Police provide responses to Stoke Gifford residents’ ASB and crime concerns

Photo of a group of five men, including one in police uniform.
Meeting to discuss how to tackle ASB and crime in the Stokes. L-r: Cllr Neel Das Gupta, Jack Lopresti MP, Mark Shelford (PCC), Inspector Stuart King and Cllr Keith Cranney.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB), attempted car break-ins and reckless driving in Stoke Gifford are among the topics addressed in detailed responses issued by Avon and Somerset Police following a meeting at which residents’ concerns were aired by local councillors.

Cllrs Neel Das Gupta and Keith Cranney met local MP Jack Lopresti and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset Police, Mark Shelford, on 1st September 2023 to discuss how to tackle a range of reported issues.

The meeting was arranged after discussions on a number of police-related topics at the Community Engagement Forum meeting in June left councillors and residents feeling frustrated at the apparent “lack of priority” being assigned to many of the issues raised.

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Residents in Stoke Gifford, Harry Stoke and Little Stoke have reported the irresponsible use of e-scooters, people trying to break into cars, groups of youths in balaclavas threatening locals and people smashing bottles in public places late at night.

Locations such as the Stoke Gifford By-Pass, The Range car park and the junction of Baileys Court Road with Orpheus Avenue are said to have recently seen an increase in cars “drag racing” and “doing doughnuts” late at night, with screeching tyres keeping residents awake.

The two councillors urged the police to take a proactive approach to addressing anti-social behaviour and to ensure incidents are responded to as quickly as possible.


Cllr Neel Das Gupta said:

“Anti-social behaviour can be hugely damaging to our local communities, and I’m pleased to have been able to meet with our MP and the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure these issues are addressed.”

“Residents should not have to put up with such inconsiderate behaviour, and Keith and I will continue to do all we can to make Stoke Gifford and the surrounding area a safe place to live.”

Cllr Keith Cranney said:

“Some of the incidents that residents have reported lately are really distressing, and it’s vitally important that these issues are tackled.”

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Speaking a few days after the meeting, Mark Shelford, Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, said:

“Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with the MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, Jack Lopresti and Stoke Gifford councillors, Cllr Neel Das Gupta and Cllr Keith Cranney. They raised concerns from within their respective wards, which included anti-social behaviour, graffiti in play areas and the reckless driving of e-scooters, which has resulted several accidents.”

“I would like to provide reassurance to local residents that I have listened to these concerning issues and am working closely with the police and partners to explore ways in which we can address them.”

Police responses

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police Cllr has now provided detailed responses to the issues raised at the meeting (numbered 1 to 9 and shown in bold font below).

1. Reckless driving of e-scooters in the area leading to accidents. It’s a risk for children and elderly on the road. What can be done?

[Response]: Obviously, e-scooter and e-bike use has been on the rise with the legal sale of these vehicles, despite them not being road legal and prohibited. This is a nationwide problem where although legislation exists to seize these vehicles (No insurance or ASB legislation) if they are seen to be being used on a road, the opportunity to do this is difficult based on the very obvious risk factors present, highlighted in the press recently from fatal accidents where police appear to have been trying to deal with such use. The force policy is to educate the e-transport users initially, logging details and recording the fact that they have been warned. Persistent use can lead to more punitive measures such as seizure of vehicles, fines and prosecution for driving offences. Locally, the police is keen that if a vehicle is being used in crime, or to facilitate anti-social behavior, we go straight to seizure and bypass the education aspect. Recently, the police team based at Patchway have seized several e-scoters which were being used by youths who were also involved in ASB. They continued to use them despite warnings and education and as a result have lost their vehicles.

Police are aiming to have days of action to address e-scooter use in the near future but at present, staffing levels and abstractions mean that this is not possible in the short term.

The force has acknowledged that this type of e-vehicle use which is also involved in crime is becoming a big issue for communities and as a result, Avon and Somerset police have set up a specific operation to deal with these problems. This means we will have more officers from force resources and specialist teams available to help combat these issues.

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2. Youth with balaclavas and other people trying to break into cars in the area. This has been reported to police, but no action because crime hasn’t taken place. Can anything be done to deter the crime, before it happens?

[Response]: This seems strange, as if youths in balaclavas are trying to break into cars, then this is a crime and if reported to Police, will result in a crime report being generated. There may be limited lines of enquiry, but we need the public to report instances like this, as and when they happen so that we can build an intelligence picture and direct appropriate resources towards the problem. Public can protect themselves with sensible measures such as properly securing their vehicles and not leaving items of value within their cars as a lure to potential criminals.

3. Youth with masks and balaclavas misbehaving with locals repeatedly and making residents feel insecure. Can police to anything to deter the crime, before it happens?

[Response]: This is a problem we are aware of and would encourage the public to call in these instances so that we can again build a picture of what problems are occurring and where. It appears to be a standard mode of dress with certain offenders wearing balaclavas when on e-vehicles or when committing ASB which obviously makes identification difficult, however we have recently dealt with a number of persons who adopt this mode of dress and I believe that this is a small group acting in this way, which is causing most of the issues in our area.

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4. Screeching of tyres late at night, like cars doing doughnuts, drags, car races, bike races. Can police help with this?

Locations are:

  1. Park and Ride Car Park, at the back of the Bristol Parkway train station
  2. The Range car park in Stoke Gifford
  3. The junction of Bailey’s Court Road with Orpheus Ave
  4. The stretch of North Road
  5. Stoke Gifford Bypass
  6. Little Stoke roundabout and up the Kingsway

[Response]: The issues around anti-social car use/car cruises have been well documented over the years with several measures put in place as a result of police, council and landowners’ efforts. Cribbs Causeway has largely been target hardened, with better barriers and CCTV being installed to deter this type of activity. Work however is ongoing and there is a problem-solving plan which is currently being progressed with the aim of obtaining a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for some of the problematic sites. This is with the council for consultation currently.

5. Cars have been driving in through the no through way at the top of Knightwood Road recently from B4057 Winterbourne road. The numbers have been increasing. Can police take any action to prevent accidents?

[Response]: This is not an issue that has been brought to my attention. Has this been reported to police previously and have any registration numbers been taken? If we have that information, we can certainly look at some driver education if this is a small number of regular drivers doing this. Obviously, if this is witnessed by a police officer or caught on Dash Cam footage by the public, then action under the Road Traffic Act could also be an option.

6. Many residents living next to the Meade Park have complained about ASB at night on route to and from the park, such as: smashing bottles outside houses, lots of shouting in early hours (regularly), bins and nappy bags being kicked off. Can police take an action to resolve these ongoing issues?

[Response]: Meade Park has had a spate of ASB issues and police have responded by implementing a patrol and visibility plan, especially over evening and weekends during the summer months. We have had additional patrols on top of our normal staffing, including officers on overtime and support from the Special Constabulary. Groups congregating have been spoken to, with problematic individuals identified through use of police Body worn cameras. We have approached the council regards to a mobile CCTV camera being installed, but due to issues with the location, this has not been possible. Reported ASB problems at Meade Park in recent weeks have dropped significantly compared to earlier in the summer.

7. The playground for younger kids in Brooklands Park has had really bad graffiti done to it w/c 21st Aug. Pictures attached. Can police investigate this and take measures so that it can be prevented next time before it happens?

[Update/Response]: The graffiti has been removed before 1st September. Police will add this area to the patrol plan for the Stoke Gifford PCSO’s for future attention. If this is an ongoing issue, we may need to liaise with council to see if there are any measures in the design of the area which can be addressed to deter this kind of damage.

8. Update on investigation of Meade Park fire?

Photo of play equipment on fire.
Children’s play fort and slide in Meade Park, Stoke Gifford, ablaze on Saturday 17th June 2023. Image credit: From a video by Cole Smart.

[Response]: The fire in Meade Park has been investigated by the local Response Team. Unfortunately, despite a media appeal and efforts made to identify any witnesses, no evidence has been available to identify any suspect in relation to the offence. Due to a lack of any evidence, the investigation has been closed.

9. Why is there not motorbike police about? Most common crime (locally and city wide) seems to be around electric motorbikes and mopeds but you’re not going to catch then without the right tools.

[Response]: Police bikes and traffic units are a force resource that we can request if we have an appropriate issue for which to request them. However, they clearly face the same issues as stated in Point 1 when trying to intervene in these type of offences.

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How to report

There’s more than one way to get in touch with the police if you have any concerns or see something that you think they should be aware of. The Police and Crime Commissioner has put together this brief guide on how and when to report a crime:

  • You can report crimes and anti-social behaviour online.
  • In non-emergency situations call 101
  • If you want to report an emergency ring 999
  • You can report anonymously without providing your name or contact information to Crime Stoppers, an independent charity. Call 0800 555 111 or use their online form.
  • You can report cyber crime (e.g., online fraud, crime using computers and online scams) to the Action Fraud website which is the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, or call 0300 123 2040.
  • If you feel unsafe in a particular area, you can report this to StreetSafe, you can pin point it on a map in the exact area you want to report. It is designed to support community reporting of local hazards and safety issues.

For non-urgent matters, you can contact the neighbourhood police team via a contact form at the bottom of the Stoke Gifford beat team webpage. Do not use this contact form to report a crime.

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