Crime commissioner pays a visit to Harborough

Police Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach, Chief Constable Simon Cole, resident Andy Thomas and PCSO Tim Harwood under The Old Grammar School, Market Harborough
Police Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach, Chief Constable Simon Cole, resident Andy Thomas and PCSO Tim Harwood under The Old Grammar School, Market Harborough

Arguably the most important person in county policing was in Harborough last week to speak to residents about their crime priorities

The elected Leicestershire Police Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach took a closer look at community safety in Harborough with a pair of visits to the town.

On Tuesday he attended a What Matters to You forum alongside the force’s top cop Chief Constable Simon Cole outside The Old Grammar School in Harborough.

The two-hour informal meet-and-greet session was open to all and dozens of residents took the opportunity to raise crime concerns.

Most of the people told Lord Bach they would like to see a more visible policing presence in the area.

“The problem is a funding gap,” he said. “We have lost 38 per cent of our police officers in the last 10 years or so.”

That event was followed on Friday by Lord Bach’s trip to the Harborough Lifeline Control Centre, which is now based at Market Harborough Police Station to see the CCTV system in action.

He was joined there by PC John Weston, Insp Becs Horsfall and Cllr Michael Rickman, the Harborough District Council portfolio holder for community safety.

The Lifeline service moved to the police station in Leicester Road in the autumn of 2015 and is a Harborough District Council-funded service.

The Commissioner also met district council leader Cllr Blake Pain.

Lord Bach said: “I was really pleased to be able to make these two visits although I have to say the weather was a good deal better on Friday than when we were out in the elements on Tuesday.

“I am grateful to those who braved the rain and turned out to see the chief and me on Tuesday. It was clear that they feel strongly about community safety and I was happy to see how the work between the police and our partners is delivering real results.”

“I was also pleased to have the opportunity to meet the officers and staff at the police station and the CCTV control room.

“It’s useful to hear first-hand accounts of the job and I would like to thank everyone for making me so welcome.”