Published: 04/03/2013 08:54 - Updated: 04/03/2013 08:55

Public help to set the new policing priorities

BY LAUREN ARCHELL
Olly Martins meets residents at th esoLUTiONs Community Safety Partnership public summit. Olly Martins meets residents at th esoLUTiONs Community Safety Partnership public summit.

Residents were given the opportunity to let the police know what they think should be done to tackle crime at a meeting this week.

More than 150 members of the public were joined by officials from Bedfordshire Police and Luton Borough Council, as well as Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins, at the annual soLUTiONs Community Safety Partnership summit on Wednesday.

Throughout the evening, residents asked questions of the panel and after completing a workshop they offered suggestions on what the police could focus on in the coming year.

During the feedback sessions it became clear that dealing with antisocial behaviour was a priority for the residents, which the panel said they would take on board.

In addition, the residents also suggested a number of initiatives including regular litter picking and getting more people to join Neighbourhood Watch, in an attempt to help do their part to keep the town safe.

Chief Inspector Rob McCaffrey was also able to detail the success of the force over the last year.

In particular, he spoke about Operation Oklahoma, a scheme dedicated to tackle a spike in robbery offences.

Around 6,120 hours of policing were spent on the operation, during which 70 offenders were arrested, 164 vehicles were stopped and searched and 205 pieces of criminal intelligence were submitted.

In addition, Bedfordshire Police organised a targeted 
education programme in schools, which engaged key age groups with an ex-gang member who spoke about his experiences and the consequences of robbery offending.

He added that the police have also managed to reduce 
antisocial behaviour across the town by 20 per cent in the last year, as well as reducing the number of deliberate fires in Marsh Farm.

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