Fairford Town Council hits out at lack of police presence in town

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Fairford council hits out at lack of police presence in town Fairford council hits out at lack of police presence in town

FAIRFORD councillors have hit out at the lack of a police presence in the town and said they will not support the proposal to increase the amount residents pay as part of their council tax unless they see an improvement.

Police have proposed an increase of two per cent to their precept in Gloucestershire, meaning residents will face a rise in their council tax bills.

But at a meeting of Fairford Town Council this week, councillors hit back with many saying they were unimpressed with the current police service in the area.

“Have we got any police officers left over here?” asked Cllr Mark Wardle at the meeting. “We don’t see officers, we don’t see police points. We need to talk to Gloucestershire County Council.”

Fairford mayor, Cllr Caroline Mumford, said the council would draft a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner raising the issue.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Wardle said: “We, as residents, don’t have the option to not pay the precept but the council is going to write to the PCC and say that we are not supportive of the idea to put up the precept by two per cent unless we see the service seriously improved.

“I’ve heard it can take 20 to 30 minutes for police to arrive when they are needed in Fairford.

“In the end though, it’s up to the PCC how much the precept goes up by.”

A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police said he was disappointed to hear some people were dissatisfied with the police service as the team tried to be as visible as possible in the area.

“The community team in Fairford is led by a sergeant with a community beat officer and two police community support officers who work extremely hard to tackle the issues that matter to people and have very recently been out in the town giving out leaflets about shed and house burglaries,” he said.

“The officers also frequently hold surgeries and run a regular stall on the market to engage with residents.”

He added that the Fairford policing team was helped by the MOD police and backed up by response officers who are based at Cirencester but patrol all areas attending emergency incidents.

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