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Police advice for making your home safer

Credit: PA

Avon and Somerset Police are giving people advice on how to make your home safer.

Officers recommend:

- always using a door chain when you have an unexpected caller

- fitting motion sensing security lights around your property

- keeping tools locked up in a secure shed or garage

- making sure garden furniture and wheelie bins can’t be moved to gain access to upstairs windows

- locking up and setting the alarm, if you have one, at night as well as when you go out hiding your keys and handbag or wallet safely out of sight

- never leaving your keys in the back of the door or window

- keeping cash in the bank

- keeping jewellery and other high-value items with a specialist secure storage company

- keeping photographs and a description of items with sentimental value

- using a traceable asset marking liquid on items like jewellery or antiques

- using timer light switches to make it look like there’s someone home

Pet ducks decapitated during burglary

Police have been going door to door in the area. Credit: PA

Pet ducks have reportedly being decapitated during a spate of burglaries in a village in Gloucestershire.

Sheds and garages were targeted at three homes in Newport, near Berkeley, on Sunday night. Thousands of pounds worth of property was taken.

  • 11:30pm - 8am: a shed burglary where offenders forced entry and stole a lawnmower, wheelbarrow and other power tools
  • 7pm - 7am: a garage burglary. Two large compressors and a bike were stolen
  • time unknown: a shed burglary. Bikes stolen, and offenders tried to break into a caravan. The victim reported that her ducks had been decapitated

Police conducted house to house enquiries in the area, and are asking people to follow their crime prevention advice.

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Devon and Cornwall police must improve how it tackles child sexual exploitation

A report says Devon and Cornwall Police has a 'lack of understanding' of the extent of child exploitation across the force area. Credit: PA: Fabian Stratenschulte

A report says Devon and Cornwall Police has a 'lack of understanding' of the extent of child exploitation across the force area.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the way officers deal with children who regularly go missing was highlighted as a serious concern which needs to be improved.

Devon and Cornwall Police demonstrated a strong commitment to improving services for the protection of vulnerable people. However, while we found a number of examples of good work to protect children, this commitment has not yet resulted in consistently improved outcomes for children.

We were concerned to find that in a significant number of cases we looked at, poor supervision and record keeping had undermined decision making and safeguarding measures. Some serious cases were investigated by non-specialist officers, resulting in delays, and potential risks posed by alleged offenders not being considered.

The force must also improve how it tackles child sexual exploitation. While the force is taking some steps to address this, it still has much more to do to demonstrate that it is able to effectively identify and safeguard children at risk. We found a concerning case involving a 15 year old girl who, in August 2014, was identified at being at risk of exploitation by an older man. We found no evidence that a longer-term safeguarding plan had been put in place to protect the girl from further exploitation and, at the time of the inspection, the girl still had not been spoken to by police. This is not acceptable.

– Wendy Williams, HM Inspector of Constabulary

Devon and Cornwall Police says it welcomes the report and its acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment to improving services safeguarding children.

We are working hard to deliver improved outcomes for children and work that has been undertaken by the Force has shown that we have to improve recording standards, as often a great deal of work has taken place but has not been captured within the Force’s IT systems.

In respect of Child Sexual Exploitation, the Force has a dedicated team which deal with these types of offences and we are working with all of our partners to deliver the standards contained within the Peninsula Protocol and Strategy.

The Force also recognises the importance of not detaining children and young people in custody and at the time of the inspection we were working with children’s services across the peninsula to ensure appropriate arrangements are put into place to avoid this from occurring.

– Detective Superintendent Paul Northcott, Head of Devon and Cornwall’s public protection unit

70 years in prison for organised crime group

Fathi Ahmed, John Gill and Yahya Hashi Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A drugs gang from London and their Exeter-based drugs runners have been sentenced to over 70 years in prison at Exeter Crown Court.

All 15 defendants pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply class A controlled drugs or the concern in the supply of class A drugs after a 16-month police operation.

Yahya Hashi, 25, of Spicer Road, London and Fathi Ahmed, 29, of Pilgrim Hill, London, were the leaders of the drugs gang who brought cocaine and heroin to the streets of Exeter. Each were sentenced to 8 years in prison.

They were both convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin, along with five other defendants.

Fahad Hassan, 23, of Undine Street, London, was sentenced to 7 years 6 months in prison.

Said Mohamud, 28, of Bromar Road, London, was sentenced to 6 years.

Shafie Afrah, 28, of Kings Road, London, was sentenced to 6 years.

Hassan Abubaker, 23, of West Way, Edware, Middlesex, was sentenced to 6 years.

Sakariye Yasin, 25, of New Park Road, London was sentenced to 6 years.

The local drug runners were sentenced on Thursday 7 May.

Lee Haine, 26, of Birchy Barton Hill, Exeter and Robert Doyle, 34, of College Road, Exeter were both convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin.

Both men were sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. Doyle was also sentenced to an additional 12 months for unrelated theft offences.

The other defendants were convicted of being concerned in the supply of heroin.

Philip Warton, 35, of Park Street, Crediton, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Nicola Martin, 33, of St David’s Hill, Exeter was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Christopher Edworthy, 39, of Heavitree Road, Exeter, John Acres, 44, of Exe Street, Exeter, and Richard Lewis, 52, of Slade Close, Plymouth, were all sentenced to two years in prison.

John Gill, 40, of Howarth Close, Sidmouth was sentenced to five years and seven months. This was the third time Gill has been convicted of similar offences and therefore received a more severe sentence.

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