Commissioner to give update on the policing of Leighton-Linslade to town councillors this afternoon

"We want to make sure we are not forgotten"

Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:14 pm

Members of Leighton-Linslade Town Council are holding a virtual meeting with Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner this afternoon, as they eagerly await to hear his future plans.

Councillors and PCC Festus Akinbusoye will meet via Microsoft Teams at 1pm to discuss the force's aims in Leighton-Linslade and the wider county.

It will also be a chance for councillors to put key questions to the PCC, including queries about a police hub and recruitment.

PCC Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, and Cllr Steve Jones. Photos: Bedfordshire Police/LLTC.

Councillor Steve Jones, Leader of the Conservatives, said: "It's so we can have an update about what's been happening since he was elected and what his plans are for Leighton-Linslade.

"Part of it will be about his schemes for helping the youth, and I know he's got a number of other schemes that he's trying to make changes to; for example, about how police are dispatched."

Cllr Jones is keen to hear any updates about plans for a policing hub, as the Leighton-Linslade Community Policing Team is currently based in a temporary building near the town centre.

He said: "It will all come down to cost depending on what's available. I know it won't be a fully equipped police station and I can understand the reasons why."

On a positive note, Cllr Jones noted that the force's night-time patrols have already been extended - until midnight on Friday and Saturday, while it has also increased on Thursday.

"But we want to make sure we are not forgotten," he added. "I think the PCC is still finding his feet slightly. At the moment I haven't got any complaints, apart from the amount of time its taken for him to come and talk to us. I know he and Andrew Selous MP have been fighting to get the funding increased which we wholly support."

Cllr Jones would also like to know when new recruits will be added to the Community Team, who are "one or two" members down at the moment.

He said: "It's partly about recruitment, although that's more one for the Chief Constable."

Cllr Russ Goodchild, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, told the LBO: "If I get the chance to speak, I shall be picking up on the point about provision of a police hub in the town, a concern raised with Minister Kit Malthouse but omitted from his promised letter to the Chief Constable that was sent six months to the day after our meeting with him in February.

"This is an important issue to us as the PCC in his election literature promised to do something about the lack of such a public facing facility in Leighton Buzzard and has reneged on it since.

"However, I don’t hold much faith in the PCC’s intentions as he stated in one of his ‘meet the parishes’ virtual meetings soon after he as elected that 'he had the same mind as the Chief Constable', which is disappointing as the Chief Constable has no intention of spending money on a police hub to give officers serving in Central Bedfordshire’s largest town proper accommodation.

"I also have a concern that we are not getting the additional 100 officers that the Minister spoke about as all we have seen is a trickle of one or two warranted officers to date."

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