I am pleased to hear Wrexham will get some more police officers soon – this will be welcome after recent falls in numbers thanks to Conservative cuts.
I raised the issue of police numbers with North Wales Police after concerns about anti-social behaviour and drug use in the town centre and other areas of Wrexham.
I also raised concerns directly with the Lord Chancellor, asking for help from experts in the Ministry of Justice, and with the Home Secretary.
This is a high-profile issue in Wrexham and I receive regular reports from constituents. I have a good working relationship with North Wales Police, and they are working on hard on the issue locally.
When I raised concerns after recent incidents, officers met with me specifically to discuss them – and I’ve spoken with officers at all levels about their concerns.
What is very clear is that this problem cannot be solved by the police alone. With that in mind, I asked other interested groups in Wrexham to meet with me, and I have been pleased to have constructive talks with local service providers and charities, representatives from HMP Berwyn, and the local health board.
These have been very helpful, simply for bringing together people to share information in a constructive manner. I continue to believe working together is the key to tackling local issues, and would encourage other groups to join in with future meetings.
I was also pleased to hear from the police that they will be increasing the number of officers in Wrexham after their budget setting process this year.
This increase is very welcome – as the police acknowledge, the number of officers serving Wrexham has gone down since 2011 as a result of Government cuts. It has been a difficult few years thanks to the cuts imposed upon them, but through close management of resources, North Wales Police have managed to keep officers in Wrexham.
The police are more than willing to work with others, and temporary Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard has told me he believes the best way to change the current situation is through effective partnership working.
We need to see a commitment from public organisations to work together on these issues – they know they will have my support.