KEEPING a close eye on your neighbours is the key to cutting crime in our communities, a top West Yorkshire Police officer said.
Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Dodd visited the district last week and made it clear that residents’ knowledge of issues were imperative to tackling those people in the community that are involved in crime.
He patrolled the streets of Upton last Thursday after hearing from residents the issues that are troubling them - like anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and off-road biking - at Upton Village Hall.
And he pledged that local police would act on information - despite the massive budget cuts the force faces.
Asst Chief Const Dodd said: “We need a partnership approach to tackle these problems so we don’t just change the behaviour of the people involved, but change their mindset.”
He said crime had reduced in the past five years due to information given by residents to the neighbourhood police team, who acted upon it.
He told residents: “Despite the £100m savings the police have to make, I want to keep as many police and PCSOs visibly on the streets as we can.
“Things will get better, and they already have, but we will not get complacent. I will come back in six months and if it’s not better, you can hold me to account.”
Plans for a new youth club in the area, backed by the police, would be brought into action in partnership with Wakefield Council as a way to reduce anti-social behaviour, he said.
He added: “Positive action speaks a thousand words.”
The visit was part of a monthly scheme set up by the South East neighbourhood police team (NPT), where police visit each ward in the area to get feedback from residents and make their presence known around the streets.
Weekly meetings take place with the NPT’s Insp Geoff Carter and Wakefield Council staff to discuss concerns and try to find ways to reduce them.
Insp Carter said: “If we’re all willing to work together, there’s going to be significant improvements.”
In addition to the visit, PCSOs visited streets to gather information people may have.
And Wakefield Council’s Streetscene cleaned up rubbish in the area.