Monthly column by Supt Rob Mitchell:

Since my last update it’s been a busy period for policing teams on the Island.

We’ve seen some great results in terms of relentlessly pursuing criminals, as well as developments in local policing engagement with the public.

Local policing provision has been enhanced with the opening of new premises in Cowes, placing our neighbourhood teams into the heart of the town and providing modern facilities for officers to meet with the public.

To ensure quality time and space for meetings there will be available booked appointments.

However, more significantly, this office ensures officers and staff are placed in the heart of the community so they can be more visible to deter crime, engage with the community and listen to concerns.

They will base themselves here at all days of the week when they’re on duty.

There is also a plan to re-instate a more traditional front counter service at Ryde in autumn.

The recent launch of the Local Bobbies Scheme again bolsters our commitment to visible policing and exceptional local policing, having dedicated named officers you can contact directly about issues that concern you most.

Their direct contact details are available online making police more contactable than ever before, at

An area of crime that concerns a lot of our communities is drug related harm. A recent successful piece of intelligence-led policing resulted in an Island Class A drug dealer being identified and jailed for 40 months.

Operation Suppress is our approach to cracking down on shoplifting.

This is a crime that blights local businesses as well as bringing misery to shop workers who can experience abusive behaviour from some of our worst offenders.

We have seen a large increase in reporting of these crimes which reassures me that victims are more confident in reporting, as they can see action being taken with increases in our charging rate which puts offenders before courts.

Our teams are focusing particularly on habitual offenders, which can take some time to break the cycle of repeat offending.

A persistent offender was jailed on January 10 for ten weeks for offences at shops in Ryde and Shanklin.

Another man was jailed for eight weeks for stealing clothes from Sports Direct in Newport, and four people were arrested at the start of January in connection with the theft of cigarettes from a shop in Ventnor, two of which were charged with offences.