How a £40k budget helps to fight crime in Leighton

Police commisioner Olly Martins on the beat with PCSOs Elliot Weedon & Joel Driscoll in Waterborne Walk
Police commisioner Olly Martins on the beat with PCSOs Elliot Weedon & Joel Driscoll in Waterborne Walk

Incidents in Leighton Buzzard which have been dealt with thanks to a £40,000 annual town council budget for extra police patrols have been detailed.

A report to the council’s police liaison includes numerous issues which the police have been trying to keep a lid on through boots on the beat.

They include street dinking, shoplifting, burglary patrols in hotspots, extended market day patrols on Saturdays, pub checks, anti-social behaviour in parks and the town centre, illegal parking by taxis , truancy and problems with travellers.

The report lists incidents which Operation Dodford officers have attended between April and the end of June this year.

This included regular checks in Waterborne Walk where anti-social youths were seen climbing on shop roofs. A Section 59 vehicle warning was also given to a male riding a motorised petrol scooter inthe precinct, and a knife was recovered from Poundstretcher in another incident.

Lloyds Pharmacy and Superdrug both reported that a persistent male shoplifter released from prison had been making possible thefts from the shops.

There have also been checks of Vandyke Road Cemetery and Pulford Rec after reports of youths drinking and smoking down there at night.

A group of youths was also reported to be in the play area off Mill Road breaking the equipment.

Wilko in the High Street also reported problems with traveller youths shoplifting and abusing staff. Additionally, there have been ongoing problems with travellers at the top barrier in the High Street where the barrier worker has been getting abused for not letting them go down the High Street.

A police officer received a large amount of abuse and taunts after a male traveller was spoken to and advised in relation to driving through the town, while there was a bullying incident involving traveller youths in Parson’s Rec.

Elsewhere, officers ensured a market stall was closed down and reported to Trading Standards for selling foreign tobacco.

A well-known shoplifter along with two other unknown males were chased off after stealing meat from Tesco in Appenine Way. The bag of meat was discarded during chase and returned to the store.

Officers also visited the Black Horse Homeless Centre after female victim of domestic violence was worried that an ex- partner had been seen in the town centre contrary to conditions against him, and the police searched West Street for a youth with mental health issues who had threatened to kill his mum and brother. The youth was not found.

Patrols under Operation Dodford have also visited to Astral Park and Sandhills, paying particular attention to Bunting Drive and Reeve Close.