Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Speeding complaints double during lockdown

Top of police car

Concerns about an increase in people speeding during the lockdown has led the police urging people to...Slow Down and Save lives

The Avon and Somerset force has seen the number of complaints around speeding double since the end of March.

This latest operation to target those breaking the law also includes extra patrols being deployed across the area.

Romanian traffic police foil burglar after Somerset spree

Press Association

Claudiu Popa
Avon and Somerset Police

When traffic police in Romania stopped a car for motoring offences, it led to the discovery of a haul of stolen property from burglaries in Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The driver of the car, which was stopped on Monday 3 February, was brought back to the UK and jailed at Taunton Crown Court last Friday after admitting conspiracy to commit burglaries.

Claudiu Popa, 23, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years and 10 months over the offences, which were committed in Tickenham, Nailsea, Dyrham, Chilton Polden, Wedmore and Glastonbury in a spree between 20 and 28 January this year.

In one of the burglaries, medals and jewellery were stolen from an 86 year-old man in Nailsea.

Haul of stolen items
Avon and Somerset Police

BreakingVillage sealed off after 'suspicious' package found on bus

Avonmouth near Bristol has been cordoned off after an "unknown" package was found on a bus.

Avon and Somerset Police said the bus was being moved "for assessment" but roads had now re-opened.

First Bus is diverting its number 3 route as per its tweet below.

Police were called to McLaren Road just after 10:45am following the discovery of a suspicious package in a bag by the driver.

The road was closed between Jutland Road and Avonmouth Road and residents of a number of homes in Richmond Villas were advised to evacuate as a precaution.

The Bristol North West Foodbank was also evacuated.

The cordon was lifted at about 12.10pm and people were able to return to their homes after the bus was moved away from the residential area for further investigation.

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Police van tyres slashed

Police van with tyres slashed
Avon and Somerset Police

An inquiry is under way to find out who was responsible for slashing the tyres of a marked police van in Bristol at the weekend.

The van was parked in Great George Street on Saturday while officers were on foot patrol in the area around Brandon Hill.

The tyres were slashed some time between 2.30-4pm.

Sgt Richard Jones said it was "hugely disappointing" to find the criminal damage as officers were engaging with the public "about the new restrictions designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus".

Coronavirus causes 25% crime reduction in Avon & Somerset area

Jonathan Holmes

Digital Journalist

Andy Marsh
Avon & Somerset Police

Avon & Somerset Police's Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, says the force has seen a 25 to 30% reduction in crime levels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, he said the list of people they want for questioning has shrunk by 50%.

"It's surprisingly easy to find where people are when they're all living at home."

So far the force has issued 325 fines to people who broke lockdown restrictions.

But Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, said she is expecting an increase in domestic violence reports once lockdown lifts.

"Victims who were stuck at home with their abuser won't be able to access the phone or internet for help."

Chief Constable says deputy PCC letter 'not politically motivated'

More on that row over the appointment of a new deputy to Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner.

The force's Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, has told BBC Somerset the letter of recommendation he wrote for John Smith was "about ensuring good governance".

Read how the story unfolded in politics reporter Pete Simson's Twitter thread below.

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PCC defends deputy appointment

Sue Mountstevens

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, Sue Mountstevens, has defended the appointment of a deputy, despite claims the process was "undemocratic and unfair."

It was announced last month that John Smith had been appointed to the role, despite serious misgivings from some members of the Police and Crime Panel who oversee the office of the commissioner.

It's also emerged a letter endorsing his appointment was written by the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police before the selection process began.

One member of the local police and crime panel has called the whole affair, "morally reprehensible."

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