MEASURES to tackle rural crime, cracking down on drug and alcohol issues, and the increased use of CCTV, have been welcomed by Oswestry Town Council.
The local authority’s views were presented in its response to the draft Police and Crime Plan for 2013-17, which was recently unveiled by the new Police and Crime Commissioner, Bill Longmore.
But alongside the praise, councillors have called for more details of the strategies, as well as urging for improved communication channels to update victims of crime, additional recruitment from ethnic minorities to assist with engagement, and increasing public knowledge and acceptance of the PCC role.
They also voiced concerns over the extra pressure being placed on officers through resource constraints, the issues that may arise from taking on additional special constables and community volunteers, and the time taken to transport prisoners due to the lack of custody suites at Oswestry Police Station.
Oswestry Town Mayor, Councillor Martin Bennett, who compiled the response with Councillor Stephen Haworth, a former police officer in Lancashire, said: “As Oswestry is the second largest town in Shropshire I hope Mr Longmore will take them into consideration. It has been a very short consultation period and again it has been totally internet based; it is not as if copies of this document were made available in Oswestry Library.”
He added: “The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and we will have to see what measures Mr Longmore brings. It will have to be updated as well; as with everything else due to what works and what does not work.”
Mr Longmore said: “I am keen to take into account as many views as possible on my proposals and having listened to concerns regarding the short consultation period I have looked to see how it might be extended.”
He presented the draft plan and proposed zero per cent precept increase to the Police and Crime Panel on February 1, following a public consultation.
The finalised plan will be released on March 31.