Man arrested after spate of knifepoint robberies

The Leighton Buzzard Sentinel team are headed up by Sgt Louise Bates (front)
The Leighton Buzzard Sentinel team are headed up by Sgt Louise Bates (front)

The newly-appointed Leighton Buzzard policing team has been praised after arresting a man in relation to a spate of knifepoint robberies.

It comes less than a month after the launch of Operation Sentinel, with the team of Leighton Buzzard-based officers particularly tasked with tackling anti-social behaviour.

Officers in Leighton Buzzard have also already recovered a large kitchen knife and a machete.

Commenting on the early success of the Operation, Bedfordshire Police Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said: “This is a perfect example of Bedfordshire Police homing in on crime and anti-social behaviour in Leighton Buzzard. The town is the third largest in the county and it’s absolutely right that the new Operation Sentinel Team has been deployed there at a very early stage and has produced such a result.

“I promised more visible policing at a public meeting earlier this summer and that’s exactly what’s happening as a result of both Operation Sentinel and its own new Community Sergeant and constables concentrating on driving down crime in the town.

“They still need the help of local people and I would urge anyone to call 101 to pass on vital crime intelligence to the team which is devoted to policing you can see in Leighton Buzzard.”

Leading the team is Sergeant Lou Bates, who said: “These are fantastic results for the Sentinel team, especially as the force is currently having a drive against knife-related crime.

“I’d like to thank and praise the officers involved, and look forward to similar results now the team is in place.”

Operation Sentinel is a force-wide commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour, and was initially launched in Luton in March 2016, and has successfully led to a number of brothels and drug dens being closed down in the area, as well as multiple arrests for drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.

Leighton Buzzard has seen a new community team which comprises a sergeant and eight constables who will be carrying out targeted police patrols in the community, addressing the priority issues that matter most to residents. This will include drug dealing, nuisance youths, dangerous motorcyclists, and street drinking.

The success comes at the same time as a two week clampdown on knife crime across the force. Op Sceptre, a nationwide initiative, has seen officers visit schools across the county educating young people on the consequences of knife crime as well as carrying out targeted patrols and knife sweeps.