalf.

Saville Cup 2018 Winner - Debbie Rawlinson

Special Sergeant Debbie Rawlinson joined Leicestershire Police on 29th October 1996 and has dedicated 22 years of excellent service. She spent a decade as an operational officer, and was commended on multiple occasions for her excellent work.

In 2006 her role transferred to the Learning and Development team, where she immersed herself in assisting to train newly appointed special constables. She also took on a welfare role within the Special Constabulary, and addressed any issues with officer attendance and performance in a wholly supportive way.

Debbie said: “I will continue to support the special officers as long as I can. I’m still passionate about my role supporting the Special Constabulary. During the last 22 years the Special Constabulary has developed beyond belief, and so have people’s perceptions of specials. I found my niche in training, I loved it and could have a real say. The welfare of officers is so important, and I’m proud to be able to visit each station and chat with them.”

If you’d like to join the force as a police support volunteer, special constable or police cadet, please visit leics.police.uk/couldyou for information on how you can apply today.