Martock Gateway sign thefts – latest
We reported in the January issue of the Leveller® the theft of one of the Gateway Signs to Martock. Today following some follow up questions to Avon & Somerset police we received the following statement from Chief Inspector Sharon Baker: “An investigation is ongoing following a village sign being stolen in Martock. The initial theft was not reported to police and it is currently not known when it occurred. However, the matter was brought to our attention towards the end of January when we were informed the sign was being advertised for sale on social media.“
“Officers attended the address of the seller in another part of Somerset and recovered the item on Tuesday 2 February so it can be returned to, or collected by, the parish council or county council. A crime has been recorded. Enquiries into what happened are continuing to establish the identity of any individual, or individuals, responsible. Those enquiries include seeking statements from witnesses and once obtained will enable us to progress our investigation. We would not routinely confirm if someone had been spoken to under caution, if asked by a witness.“
“We refute in the strongest possible terms any insinuation that police will accept stolen property to be returned and no questions will be asked. As in this case, a thorough and proportionate investigation would be conducted. It is common practice with any theft investigation to converse with the victim and be led by their wishes. Their views, and consideration of whether further action is in the public’s interest, would be used to decide what is the most suitable course of action: words of advice, a community resolution, caution or prosecution – with any charging decision being made by the Crown Prosecution Service.“
“Thankfully, the crime rate remains low in the beat area. Year-on-year the crime rate remains steady and we’ve seen a reduction in recent months, no doubt in part due to people adhering to the current lockdown restrictions, for which we’re grateful. Proactive patrols continue to be carried out in the area and earlier this week our neighbourhood team met with a representative of the parish council to discuss ways we can work together to ensure the local community remains a safe place to live.“
Anyone with information about what happened regarding the theft of the sign, including when the incident happened, should call 101 and give reference number 5221017081.