‘Anti-social behaviour on the rise in Long Melford’ - police say days of bobby on the beat are long gone

Police Community Support Officer
Police Community Support Officer

A councillor in Long Melford has criticised changes to local policing following spending cuts, claiming anti-social behaviour is on the rise and raising concerns over the lack of police presence in the village and the 101 service.

At a recent Sudbury Town Council meeting police informed members that the police-funding from a match-funded Pcso was to end, with councillors having to decide whether to fully fund this themselves.

Police said if the council decided to go ahead with funding a Pcso then they would get “a priority on how that resource is used”, with the council looking at issues such as illegal parking and town patrols.

Sergeant Matt Paisley said: “The days of seeing policemen or a Pcso walking the town with no target have long gone.

“We might not see the visibility but we certainly see the results.”

This will be a disappointment to Long Melford councillor John Nunn, who this week sent his response to the local policing review.

He wrote: “Some years ago we at Long Melford Parish Council part-funded a Psco along with Sudbury police, this arrangement came to an end when the police could no longer afford to pay their percentage of the cost.

“As a knock on effect of this we are now experiencing an increase in anti-social behaviour in our village. I am also informed that our local police due to lack of staff will only attend our village when an incident is phoned in, no patrolling on foot.

“Regarding the 101 telephone reporting system, I had cause to use this twice in one week recently, the first time on a Saturday afternoon I was kept waiting 25 minutes, the second time 15 minutes.

“On both occasions I hung up in disgust, I have been told by persons in authority that the 101 system cannot cope, again due to cutbacks.

“The people of this district require police officers on the streets not behind computers or via leaflet handouts.”