Anti-social crime is a ‘plague’ says Police Crime Commissioner

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Anti-social behaviour is the new Police and Crime Commissioner’s biggest priority for South Kesteven.

Speaking on a visit to Grantham Police Station on Friday, the new PCC said he has listened to the public and believes tackling anti-social behaviour must be the priority in the Grantham area.

Ch Insp Mark Housley welcomes Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Alan Hardwick to Grantham police station. 045A

Ch Insp Mark Housley welcomes Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Alan Hardwick to Grantham police station. 045A

Alan Hardwick said: “The reason I am in Grantham is to discuss with Ch Insp Housley initiatives in North and South Kesteven which I think can be expanded to the advantage of everyone in the county - initiatives that address anti-social behaviour, street crime and other matters that blight the lives of too many people in Lincolnshire.

“Anti-social behaviour is a plague but in North and South Kesteven it is being addressed, and being addressed in a very robust way.”

Mr Hardwick says one way he will tackle anti-social behaviour is by making police officers more “visible” to the public.

He said: “Certainly in this part of the world every effort is being made to increase visibility. One of the ways I will do this is by maintaining police force numbers at 1,100 whereas the former police authority were going to cut those numbers to 1,068.

“Also, we are going to make sure all police vehicles, apart from those involving covert operations, have police livery. That will help with visibility.

“We are also hoping to recruit volunteers to become special constables and special PCSOs.”

Mr Hardwick has set a target of recruiting 1,000 volunteer PCSOs, a figure he himself describes as “ambitious”.

He said: “People have already criticised this ambition, saying the commissioner wants our police force run by volunteers but nothing could be further from the truth. Policing in Lincolnshire will not break down if we increase the number of volunteers. The volunteers will enhance the policing of the county.

“As far as volunteer PCSOs go, they will have the same powers as PCSOs, in the same way special constables have the same powers as regular officers.

“They will be properly trained and supported and will become part of what I think is the best police family in the country.”

However, it remains to be seen what opposition Mr Hardwick will face from the Police Federation.

Mr Hardwick said: “I will be meeting the unions. My plans have been public since January 14.

“There is a lot of consulting to do still and that obviously includes listening to any comments unions might have about the plan.”