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Why is ‘high-priority’ area lacking a permanent PC?
A COUNCILLOR has raised concerns over what he sees as a lack of community policing in a high-priority area.
Worcester city councillor Alan Amos, who represents Warndon and Gorse Hill, said Tolladine has been without a permanent local policing officer for three years, whereas other areas, such as Warndon, are well policed.
Coun Amos said Warndon, which is also a high priority area, has a local policing officer and two community support officers (CSOs), and believes the situation in Tolladine, which is in the Gorse Hill ward, should be the same.
The local sergeant for the area, Jill Fowler, has also been temporarily moved from the area by West Mercia Police to fill another post, but has now been replaced for a six-month period.
A spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said: “The local policing officer for the Gorse Hill area is currently absent through illness but the area is still being covered by officers from other local policing teams and we are seeking a longer-term solution to resolve the issue.”
But Coun Amos, who has raised his concerns with senior police officers, said the “foundation” of community policing is having people in the area who get to know it and build relationships in the community in order to tackle and prevent crime.
He said: “The foundation is that we have people there for a while who get to know the community, if you have a PC vacancy for three years, there’s no way it can work.
“If they are telling me they are committed to it, by their actions they cannot be.”
Coun Amos said Warndon is now getting a much better reputation as more money has been put into schemes and skills training in the area, and the local policing team has reported it as being “relatively quiet” on the crime front.
But he added: “It’s not going to last if you don’t have people who know the area and a PC vacancy.
“CSOs are supposed to be the eyes and the ears of the PC but in Gorse Hill there’s not a PC to be the eyes and ears of.
“I think we’re being short-changed, basically.
“We’re designated a priority area and we’re getting third-rate treatment.”