Helping to expose criminal fraternity

This Is Wiltshire: Police Superintendent Gavin Williams Police Superintendent Gavin Williams

LOCAL NEWSPAPER WEEK: WHY THE ADVER REALLY MATTERS

SWINDON’S criminal fraternity, including the violent, the perverted and the deceptive, rely on the comfort of the shadows to carry out their schemes.

But by shining a light on those shadows and exposing wrongdoers the Adver can claim to be making a difference to the local community.

In keeping with the theme of this year’s Local Newspaper Week, we are highlighting the ways in which we make a difference to people’s lives in the community we serve.

Since 1854 the paper has consistently reported those who pass through the revolving doors of the town’s courthouses, championed the voices of victims of crime and highlighted issues the local authorities must get a grip of.

Reporters work closely with the local constabulary, Wiltshire Police, to raise awareness of crime trends such as house burglaries or knife crime, publish appeals for witnesses and suspects to come forward and follow them through the justice system to report the punishments meted out.

The latest example of this was our Crook of the Day feature, in which we pictured people sought by police for a host of more minor offences ranging from theft to robbery. It proved successful in that many of those pictured came forward to either admit their crime or rule themselves out of the police inquiry.

In recent years the paper’s use of CCTV has directly led to offenders being caught.

In February 2011, Stephen Reynolds, 53, was jailed for a sexual attack on a five-year-old girl in the 99p Store in Havelock Street after the Adver ran his picture on the front page before arrest.

And in March, following an armed robbery at Ladbrokes in Regent Street, the paper used its online arm to plaster the face of a suspect across the web and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, prompting the young man to hand himself in just hours later.

But the paper has also been at the forefront of the big stories that shook the town, and sometimes the nation.

The murder of Sian O’Callaghan in March 2011 sparked a huge outpouring of grief for the popular 22-year-old and anger at her killer Chris Halliwell, 50, of Nythe.

The Adver brought readers almost every angle on the case first, including a ten-page special upon his sentencing to life imprisonment in October 2012.

And the paper also broke the news Dr Davinder Jeet Bains had been arrested over sexual abuse claims, sparking a dedicated NHS helpline and national newspaper and TV headlines.

Wiltshire Police superintendent Gavin Williams, formerly Swindon’s police commander, said local papers played a key role in aiding the police but also scrutinising them.

He said: “There’s a number of key things papers do, be it in terms of news appeals, community reassurance or just keeping people informed of what is going on in their town.

“Every year the paper helps publicise our messages about Christmas, New Year, Halloween and also our ongoing operations such as Op Atlantic and Op Harness, particularly dealing with people’s fears around drugs. That’s a really valid role.

“It also acts on behalf of the public to scrutinise what we do.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:44am Wed 14 May 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Well done Swindon Advertiser, its interesting that knife crime is mentioned in the article as there seems to of been a rise in that type of violent crime.
How many convictions have there been? Every other day there seems to be another knife wielding criminal that escapes prison time for one reason or another.

Is it any wonder that two shops have recently been attacked? No deterrent so why would they stop.
Well done Swindon Advertiser, its interesting that knife crime is mentioned in the article as there seems to of been a rise in that type of violent crime. How many convictions have there been? Every other day there seems to be another knife wielding criminal that escapes prison time for one reason or another. Is it any wonder that two shops have recently been attacked? No deterrent so why would they stop. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Wed 14 May 14

house on the hill says...

We need the 3 strikes and you are out rule and lock up the habitual criminals for good where they belong. If you cant behave and or contribute why should society put up with you.
We need the 3 strikes and you are out rule and lock up the habitual criminals for good where they belong. If you cant behave and or contribute why should society put up with you. house on the hill
  • Score: 6

5:20pm Wed 14 May 14

ChannelX says...

It seems that both the public and police actually have a very good grip on who the crimianals are.

In fact, there is a steady stream of them appearing in our courts on a daily basis.

The main problem is the judiciary - who constantly either allow convicted crimainals, often repeat convicted criminals, to stroll free from court to go and commit further crimes.

Even a casual glance at the Adver over an average week shows just how ludicrously unduly lenient our hapless judges have become.
It seems that both the public and police actually have a very good grip on who the crimianals are. In fact, there is a steady stream of them appearing in our courts on a daily basis. The main problem is the judiciary - who constantly either allow convicted crimainals, often repeat convicted criminals, to stroll free from court to go and commit further crimes. Even a casual glance at the Adver over an average week shows just how ludicrously unduly lenient our hapless judges have become. ChannelX
  • Score: 6

6:31pm Wed 14 May 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Fraud at Swindon college 3 years knife crime slap on the wrist and told to report to social worker once a week??
Just doesnt seem right to me.
Fraud at Swindon college 3 years knife crime slap on the wrist and told to report to social worker once a week?? Just doesnt seem right to me. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Wed 14 May 14

house on the hill says...

ChannelX wrote:
It seems that both the public and police actually have a very good grip on who the crimianals are.

In fact, there is a steady stream of them appearing in our courts on a daily basis.

The main problem is the judiciary - who constantly either allow convicted crimainals, often repeat convicted criminals, to stroll free from court to go and commit further crimes.

Even a casual glance at the Adver over an average week shows just how ludicrously unduly lenient our hapless judges have become.
Speaking to a judge a while ago they are under pressure on 2 fronts. Firstly they are running scared of badly named human rights act and the costs of retrials etc and that there is no space to lock these morons up so no point in that! Yes I still think they are useless but part of it does come from above on how they should sentence.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: It seems that both the public and police actually have a very good grip on who the crimianals are. In fact, there is a steady stream of them appearing in our courts on a daily basis. The main problem is the judiciary - who constantly either allow convicted crimainals, often repeat convicted criminals, to stroll free from court to go and commit further crimes. Even a casual glance at the Adver over an average week shows just how ludicrously unduly lenient our hapless judges have become.[/p][/quote]Speaking to a judge a while ago they are under pressure on 2 fronts. Firstly they are running scared of badly named human rights act and the costs of retrials etc and that there is no space to lock these morons up so no point in that! Yes I still think they are useless but part of it does come from above on how they should sentence. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

7:43am Thu 15 May 14

ChannelX says...

@house on the hill - that's all just a specious smokescreen. It's the UK judiciary themselves who, unlike any other across the whole of the EU, have decided to interpret the HRA in the way that they have. It is not something they have to do and the Act itself is so vague that they can essentially do as they please.

There are prison spaces available, that old argument doesn't wash.

The problem here is the ideological mindset of a judiciary that believes sending convicted criminals to prison 'doesn't work' because the only thing they are interested in is the criminal's best interests.

If you actually look at the Sentencing Council's Sentencing Guidelines, most are actually notably harsh at the upper and maximum guidelines - it's just that the judiciary always engages in a race to employ as many tactics as possible in order to sentence at the lowest end, or not even at all in many cases.

Go to any courtroom and see how aggravating features of crimes are blithely batted away and ignored... whilst mitigating features (much of which is unverifiable lies) are always accepted as being true and as much leniency offered towards them as is possible.

The government wants criminals locked up, the public wants criminals locked up and the police want criminals locked up. The problem is that the people who have the power to actually see them locked up aren't in favour of it.
@house on the hill - that's all just a specious smokescreen. It's the UK judiciary themselves who, unlike any other across the whole of the EU, have decided to interpret the HRA in the way that they have. It is not something they have to do and the Act itself is so vague that they can essentially do as they please. There are prison spaces available, that old argument doesn't wash. The problem here is the ideological mindset of a judiciary that believes sending convicted criminals to prison 'doesn't work' because the only thing they are interested in is the criminal's best interests. If you actually look at the Sentencing Council's Sentencing Guidelines, most are actually notably harsh at the upper and maximum guidelines - it's just that the judiciary always engages in a race to employ as many tactics as possible in order to sentence at the lowest end, or not even at all in many cases. Go to any courtroom and see how aggravating features of crimes are blithely batted away and ignored... whilst mitigating features (much of which is unverifiable lies) are always accepted as being true and as much leniency offered towards them as is possible. The government wants criminals locked up, the public wants criminals locked up and the police want criminals locked up. The problem is that the people who have the power to actually see them locked up aren't in favour of it. ChannelX
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree