SENIOR police officers have met with Crewe and Nantwich Borough councillors to discuss mounting fears over anti-social behaviour.
Conservative members Brian Silvester and Margaret Simon sat down with Cheshire Police Chief Constable Peter Fahy and Chief Superintendent Phil Thompson following a series of high-profile incidents involving teenage gangs in Crewe.
At the meeting, Cllr Silvester and Cllr Simon sought reassurances that public concerns over community policing were being treated as a priority.
Cllr Silvester said: 'Anti-social behaviour is still on the increase in our borough and remains a top concern for residents.
'As councillors we have heard from residents who are afraid to go out at night, and others who tell us that their communities are not as safe as they believe they should be.
'Another issue is the way reported incidents are dealt with. Many residents find it difficult to contact the police and when they do not a lot happens.'
But Cllr Silvester added that the talks had been positive and both parties were in agreement about how to address the problems.
He said: 'The police have committed themselves to releasing more direct line numbers for community officers.
'That was promised as part of the restructuring of the force into neighbourhood divisions, and we are confident that they will be of great benefit to the police and public alike.
'I have suggested putting all the numbers released for the borough in the council's own News and Views paper, which will ensure every household receives the information. That is something I am very keen to pursue.'
Cllr Simon said that both the council and the police were very keen on the issue.
She said: 'We emphasised that both the borough and county councils want to work closely with the police to fight crime and to reduce the fear of crime.
'Community safety and the reduction of anti-social behaviour is at the top of local people's priorities.'
Superintendent Phil Thompson agreed that talks were very positive.
He said: 'Since the meeting, Inspector Chris Brierley at Nantwich and Inspector Sue Fraser at Crewe have both attended neighbourhood forum meetings where they have distributed CAT officer numbers to residents.
'We are aware of the frustrations some people have with regards to contacting our Winsford headquarters - this is an additional away of contacting police on a local level which we hope will offer extra reassurance.
'However, this is not in any way a means of getting around the usual procedures for recording reported crime, which must still occur through a central point.'