Buckley mayor slams ‘invisible’ police for failing to tackle town’s anti-social behaviour problems
A town mayor has described North Wales Police as an “invisible entity” after slamming the force for failing to tackle anti-social behaviour problems.
Buckley mayor Cllr Arnold Woolley said there had been a number of cases where crimes had been reported, but officers had not come out to investigate.
It included a recent incident where a vehicle leased by Buckley Town Council was completely destroyed by vandals.
Cllr Woolley, who also represents the Buckley Bistre East ward on Flintshire Council, claimed that on each occasion the force seemed reluctant to send officers out as it would result in a crime reference number being issued.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the North Wales Police and Crime Panel held yesterday (Monday, 14 December), he challenged the region’s chief constable on whether crime was being under-reported.
He said: “Speaking for the people of Buckley, frankly the view is that the police force is an invisible entity.
“Recently, we had one of our residents trying to report what was basically anti-social behaviour and having great difficulty in getting any form of response, because they didn’t want to give him the incident number.
“That might be an isolated incident, but a few weeks ago Buckley Town Council has on lease a vehicle which we use as our operations network when we hold events like the fireworks display and Christmas fireworks and fun days.
“That’s sat in the back of our yard at the town hall. That was thoroughly and completely vandalised and destroyed and had to be got rid of.
“The regrettable thing about it was that when our officers phoned and requested scenes of crime to come out, the answer they got was a great deal of reluctance on the grounds that if they attended, there would have to be an incident number.
“Chief constable, you speak about numbers of crimes being downwards. Is that because there is a reluctance to record them on the part of your staff?”
Carl Foulkes, Chief Constable for North Wales Police, denied that attempts were being made to avoid recording crime.
He said confusion may have been caused by the fact that CSI teams only go out to incidents where they believe they are likely to find forensic evidence.
Addressing the claims, he said: “Around the vehicle, that’s criminal damage. It is a crime, it should be recorded as a crime and if it hasn’t been then if you’d like to send me the details through, I’ll make sure it has been.
“CSI is deployed if they think there is there is a likelihood of a forensic recovery. We will not send to every incident.
“We will send them to burglaries, but with vehicle crime it’ll only be if we believe there is going to be a forensic recovery at that scene, which is the decision we’ve made.
“It may be that the language that was used was inappropriate councillor, I can apologise for that.
“There is absolutely nothing for me around not recording, quite the reverse as we still do reviews around our recording of crime, and we’re still pretty happy about where we are.”
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com