Police numbers have fallen rapidly, crimes are not being reported apparently because it would seem to be a waste of time.
The police helicopter had been deployed several items for ‘minor’ offences in just a few days, and street crime in Salisbury is growing in numbers and type, allegedly.
Valley News asked the Police and Crime Commissioner Angus MacPherson, and the Chief Constable Kier Pritchard to comment.
Chief Constable Pritchard said: “It is disappointing to hear that some residents may have concerns about their local policing service. Here in Wiltshire, local policing is at the heart of everything we do and we have been very pro-active in publicising our commitment to this through Community Policing.
“We always encourage members of the public to give us feedback, and I would advise anyone with concerns to either contact their local Community Policing Team or attend one of the regular Area Board meetings.
“With regard to the specific concerns about Salisbury, I have spoken to the Inspector there and have been re-assured that we have not seen a rise in street crime: in actual fact, there is an indication that we may have seen a drop in crime overall.
“It is disheartening to hear that some residents may feel there is “no point” in reporting crime. This is absolutely not the case. The only way we can build up a true picture of crime in Wiltshire and Swindon is if people report this to us, by either calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. We rely on this data, so that we know how to respond to issues and how best to effectively resource and police our area.”
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “Since 2010, Wiltshire Police has received £19 million less from central government, but has been responding to more crimes and supporting more members of the public year on year.
“The increase in the policing part of local council tax of £1 a month for the average property will provide an additional £3 million, which means the 445 police officers and 131 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Community Policing Teams (CPTs) will be protected from the savings that still need to be made.
“The Force has recently been recruiting officers, PCSOs and volunteer Specials, and I am hopeful of being able to invest a substantial sum into CPTs next year.
“I will continue to fight for fair funding for Wiltshire so that we get a reasonable share of the national funding pot.
“It is also useful to bear in mind that some roles, such as local crime investigators, have been ‘civilianised’, and that our officers and staff work closely with partner agencies to protect vulnerable children and adults.”
Valley News is grateul for the responses and hope it will re-assure readers, and deter would-be villains in our rural and urban areas. We welcome your comments.