Leighton Buzzard police team don’t patrol after 10pm

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Residents of Leighton Buzzard’s Sandhills estate claim their area is being blighted by crime because police “won’t patrol the patch after 10pm”.

Families allege that since June last year there have been incidents “one after the other after the other”, including groups of teenagers being abusive to residents and people trying car/door handles, while on March 26 there was a gang of teenagers “running through Sandhills gardens and shouting abuse”.

Leighton Buzzard

Leighton Buzzard

One resident claimed: “If you need police in the daytime you may be in luck but when crime is actually taking place in the late evening/ early hours of the morning then police are absent.

“I have attended the public policing meeting held by the council and was told by police it’s only property and that life or death matters in Luton take precedence.

“Of course I understand people’s lives come first, but I pay my council tax for policing here - not Luton!”

Meanwhile, an LBO reader also tried calling both Central Beds Council and the police 101 number to report anti-social behaviour after an appeal from both organisations in this newspaper which urged people to report crime, particularly in relation to threatening and intimidating youths riding bikes through Waterborne Walk.

However, she claims that when she called the CBC anti-social behaviour team, it took six or seven times before she got through to someone - who was in waste management - and who suggested that she called the police. “What was the point in the council’s LBO appeal?,” she said.

Then, when the woman rang 101 to speak to the neighbourhood policing team the operator struggled to find the department.

The woman hasn’t received a call back.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman, said: “Leighton Buzzard has a dedicated community policing team which works incredibly hard solely serving the town.

“We are continuing to work closely with our partners at Central Bedfordshire Council, and would urge any residents or business owners to report incidents to us.

“The Community Policing Team are on duty until 10pm every night of the week, but policing in the town does not stop at that point.

“After 10pm, policing is supplied by our response teams who work out of Luton and Dunstable police stations.

“Response officers also have access to the Leighton Buzzard Policing Hub (at the fire station), working out of there when in the area.

“When we receive a call, we prioritise our resources based on what risk there is to life, whether the crime is still in progress, and the type of offence it is.

“Each call we receive is assessed on THRIVE – Threat, Harm, Risk, Investigative opportunity, Vulnerability and Engagement and resources are allocated accordingly.

“Where crimes are no longer in progress or if there is no immediate risk to the victim or those associated to them, response officers will not be deployed and an appointment will instead be made with the victim.

“I would like to reassure residents in Leighton Buzzard that we are dedicated to resolving issues around anti-social behaviour in the 
town.”

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of an ongoing problem with anti-social behaviour in Waterborne Walk for which we, in partnership with the police, have appealed for information.

“But we are not currently dealing with any ongoing issues of anti-social behaviour in the Sandhill’s area.

“Any new incidents should be reported to the police in the first instance.

“If residents have struggled to contact the council by telephone then they can also report any incidences of anti-social behaviour to ASBStat.NuisanceTeam@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.”

CBC and town councillor, Amanda Dodwell, added: “I am really sorry that some residents have encountered problems when contacting Central Beds Council to report anti-social behaviour.

“We do take ASB seriously, and I will look into what has gone wrong on this occasion.

“I would urge anyone who has had problems reporting ASB to contact me directly – amanda.dodwell@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk”