Shipston Town Council invited Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe, to its March meeting, following the theft of the cashpoint from the Co-Op store. Councillors and members of the public were given the opportunity to put questions to the Commissioner, Inspector Dave Kettle and PC Craig Purcell.
Philip Seccombe explained that he had raised the police element of the council tax precept to its maximum level to fund 100 additional officers and police staff in Warwickshire, to be recruited over the next 12 months. The additional funding and resources will support a wide range of policing activities including safer neighbourhood teams, road and motorway officers, crime investigation and patrols.
Warwickshire Police is also setting up a new Rural Crime Team dedicated to tackling issues such as hare coursing, theft and other crimes, with a focus on prevention. More funding is also being put into tackling domestic violence, modern slavery and child sexual exploitation.
Warwickshire Police has been working as part of a comprehensive alliance with West Mercia Police, which will end in October. Warwickshire Police is now in the process of looking at new ways of delivering services, including on a standalone basis, working with other forces and external organisations, a new collaboration with West Mercia, or a combination of these options. Mr Seccombe said: “We are rebuilding how we deliver services from the bottom up. This is likely to mean we become more responsive to Warwickshire residents and deliver a strengthened service overall.”
Inspector Dave Kettle, who is responsible for 14 safer neighbourhood teams in South Warwickshire, provided a snapshot of the demands facing the force. In the 48 hours prior to the council meeting, the force had received over 800 calls, made nearly 60 arrests and recorded over 200 crimes across the county.
Officers work closely with neighbouring police authorities to share information and track criminals.
When asked whether we should expect more crimes of the type experienced by the Co-Op store, the Inspector’s view was that these sorts of crimes would most likely remain rare but that we can all help the police by sharing information, letting officers know when something doesn’t look right and by keeping each other informed to help prevent crime happening. Particular mention was made of the valuable role Neighbourhood Watch schemes can play in reducing the risk of crime.
Town Clerk, Georgina Beaumont, said: “The Town Council would like to thank Philip Seccombe and his officers for taking the time to talk to the town council and local residents. We are keen to work with the police to do what we can to reduce the risk of our residents becoming victims of crime.”