10 August 2011
Calm Maintained Across Bedfordshire Overnight
As a result of robust policing overnight any opportunity for disorder to take place was prevented and dealt with no arrests were made.
Overall the evening passed quietly with only a handful of youths gathering at various times with the majority of 'activity' taking place virtually on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter where any rumour of disorder was quickly discounted by Bedfordshire Police communications staff working alongside police colleagues in the Control Room throughout the night.
Although no significant disorder took place small pockets of disturbance were reported up until around 2am in Luton where a group of youths threw stones at police officers and a number of small fires were started. In Bedford while there was some evidence of youths gathering no actual disorder took place.
No disorder was reported in Dunstable, however, at 12.15am officers attend a small fire at the Norman King public house in Church Street, Dunstable, which is currently under refurbishment and was empty at the time. The building is a listed property with a thatched roof, causing fire to spread very quickly. As a result of the smoke and rapid spread of the fire around 50 occupants who were staying in the neighbouring Old Palace Lodge had to be evacuated to the Holiday Inn at junction 9 of the M1. Elderly residents of the Alms houses opposite the Norman King were initially taken to The Nags Head in High Street North but allowed to return to their properties by the fire service at around 2.30am. No one was injured. Church Road was closed but reopened at 5.15am.
Detectives are treating this as arson but do not believe the blaze is directly linked to any pre-planned disorder going on elsewhere. CCTV will be examined to establish who was responsible for starting the fire. Anyone with information should contact Dunstable CID on 01582 473326.
Last night Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock recorded a comment onto the force's latest social networking site AudioBoo which was listened to by more than 700 people as well as being posted on Facebook and Twitter. He said:
"As Chief Constable I'd like to reassure you that we are taking all appropriate measures to prevent disorder and protect individuals and communities in our county. I am proud of the excellent work and commitment of the officers and staff here, who have been working hard to ensure we achieve this. We are continuing to do all that is necessary to maintain a safe and peaceful county.
"I'd also like to thank all those of you as members of the public who have been helping us dispel rumours and prevent misinformation during this time, by sharing the updates we have been providing. It is a great positive reflection on the people and communities in Bedfordshire."
Bedfordshire Police will continue to monitor the situation regarding the potential for disorder and provide a robust policing response as appropriate.
11 August 2011
Bedfordshire Police Patrols Provide Another Peaceful Night
Bedfordshire remained quiet again over night despite suggestions early on in the evening on social networks that disturbances were occurring.
A large uniform presence across Luton, Dunstable and Bedford ensured anyone intending to cause trouble was prevented from doing so and as with the previous night, groups attempting to cause minor disturbances were very quickly dispersed.
The 17-year-old youth who was arrested in Luton in connection with an offence of ‘encouraging or assisting another to commit and offence’ via social media networks will be interviewed later today. He remains in custody at Luton Police Station.
Anyone with information about people committing should call the main switchboard on 01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Edited by Merlin820, 11 August 2011 - 09:21 AM.