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Last Updated: Friday, 6 June, 2003, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Demand for extra street police
Police officers generic
Community safety officers work alongside police
A Wrexham MP is demanding to know why North Wales Police have not increased foot patrols in the town by introducing community support officers (CSO's).

Ian Lucas said the extra manpower would protect members of the public from crimes which make their lives a "misery".

Thirty CSO's were introduced by Gwent Police last year, fully paid for by the UK Government.

Mr Lucas has written to North Wales Police's Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom to find out why he has not asked the Home Office for funding to set up the scheme in Wrexham.

North Wales Police plan to trial eight civilian officers in Rhyl this year but they have not considered Wrexham.

Vandalism, graffiti, damage to gardens and to parked cars: these are all things that people complain about virtually every time I go out
Ian Lucas MP

The officers have been introduced to deter petty crime and anti-social behaviour.

They do not have the same powers of arrest as regular police officers but they can provide a policing presence to deter crime.

Mr. Lucas claims Richard Brunstrom's failure to apply for extra cash to fund the project in Wrexham is letting the town down.

"Community support officers provide a uniformed presence on the streets that act as a check on the sort of anti-social behaviour which is causing misery to far too many people in Wrexham, " said Mr. Lucas.

He added: "Vandalism, graffiti, damage to gardens and to parked cars: these are all things that people complain about virtually every time I go out.

"The police need to deal with the heavy crime, but community support officers can play their part in policing Wrexham.....I really think we are missing out."

Crime cutting

However, responding to Mr Lucas' allegations Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom said he had set the wheels in motion to introduce CSO's onto the streets of north east Wales.

"Eight CSO's will be employed in the west ward of Rhyl," he said.

"We have chosen that part as it is also a Home Office policing priority area.

"When we have evaluated the result of the pilot, we may consider extending the scheme to other parts of north Wales."

There are already 1,350 CSO's working in England and Wales and the UK Government want 4,000 CSO's introduced by 2005.

In a separate scheme, earlier this year eight community wardens swelled the ranks of a crime-cutting campaign in towns across Denbighshire.

The civilian wardens, financed by a 390,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly regeneration fund, are based in Ruthin, Prestatyn and Rhyl.




SEE ALSO:
Community officers 'doing well'
26 Mar 03  |  England
Civilians set to help police
24 Sep 02  |  England


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