Whitby’s police chief says a fond farewell to town

Inspector Mark Grange who will shortly be leaving his post''w110510   Picture: Ceri Oakes 01/01/11
Inspector Mark Grange who will shortly be leaving his post''w110510 Picture: Ceri Oakes 01/01/11

WHITBY’s police inspector is leaving his post in charge of fighting crime in the town and district to take up a new role next month.

Insp Mark Grange joined Whitby Police a year ago in January and is to transfer to Scarborough where he will become detective inspector working in the Crime Directorate department.

There, he will be looking after case building and dealing with high volume crime for the Scarborough area as well as taking on responsibility for other parts of the county in Northallerton and Harrogate.

Insp Grange has been in the police since 1991 and has had a long and varied career, joining the force s a Police Constable after leaving the RAF and progressed through the ranks. He had worked at Whitby before in CID, and as a member of the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team.

Before moving to Whitby he was acting chief inspector for the Eastern Area overseeing more than 100 officers.

He will be replaced by Inspector Andy Colbourne who is joining Whitby Police from the force control room in York.

Insp Grange said: “It’s been a good year. Crime figures from April 2010 to 31 January this year show crime is down 4% on the previous year and that figure is also down on the previous year.

“It does get more and more difficult to get crime reduced. A total of 952 crimes were committed since April 2010 in Whitby and district which is 37 crimes less than the same period last year.

“Anti-social behaviour is down nearly 24% since April 2010 with 209 reports down.

“These figures are not just down to Whitby officers. It’s down to the community as well. I can’t do my job on my own. We need the eyes and ears of the public. The good thing about Whitby is the relationship between the public and the community is very good.

“I do feel people can get on the phone and contact me or the station.”

One of the biggest challenges Insp Grange has faced was the difficult winter which hit Whitby and district particularly hard..

He spent Christmas Eve helping around 200 stricken motorists who had become stranded in blizzards on the A171 Whitby to Scarborough Road.

The inspector said another challenge for the town is reducing the number of road traffic accidents and officers will be carrying out high visibility patrols in key areas.

“It is a constant issue,” he said. “Luckily over the winter we didn’t have any serious accidents, they were just minor.

“In the town since October 2010 crime has fallen over all crime groups except drugs offences. These drug offences have increased due to an increase in drugs information and we have targeted drug suppliers. Whitby Police have now executed six warrants in the Whitby area over the past year targeting the production of cannabis and supply of Class A drugs. One arrest has been made in connection with the supplying of class A drugs.”

In the rural area which includes Fylingdales, the Esk Valley, Danby and Mulgrave Wards, crime since October 2010 has fallen over all crime groups apart from assault which rose due to minor assaults in domestic relationships.

Insp Grange added: “I’ve enjoyed my time here in Whitby. I’ve never policed operationally out of Scarborough. Each community has different policing challenges.”