Applause for policing centres in Leighton Buzzard

Deputy chief constable Mark Collins, PCC Kathryn Holloway, head of force control Wayne Humberstone and superintendent Sharn Basra
Deputy chief constable Mark Collins, PCC Kathryn Holloway, head of force control Wayne Humberstone and superintendent Sharn Basra
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Plans to create two policing centres in Leighton Buzzard with eight constables stationed in the town were greeted with applause last night.

From September, it is understood a fully-fledged community policing station will operate out of Leighton Buzzard Fire station – where the eight officers would be based.

The officers will have full police powers and will be supported by PCSOs and special constables. Meanwhile an enquiry office is expected to open at the ambulance station at Bassett Road, manned by volunteers.

Bedfordshire PCC Kathryn Holloway told yesterday’s meeting at Leighton Buzzard Cricket Club that the move had been made after hearing residents’ concerns about lack of “visible policing”.

She said: “At the last public meeting, you were telling me your concerns about crime over the last three years. I was listening.”

Mrs Holloway added that the withdrawal of community policing had been “completely unacceptable” in the county’s third largest town.

These opinions were echoed by deputy chief constable Mark Collins, who told the meeting it had been “the wrong decision” to pull community policing four years ago.

Negotiations between Beds Police and the fire and rescue service are understood to be at an advanced stage, with roll-out expected to happen over the next ten weeks.

The force is keen to find volunteers to fulfil a number of vacancies in its local policing plan.

Read more in Tuesday’s edition of the Leighton Buzzard Observer.