Thank you to all those who participated recently in my policing survey. I had around 500 responses and it is really interesting and useful to hear the views of local people. The key findings are:
- 95% of people support my campaign to retain an operational police station in Corby;
- 94% of survey respondents feel that PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) have had a positive role in making the town safer;
- However, 70% of respondents feel that the police presence and visibility in the town is insufficient at present. Many people commented that they thought that too many police patrols comprise officers in vehicles, rather than ‘walking the beat’;
- 72% of people think there is a link between the quality of street lighting and levels of crime;
- The top three areas that you wanted as priorities for the police were: crime prevention, addressing anti-social behaviour and stopping assaults and violent acts. In addition to this, many people raised concerns about traffic problems and parking issues in several areas of the constituency.
I will be sharing these findings with the police to let them know what you think. The high level of support for my campaign to retain an operational police base in Corby will really help to show the strength of feeling on this issue. Already the campaign is having an impact. The Police Commissioner has made a public statement that there are no immediate plans to close Corby Police Station. I am pleased to have provoked this reassurance but if you look carefully at his words it is clear where his future intentions lie:
- Land has already been purchased at Kettering for a new police centre to serve Kettering and Corby in terms of CID and emergency response services;
- The Commissioner is counting on savings from downgrading Corby in his financial plan;
- Some suspects are now being transported to Northampton to be charged and held in custody.
Very senior police officers have stated clearly to me that Corby Police Station will close in the future. There is talk of a much more limited, alternative provision in the town but a ‘front desk’ is not the same as having a proper operational police station. It is not acceptable for Corby to become the largest town in the whole country without a proper operational station. I will keep campaigning for the truth about plans for Corby Police Station and will press for the Police Commissioner to properly share his plans and consult with local people.
Corby has become much safer over the past decade and crime has fallen. Just lately, however, there has been a worrying number of violent crimes.
I believe that our local police and PCSOs are doing their best with the resources they have. Nevertheless, many residents have expressed concerns to me about police presence, response times and related issues such as poor streetlighting and the need for CCTV in some areas.
One of the biggest concerns that I have is about the future of Corby Police Station. The Northants PPC has said that it is outdated and that he plans to close it. The wind-down has already started. For example, the police have been told recently to take suspected criminals to Northampton to be charged and detained, instead of using Corby. This is a waste of valuable police time and takes police away from the town.
If Corby police station is closed, then this will only get worse.
I strongly believe that Corby needs an operational police station and I am determined to fight for this.
I would like to know if you agree with my campaign to retain an operational police station in Corby and also to hear your feedback about other policing and community safety issues. Please would you fill in the survey below, or click here to open it in a new window.
One of my 6 pledges is to work for safer communities by pushing for more police and PCSOs on our streets and pressing for streetlights to be turned back on.
I raised these issues with Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds when I took him for a walkabout in Corby last week.
We discussed local initiatives to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and agreed on a number of ways of working together in the future, such as a shopwatch scheme. We also discussed policing needs across the towns and villages of East Northamptonshire.
One particular issue I raised with the Commissioner which I am very concerned about is the future of the police station in Corby. Read the rest of this entry »