In response to residents’ concerns over car crime and burglary rates in Batley and Spen, Tracy Brabin MP has secured a public meeting with Inspector Rauf from the Local Policing Team tonight, Friday, February 16.
A number of constituents have contacted Ms Brabin recently to detail their concerns about crime rates.
The MP took these to Inspector Rauf and West Yorkshire Police co-ordinator, Barbara Petty, and Batley and Spen Inspector Mohammed Rauf will address the meeting to explain what is being done by local police about crime rates and will also answer questions from attendees.
It is being held from 6pm to 7.30pm tonight at St John’s Church, Church Street, Cleckheaton.
The areas covered in the meeting will include what is being targeted by criminals, the number of arrests made by police in relation to specific crimes, ongoing operations, crime prevention, reporting crime and how offenders and suspected offenders are dealt with.
Ms Brabin, who will chair tonight’s meeting, said: “I am very grateful to West Yorkshire Police, Inspector Rauf and Barbara Petty for agreeing to this meeting to address the concerns of local people.
“West Yorkshire Police are working incredibly hard to tackle crime against a backdrop of Government cuts and austerity.
“I hope the meeting will give the people of Batley and Spen the opportunity to air their concerns and get an insight into what is being done in the fight against crime locally.
“It is vital that we have a good relationship with those who work to protect us and I hope this meeting will help bridge that gap between the public and the police.
“It is important to remember that this is a police force that has nearly 1,000 fewer police officers than in 2010 and almost 200 fewer PCSOs.
“And nationally, over 21,000 police officers have been lost, over 17,000 police staff and over 6,000 community support officers have been axed despite a Government promise to protect the frontline.
“We should be backing those who keep us safe, not cutting their funding and the number of officers on the beat.”
The meeting, which will be chaired by Tracy Brabin MP, will begin with an address by Inspector Rauf and will then be opened to the floor for questions from members of the public.
Inspector Rauf said: “We fully recognise the public’s concerns regarding recent car thefts and burglary in the area and want to reassure our communities that the police are taking positive action to tackle these issues.
“Any form of break-in at a property or theft can cause real distress to the victims and we are determined to address this. Over the past few months we have a team of dedicated officers who have been conducting proactive policing operations across the Batley and Spen area.
“Burglaries and thefts can often be opportunistic and there is a good chance they will have been committed by people living in some of the affected areas.
“I would strongly encourage anyone who has any information about any specific incidents or any other information to pass this onto the police so we can investigate thoroughly.
“A number of the residential burglaries have taken place in the evenings and suspects have forced entry through doors and broken locks on doors and windows. I would encourage residents to check security of your home and where possible have a working burglar alarms, leave some lights on if going out in the evenings and have secure locks on doors and windows.
“We have also seen sneak in offences in which thieves have entered properties through open doors and windows and then taken items from the addresses which are easily transportable such as laptops, car keys, clothing and wallets.
“These types of offences can be easily prevented and we would strongly urge people to make sure you keep unattended doors and windows locked to help you keep your belongings safer.
“Also we would encourage residents not to leave bags or valuables on show near doors and windows and keep keys out of view can make a real difference.”
Refreshments will be available at the meeting - and all proceeds will go to St John’s Roof Fund, which is also Ms Brabin’s Charity of the Month for February.