Ray Crowther

About Ray Crowther

Ray Crowther is here Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am with the mid-morning show – Stafford‘s community hub, a daily mix of consumer advice, topical local discussion, current affairs and good music.

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Operation Safenet – Continuing to keep our young people safe


Staffordshire Police have a dedicated proactive online child abuse investigation team, Operation Safenet, to protect vulnerable young people.

The team actively pursue those who present a risk to children online across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Such is the team’s success that Operation Safenet was adopted across the region and is now a well-established part of everyday policing.

Since its creation in July 2015 they have been involved in 532 incidents, these are made up of criminal investigations, intelligence gathering and safeguarding.

Each week the team uses the latest digital investigative techniques to identify where illegal images are being viewed, then using this intelligence apply to a magistrate for a search warrant, to allow the police and digital forensic experts to raid the home address to seize evidence and arrest those involved.

Since its launch 183 warrants have been obtained from the courts and actioned across the county.

The 532 incidents the team have been involved in have led to 168 arrests, with an additional 41 suspects being interviewed under police caution.

DS Steve Chadwick, from the team, said: “The investigations have led to 106 offenders being convicted with offences against children with a further 58 suspects still being currently investigated.

“My officers have gained significant skills in this area of policing and working with Digital Forensic Experts and the Crown Prosecution Service have been able to present evidence to such a standard that we have achieved a 100% conviction rate at court.

“Furthermore the efforts of my officers have identified 75 suspected offenders who reside out of Staffordshire with this information being passed to colleagues to action.

“Whilst we hope these figures reassure the public that those individuals who pose a risk to children are being rooted out and held to account, without doubt the most important aspect of this work are the children who have been safeguarded as a result of our proactive approach.

“Of those suspects dealt with, 275 children were identified as being in direct contact with the suspect and were therefore referred to children’s services.  What we cannot measure, but equally as important, are those children that we have prevented from becoming future victims.”

If you have any concerns about a young person, or wish to report a crime, please call Staffordshire Police on 101, or alternatively call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111. You can also use the anonymous reporting form here,

For help and advice please see the following websites:




Revving Up for the Classic Car Show at Stafford Castle


Organisers of the classic car show at Stafford Castle are inviting owners of veteran, vintage, classic and collectors’ cars to book their precious vehicles into the show.

The event, sponsored by RPH Motor Repairs from Astonfields, also gives owners the chance to enter their vehicles into the competition. Awards are presented to the ‘Best Vehicles in Class.’ Categories for the competition are: Pre 1920; 1920s and 30s; 1940s & 50s; 1960s and 70s; Future Classics; Best Vintage Tractor; Best Classic Commercial; Best Military Classic; and Best Vintage Motorcycle.

Thousands of visitors are expected at the show which is organised by Stafford Borough Council and is now in its 13th year.

Activities on the day include craft stalls, a miniature car museum, children’s quizzes and mini Land Rover rides; as well as entry to the Visitor Centre and Castle Keep.

The show runs from 11am to 5pm on Sunday 30 July. Admission to the event will be free of charge and car parking costs £3. Entrance to the Castle and Visitor Centre is also free.

For more information or to book your vehicle into the show contact Mark Hartwell, Heritage Sites Manager at Stafford Borough Council on 01785 619130 or email: [email protected]

For further event information visit, http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/heritageevents



Stafford ladies take on epic London to Paris bike ride for Katharine House Hospice.

Bev Deb

This July, hospice supporters Bev Power and Debbie Wright will be taking on the iconic 300 mile London to Paris bike ride in a bid to raise £3,000 for Katharine House Hospice.

Both from Stafford, Debbie is 46 and works on the Chemo Unit at Stafford Hospital, while Bev is taking on this challenge to mark her 50th birthday this year!

Debbie said “We did a cycling challenge in Kenya last year but this year we wanted to do something closer to home and our hearts.  Katharine House is likely to be a place where people we know will need to use.  Some of our friends and family have been affected by cancer and cared for at the hospice and as part of my job I speak to a lot of people who use the hospice services.”

This incredible cycle connects two of the world’s most chic capital cities. The ladies will make their way through beautiful English villages and into the stunning countryside of rural France, passing historical landmarks and famous battlefields until they reach Paris. Cycling around 95 miles a day over 3 days, the challenge is no mean feat.

Events Fundraiser at Katharine House Hospice, Lisa Carson said: “London to Paris is a massive challenge for the ladies and we are so thrilled that they have chosen to take on this epic journey in support of the hospice.  We really can’t thank them enough.  The money they have raised will make a huge difference to the lives of our patients and their families”.

If you would like to help the ladies reach their £3000 target you can sponsor them by visiting:


If you would like to take on a fantastic  challenge like this one for your local charity call Lisa Carson, Events Fundraiser on 01785 270808 or visit www.khhospice.org.uk/events.

Katharine House Hospice provides free care and support for adults and their families who are coping with progressive illness across mid-Staffordshire. It relies upon the kindness of the local community to help generate over 75% of the funds needed to run its vital range of services.



Parking orders on an estate next to the route of Stafford’s new western access road have now been introduced.

Parking restrictions have been introduced on roads around Castlefields, to the west of Stafford town centre. Double yellow lines are being installed along the length of Martin Drive – which will form the gateway to the new Stafford Western Access Route off the Newport Road. In addition, there will be double yellow lines laid along Redgrave Drive and both double yellow and time restricted parking along Rose Hill.

Residents have been assured this week that the impact of the restrictions will be carefully monitored, with amendments being made if necessary.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington, who is also the local county councillor, said: “The new parking restrictions are being introduced this week and residents will be able to see a real difference. We will of course be closely monitoring the situation and further consulting with people living in the area. We’ll also be checking that parking is not displaced elsewhere. We have introduced the restrictions along Martin Drive as this will form the gateway to the Stafford Western Access Route from Newport Road. We are also keen to potentially extend new regulations to other areas which may be affected by parking displacement. We know parking has been an issue on these roads and so the new restrictions should improve visibility and safety.”

You can find out more regarding the plans for Stafford’s new western access road HERE.

The new access road  will pave the way for multi-million pound development, new jobs and relieve town centre congestion has reached another milestone.


Staffordshire County Council has now started the process of buying land along the Stafford Western Access Route, which will link the A518 Newport Road and the A34 Foregate Street north of the town centre. The new road will enable thousands of homes to be built and the delivery of the £500 million Stafford Gateway development. It will also ease congestion in the town centre, particularly around the railway station as it prepares for HS2 connection. The process of purchasing all sections of land could take up to 18 months.

The new road will be built on land between Martin Drive, Doxey Road and Foregate Street and is expected to be completed in 2021. Work to improve the Foregate Street and Browning Street junctions was completed last month. Other preparatory work for the road has included a flood compensation scheme at Doxey Marshes, which recently picked up an award from the Institution of Civil Engineers.



999 service is 80-years-old today




Today, marks 80 years since the emergency call system 999 was launched in London on 30 June 1937. It was the first of its kind in the world, introducing a special signal indicating to the telephone operator that the call must receive immediate attention.

The 999 call system was introduced after a two-year inquiry, following the deaths of five women in a fire at Wimpole Street in London in 1935.

The choice of 999 was because in the dark or in dense smoke 999 could be dialled on the old rotary telephones by placing a finger against the dial stop and rotating the dial to its full extent three times.

The first week of the service saw it take more than 1,000 calls. They were indicated by red lamps and a loud klaxon. The first call was made by a Mrs Beard in Hampstead, north London, and led to the arrest of burglar Thomas Duffy.

Now, Staffordshire Police takes about 146,000 999 calls a year. Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning are the busiest times for 999 calls and we have a target of answering 90% within 10 seconds.

Matt Goldsmith, Contact Services Manager, said: “We urge people who have dialled 999 for a genuine reason and then decided that the police are not required to stay on the line and speak to one of our call handers. We will always call them back to make sure all is ok and this can take time and impact on others who have an emergency.”

A video ‘When to call 999’ is available at: