PARISH councillors are to call for more policing in rural areas.
They say residents people feel so threatened at times by anti-social behaviour they call off a visit to the local pub.
Nomansheath and District Parish Council is calling on the Cheshire Police Authority and the Cheshire Police to provide greater police coverage to rural areas and more support for existing rural officers.
Their plea comes in a motion to the annual meeting of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils on Thursday, October 23.
The council says officers are trying to cover “vast areas”.
Councillors also believe there should be a more dedicated approach to officers’ beats without the “frequent distraction” of covering events in the urban areas
They feel they should be an increased recruitment and deployment of Special Constables in rural areas.
The council argues that parishes in the Nomansheath district, “like many rural areas”, have become increasingly subject to anti-social behaviour over recent years.
“This behaviour culminates in numbers of young people, mainly male, hanging around the streets of Nomansheath, often in their motor cars or on motorcycles creating noise, nuisance and mess,” says the council.
“Such behaviour is often seen as intimidating with parishioners, particularly vulnerable senior citizens, feeling so threatened that they are at times unable to visit the local pub for fear of having to walk past or through such anti-social groups.
“Although the parish council recognises these problems cannot be solved by the police alone, it is a lack of any visible policing at crucial times which has exacerbated the situation and hence creates a vicious circle.
“The police are not seen in the parish even when a crime is reported, so residents do not report crimes therefore the police are never seen in the village.”
Councillors accept that “by working together it is well understood the police and the community can make life difficult for criminals” but argue this can only be successful if there is some police presence which local people can contact.
Current crime threatening rural areas includes rural raiders, targeting both farm and domestic properties, fuel thieves, thefts of farm and garden machinery and gardening and DIY tools, opportunistic and distraction burglaries, bogus and rogue tradespersons and sneak-in thefts according to the council.
They point to a 17% increase in the police council tax and an intention by the police authority to improve and increase neighbourhood policing.
“Will rural policing be fairly and proportionately increased?” asks the parish council.
The motion is to be proposed by Cllr Peter Guildford and seconded by the council's clerk Ann Wright.