STRATFORD-upon-Avon is getting a second police constable on Monday to swell the ranks in the town despite strict government cuts to the force.
Trevor Hall, the town's longstanding PC and its only one at the moment, is retiring next month, but he’s being replaced by two new bobbies.
PC Simon Bennett is moving from the Alcester North patch, and PC Jenny Gee is coming over from Leamington.
Starting in Stratford on 30th September, the changes are taking place at the same time as Warwickshire Police officially allies with the neighbouring West Mercia force.
Government cuts mean by April 2015 Warwickshire Police need to save £10.1 million and West Mercia Police need to save £20.2 million, so the forces have joined some of their operations.
Thanks to a re-think of where PCs are deployed, Stratford is now getting more police coverage on the streets.
Insp Faz Chishty said: “The project team have looked at demand in terms of incidents, in terms of population, and in terms of crime levels,” he said. “When you look at the amount of crimes happening in Stratford town, it is higher than Alcester, Shipston, Wellesbourne, Southam.”
These areas all have one constable, but some patches in South Warwickshire have now been earmarked for a second.
Insp Chishty said: “Stratford, Warwick, North Leamington and South Leamington have all been given one more officer.”
As well as the two new PCs, Stratford police station on Rother Street is keeping Insp Chishty, district sergeant Richard Thomas, and the town’s seven police community support officers (PCSOs).
From Monday, these PCSOs will have ten additional powers. These include the power to detain, the power to seize drugs, and the power to issue fines for alcohol related offences. The hours that they can work has also been extended until midnight.
This year Stratford Town Trust gave the police £43,500 to pay for one and half extra PCSOs in the town. This amount was then matched by Warwickshire Police, which meant the town got three extra community officers.
Warwickshire Police have to apply for another grant if they want to keep the extra PCSOs and Insp Chishty is determined to keep his staff.
He said: “On paper, the demand is for just three PCSOs in Stratford. It is being consistently reviewed given the budgetary constraints but I am trying to work with the organisation and the Town Trust to keep the numbers up.”
Elsewhere in the district, Wellesbourne’s current police constable, Jim Butler, is going part-time and will be helped out from Monday by another part-time constable, PC Richard Groves. Insp Chishty said this change would give Wellesbourne more coverage on evenings and weekends.
He has even chosen to set up his office well away from any kind of police building—for the time being in a county-...
Now that a scheme to develop up to 800 homes on the site has been given official government backing, the proposals are e...
STRATFORD-on-Avon District is an attractive place to live and its population has grown rapidly over recent decades. &nb...