'˜Please give our town a greater police presence'
A Dewsbury councillor is calling on the region's police boss to put more resources into the town centre.
Coun Paul Kane, for Dewsbury East, has written to West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson to highlight community concerns over the town’s police presence.
He said: “What is your intention to improve policing and the fear of crime in Dewsbury town centre?”
Speaking to The Reporter Series, Coun Kane said he had put concerns from residents, market traders, retailers and councillors about a lack of officers to the PCC “for years”.
He said: “The problem with Dewsbury town centre is the lack of police there.
“Recent budget cuts have made it even worse. While the police run initiatives in the area, there is no permanent police presence in the town centre anymore. It’s not acceptable.”
Coun Kane said he wanted to see more police to tackle issues including street drinking, anti-social behaviour and shoplifting. He said: “If they don’t police the town properly, people are put off coming in. And if they don’t come in, there’s no money being spent here.
“And if there’s no money being spent, that isn’t beneficial to our local economy or to regeneration. It’s just a downward spiral.”
Mr Burns-Williamson said officers and partners had recently carried out a “hugely successful” campaign to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
He said: “West Yorkshire Police are looking at plans to increase and sustain their presence in the town centre and I think the results from this innovative operation with partners. which I know the divisional commander for Kirklees is supporting, speak for themselves.
“It is great to see such positive partnership working to tackle key issues at a local level to ensure communities are safe and feel safe.”