A fiery exchange of insults were hurled across the table during a meeting between Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Leighton-Linslade Mayor at the town’s police station this evening.
The scheduled event was the official handover of a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling for a permanent police presence, presented by Councillor Amanda Dodwell.
Commissioner Martins said Mrs Dodwell’s police petition is “based on false premise” and slammed it as a “political stunt”.
“I am disappointed that people in Leighton-Linslade have been led to believe that there is a danger of there not being a permanent police presence in the town.
“There is no such proposal and there never has been.
“There will be a permanent police presence, but it might not be in the old Victorian station that we’ve got.
“I have had some pretty interesting conversations with councillors from Central Beds Council about the prospect of sharing premises with them and with the fire brigade.
And considering the cuts that we are all facing in our budgets it is obviously a very efficient way of using resources if we share offices.”
Speaking after the meeting was brought to an end, Mrs Dodwell said: “I was really surprised. I thought he would have been interested to hear the views of a large market town and the signatures represented by the people who have signed the petition.
“In fact I was shocked that he didn’t take it seriously.
“He was supposed to collect the petition last week, but he couldn’t even take it seriously enough to come here, he just made an excuse of ‘shifting priorities’.
“But what is more important than 5,000 signatures? We are the third largest town in Bedfordshire and our views are just as important as those in Luton and Bedford, but I feel that he forgets that.”
> Reporter Amanda Devlin was at the meeting. Follow her live tweets @LBOamanda