VICTIMS of anti-social behaviour are being called on to make a stand and speak out about yobs.
Unreported crime has been blamed for another scaling back of police, and now town councillors are determined to get residents reporting incidents so North Wales Police Authority takes notice.
Saltney town councillors reacted angrily to news their full-time PC was being replaced by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) last month.
After six weeks training, PCSO Daniel Hughes will now patrol the town’s streets while former community beat manager James Lang has been moved to Buckley to fill a vacancy there. Community beat manager Claire Fielding will remain in her post.
Cllr Terry Walker said: “With a population as large as Saltney and the crime and disorder we have, they cut our policing? It’s a retrograde step.
“A PCSO has little more powers than you or me. They can only make a citizens arrest and issue parking tickets.”
He said the failure of members of the public to report crimes means police can justify the move because recorded crimes fall below the reality.
He added: “We should put up notices telling people to report incidents of anti-social behaviour instead of hiding behind the curtains.”
Town Mayor Klaus Armstrong-Braun insisted policing had been made more local.
CBMs who had patrolled Saltney also covered Broughton, Hawarden, Penyfford and Kinnerton, the PCSO and CBM will now serve Saltney exclusively.
He said: “It’s a far better situation than it’s ever been before. I ask people to go out and talk to him about any problems.
“It gives the police intelligence and gets them more involved in the community.”
Saltney town councillor Veronica Gay devised a plan to encourage residents to speak out after many told her they had been victims of anti-social behaviour.
She said: “I contacted the neighbourhood wardens and asked if they would assist by producing and delivering a questionnaire asking anonymously for information.”
Cllr Gay added: “I really need as many of the questionnaires returned as possible.”
Residents can meet new PCSO Daniel Hughes at a community forum meeting on July 29 at Saltney Community Centre, Sandy Lane.