Rising crime levels in Kenilworth have caused its town councillors to express their ‘serious concerns’ about the problems and to request an increased police presence in the town.
Kenilworth Town Council agreed to write a letter to Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe, asking him to provide assurances that ‘appropriate resources’ will be available to increase police visibility and help ease residents' fears.
The motion for the council to write to Mr Seccombe was put forward by Cllr Richard Hales (Con, Park Hill) at a meeting on Thursday November 23.
He felt crimes such as burglaries, assaults and robberies in Kenilworth were not being dealt with appropriately, and thought the rise had become a ‘strategic issue’ for Warwickshire Police.
Although Cllr Hales had concerns about crime levels in the town for a while, he said the armed robbery at Tesco Express in Leyes Lane on Tuesday November 7 was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.
Three robbers armed with hammers and crowbars and wearing balaclavas stole thousands of pounds from security guards as they were delivering cash to the shop.
Cllr Hales added: “It’s just unacceptable. You can’t keep having these levels of incidents in Kenilworth and do nothing about them.”
Although Mr Seccombe has not yet received the council's formal letter, he said: “I have yet to receive the letter from Kenilworth Town Council and so cannot comment on any specific points they may wish to raise, but I do share their concern over the recent increases in crime, both in Kenilworth and more widely across the county.
"I have written to the Chief Constable asking for an understanding of what is causing the rises and what steps are being taken operationally to address them.
“Ultimately, how and where police officers are deployed is an operational decision for the Chief Constable and it is not the case that I can simply direct the force to station more officers to cover Kenilworth. However, I do know that the Chief Constable keeps policing resources under regular review to ensure they meet the changing nature of crime and I will raise any specific concerns town councillors may have with him at my weekly meeting.
“While I fully accept that every area would like to see more police officers on patrol in their streets, this can only be achievable if the funds are there to pay for that additional uplift in staffing. I have been clear in my Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire that I want to make Warwickshire Police more efficient so that I can invest in front line policing, keeping neighbourhood policing as the bedrock.
“There do however remain considerable pressures on policing. Financial savings still need to made year-on-year and, with uncertainty over the exact nature of police funding in the future, this means it is unrealistic for me to be able to give concrete assurances on overall future police numbers.
"I am however continuing to invest heavily in technology which supports officers in their roles, allowing them to be more effective, efficient and visible within local communities."