Shropshire Star

Council leader calls for more police visibility on Telford streets

Leaders at Telford & Wrekin Council have called for more police visibility on the streets.

Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies

In a letter to West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner, council leader Shaun Davies and deputy leader, Richard Overton, have called for more to be done to restore the public's confidence in the police.

The letter set out three specific requests; crime plans for high streets, community-focused policing teams and an increase in policing numbers in line with population growth.

Councillor Davies praised the partnership work already being done under the Safer & Stronger Communities project – a £2.5 million investment to support communities with crime reduction - but said: “We are regularly told by residents that they do not see enough police on the streets, that police numbers are not rising, that reports of anti-social behaviour are not responded to and neither is there a good enough response to calls for help.

“We’re also told that confidence in the police amongst residents is falling. We cannot stand by and not raise these concerns, especially given continued rise in population. There needs to be change.”

Councillor Davies also highlighted the need to develop relationships further between police, the council and its communities to drive crime down.

Recorded crime data shows that in and around Telford town centre there has been an increase of nine per cent year-on-year, with a 71 per cent increase in theft offences alone.

Councillor Overton added: “We recognise the positive work of our local policing teams and how crime has changed.

"Officers on the front line are dealing with anything from helping people with mental health issues to cybercrime-related offences - we want them to have the support they need to combat the evolving shape of crime.”

The call also comes as data published from the PCC’s perceptions of policing survey shows residents in Telford and Wrekin were most likely to say crime and anti-social behaviour was a problem, 60 per cent were satisfied with the levels of policing in their local area and that 75 per cent of respondents from across West Mercia said there had been a decrease in the visibility of officers.

Councillor Davies also cited population growth being the fastest in the West Midlands and levels of deprivation in certain areas posing unique challenges for the borough.

He said: “The suggestion of additional police officers is welcomed, but we’re yet to hear of any details on what exactly their roles will be and when this promise will be delivered.”