New neighbourhood inspector outlines vision for Fishponds
THE area's new neighbourhood police inspector says he wants to help make it the safest in the country.
Inspector Deepak Kenth says Fishponds is "very close to my heart", as his wife's family live in the area, and he often walks and shops in Fishponds Road when he is off-duty.
He has three main aims: to increase his team's engagement with the community, to reduce anti-social behaviour and to ensure that, when serious incidents such as violence occur, the public has "absolute confidence" that those responsible are brought to justice.
While the coronavirus means regular community meetings are on hold, Deepak is working to ensure officers are more visible in the community, is organising online meetings and is encouraging people to contact him directly by email to keep him and his team informed of their concerns.
Deepak has previous experience as a firearms, custody and response officer, as well as a staff officer to chief constable Andy Marsh, who he also worked with in Hampshire before moving to Bristol in 2018.
He said he was "loving every day" of his role in charge of neighbourhood teams in his Bristol East patch, which also covers Eastville, St George and St Paul's.
Deepak said: "I've hand-picked where I want to work and why I want to work there – I'm part of that community and my family are part of that community.
"I want these areas to be the safest parts, not only of Bristol, but the country."
Deepak said he aimed to ensure his team responded quickly to issues as they arise, such as recent complaints over anti-social behaviour and COVID-19 breaches in parks, responding to reports of distraction thefts at local cashpoints and speeding on Fishponds Road, and increasing patrols around Halloween and on the cycle path.
He said it was important to tackle problems that had an impact on people's daily lives, particularly close to their homes, and encouraged people to report issues which were "going on night after night" for his team to tackle in cooperation with the community, council and charities.
Deepak also wants to encourage people from all of the diverse multicultural communities in the area to join the police, be it as an officer, PCSO or special constable.
He said: "I probably have the most diverse team on the force, including Somali, East European and African-Caribbean members.
"We want to be representative of the community. It boosts confidence – when the public see people who look like them, who are from where they are from, it instils confidence, and people will come forward with information.
"It's not only looking at it from an ethnic minority point of view – I want more people from this area to police in this area."
Anyone who would like to contact Deepak about crime and anti-social behaviour concerns or joining the police can email him at Gurdeepak.Kenth@avonandsomerset.police.uk.