Renewed calls for chief constable to meet Kenilworth Town Council to answer questions on crime

Kenilworth Town Council has renewed its call for Warwickshire Police's Chief Constable to meet them and address crime issues in the town after previously snubbing an invite.

Friday, 6th April 2018, 11:38 am
Updated Friday, 6th April 2018, 11:41 am
Kenilworth Town Council renewed its calls to invite Warwickshire Police's Chief Constable Martin Jelley to answer questions on crime in the town

Chief Constable Martin Jelley was previously invited to address the town council on crime issues after PCSO Carl Whitehouse left the Kenilworth Safer Neighbourhood Team after seven years.

But in response to this invite, Mr Jelley said he would send the Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe and Inspector David Kettle to hear concerns.

At a town council meeting held yesterday (Thursday April 5), councillors stood firm and reiterated why they wanted to speak to Mr Jelley.

Cllr John Cooke (Con, St John's) said: "We want reassuring that the policing in Kenilworth will improve following the changes in crime statistics. This matter needs to be dealt with at the highest level.

"Our case is quite simple - we want to know what the Chief Constable is going to do to improve policing, because the people in Kenilworth are worried."

Other councillors spoke about how the statistics did not necessarily match up with people's perceptions of crime.

Cllr Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, St John's) said: "The most recent statistics show a 13 per cent reduction in the number of reported crimes year-on-year.

"That doesn't fit with what I think we all hear on the doorstep from people. It's the perception versus the reality that we need to address."

But Cllr Dave Shilton (Con, Park Hill) was adamant that the Chief Constable had questions to answer.

He said: "It's not people thinking we've got a problem - we have got a problem. Let's admit it, we've got half a policewoman and one PCSO. That's all we've got to protect the public.

"I'm disgusted with it. It's time the Chief Constable stood up and answered the questions that us elected members have for him on Kenilworth. That's where I represent."

And Cllr Felicity Bunker (Con, Park Hill) felt some of the problems came from the outdated perception that Kenilworth was 'a safe place'. She also said to Cllr Shilton she had been assured that Kenilworth's sole police officer, Pc Anna Brown, did in fact cover Kenilworth full time.

She added: "It was thought that Kenilworth is a safe place and we don't need police officers here beacuse everybody behaves themselves.

"But that is no longer the case. We are adjacent to motorways and quick getaways, we're not far from Coventry and Birmingham as well. We are perceived as a soft touch.

"We need to tell the Chief Constable in no uncertain terms that it's not good enough for our town. We want proper policing."