"But we do have a PCSO!" Marlborough's Councillors lambast Police over lack of presence
"We need support - now." That was the message from Marlborough's Mayor, Councillor Lisa Farrell expressing the 'disappointment' of the Town Council at the level of Police presence in the Town.
"Anti-social behaviour is on the rise", "Drug taking is done in plain sight", "Anti-social behaviour is becoming widespread and there is no danger of getting caught" were some of the comments made by Councillors at last night's full session (Monday 25 June) of the Town Council in the Town Hall.
This arose under the Crime & Disorder section, where yet again there was no representative of the Police present to report to Councillors. The reason for last night's no-show was 'sick leave'.
"I'm very disappointed about the problems we are now getting due to the lack of Police in this town. People are feeling very let down." stated Mayor Cllr Lisa Farrell.
"There only 983 police over Wiltshire and we are very lucky to see a Policemen here". "Anti-social behaviour by young people is happening in different areas of the town, and one of the reasons it's happening is because they know about the lack of Police."
"I am very worried about this and I hope as a Town Council we can show that we are all worried about this - for the elderly of this town, for anyone of this town." she added.
One positive note was raised by the Town Clerk, Shelley Parker, who reported that the Police would be increasing the patrols in Priory Gardens. "Oh, very good! Pleased to hear that!" commented former Mayor, Cllr Noel Barrett-Morton.
"Why don't we get the Commissioner (PCC Angus Macpherson) to come and give a presentation to us about what's going on" suggested Cllr Guy Loosmore. "If his role is valid, then this is exactly the sort of situation that he needs to come and address to people directly".... "We need a conversation, and that's what he should be prepared to give" he added.
This is set against a background of Police cuts, the closure of Marlborough's Police Station in George Lane and replacement by something else - a 'touchdown point', possibly in the George Lane car park with a 'yellow telephone' outside for members of the public to use to reach Police when the unit is unmanned.
But, as one Councillor noted, there is a regular PCSO officer pounding the Marlborough beat. However, only when he's on duty and not on leave.