Calls for police boss to address crime concerns in Kenilworth after PCSO leaves town

Jubilee House, where Kenilworth Town Council sits
Jubilee House, where Kenilworth Town Council sits

Kenilworth Town Council has called on Warwickshire Police's Chief Constable to address concerns over crime levels in the town after a PCSO left the town's force.

At a town council meeting yesterday (Thursday February 22), Cllr Dave Shilton (Con, Park Hill), put forward a motion to invite Martin Jelley to speak to the council about how Kenilworth will be policed.

His motion followed the news that Kenilworth PCSO Carl Whitehouse, who has served Kenilworth for seven years, has left the town's Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Cllr Shilton said: "There's more and more burglaries going on day by day, week by week.

"We've now lost Carl (Whitehouse), one of the finest community support officers that this town's seen. How long will it take for a person to be trained to Carl's knowledge of this town?

"Not only that - I understand we've only got half a policewoman now, because the rest of the time she's out in rural areas.

"Half a police officer and one PCSO to cover this town is not acceptable."

Cllr Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, St John's) pointed out the most recent crime figures published for Kenilworth in December actually show a 20 per cent decrease in crime, despite his previous calls for the town council to contribute more to the police budget.

He added: "I'm not so sure the chief constable would have a huge amount to add to the response we got when we wrote to the Police and Crime Commissioner last autumn about the level of policing in the town.

"Those of us at the recent Kenilworth Community Forum heard the police's view that, compared to other parts of the county, this is not a problem area."

And although Cllr Andrew Mobbs (Con, Park Hill) wanted to continue to talk with police, he did not want to unnecessarily scare people.

"I don't support us setting hares running and worrying people in the town. I will admit you can make statistics state what you wish.

"I just think we should be careful with the messages we send."

But Cllr John Cooke (Con, St John's) felt debating crime figures was not the issue.

He said: "It's not what the actual figures are, it's what the perception is.

"These crimes that have been reported have been quite stark. They've not been small, they've been some quite interestingly large crimes which have made headlines right the way across the area.

"We at least want the same policing as we've had up until now."

Warwickshire Police have been contacted for comment.