Police and Crime Commissioner
Further to your Open Letter, the Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group would like to make the following comments:
Welwyn Parish is primarily a rural community, which centres round the village high street and amenities.
There are a large number of elderly residents and properties on the outer boundaries are somewhat remote from transport links. The roads are very dark at night and, with the exception of the village centre, quiet.
Over the past two or three years there has been a marked increase in petty crime and anti-social behaviour, attributable in many instances to local youths and, on occasion, to travelling community children.
For local businesses, there have been issues of shoplifting, nuisance, vandalism and harassment.
For residents, there have been issues of nuisance, vandalism (especially to vehicles), harassment, dangerous “wheelie” cycling on footpaths and against traffic, speeding at night on roads, general disturbance. For the elderly this is very frightening.
There have also been the usual burglaries and thefts from vehicles. Another issue that concerns residents is the very frequent illegal parking on the zigzags, and on the zebra crossing, outside Tesco in Welwyn Village. This takes place mostly in the evenings between 5:30 and 7:30 pm.
Residents appreciate that, in the great order of issues within the Welwyn Hatfield Borough, the above are of lesser importance to the gang, drug, knife and violent crimes that take place in other parts. They also understand that the police must give priority to these above the minor issues.
However, two years ago, you promised to increase community policing. Policing in Welwyn Village is minimal. The local PCSO has a vast area to cover; we rarely see him. Policing is, by nature of the limited resources and cuts, reactive as opposed to proactive.
Residents still reminisce to the “good old days” 3 years ago, when a local PC was regularly seen in Welwyn and was known by almost everyone. Old fashioned policing it may have been – but it worked. He knew the local youths and communicated with them. We had no noticeable anti-social behaviour, nor any of the issues that have ensued since the “Bobby was taken off the Beat”.
It is unlikely that residents would object to an increase in local taxation to cover more PCs and PCSOs, providing there was some evidence of better police support for local communities.
Chairman, Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group
Project Manager, Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group