The imminent induction of 20 newly-trained Special Constables dedicated to Leighton-Linslade will have a real ‘impact’ on the town, says the Sergeant.
The announcement was made at Leighton-Linslade Town Council’s Annual Parish meeting last Monday where councillors were joined by top police chiefs who answered questions on policing and crime in the town.
It was also an opportunity for Chief Supt Jim Saunders, Chief Insp Tanya Coulson and Sgt Andy Rivers to update the public on the latest recruitment drive since Beds Police lifted the three-year freeze in October.
Sgt Rivers said: “That is quite impactive. In the last seven months Specials clocked 28,000 policing hours and executed over 100 warrants.
“I am very impressed that many will be based to work in the town – it can only be a good thing for Leighton-Linslade and the surrounding villages.
“The feeling in the room was very positive; it was a good, productive meeting held in the lovely new Astral Park Sports and Community Centre. It’s going to be great for the local community.
“There was good attendance by both the public and councillors who were there to raise any concerns or worries they had after Chief Supt Jim Saunders had made his presentation.
“We were questioned on the spike and a variation in the number of burglaries in January this year, but what we have seen is how quickly we were able to react by working with the community and the LBO to gather intelligence and target officers where there is criminal activity.”
By April there will be a total of 206 Special Constables in Beds Police force, with a target of 322 by the same month in 2015 and eventually 500 across the county.
There are also 76 PCs scheduled to begin their training in April, and expected to be on the beat by September – despite the news that there is still 3.2 per cent cuts due for Beds Police in 2015/16, which equates to £3.7 million.
And the use of cameras worn on the body of officers across Beds Police was discussed at the meeting, as well as the secured £8million funding from the Home Office that is due to be shared with Herts and Cambs Police between now and April 2015 to use on mobile technology.
Sgt Rivers said: “This is about using more technology to keep officers out on the beat, which I am over the moon about.”
Last Monday’s meeting was chaired by the Mayor of Leighton-Linslade, Councillor Amanda Dodwell, who said: “I am delighted to see so many members of the public here this evening, and I am pleased that they have had the opportunity to discuss their concerns about local policing with Beds Police.”