‘Failure to police’ means Bedfordshire farmers are turning to private security Bedford News

Freya Morgan, deputy chair of the NFU Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire, told the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel held last night (Tuesday April 5) that some rural communities were using private security patrols.

She said: “In Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire there is a private group, which many of us subscribe to, that cover our rural areas at night because we don’t get that police coverage.

“And it’s not just farmers, it’s people in small villages, households and businesses.

Councilor Gareth Mackey

“At the moment our crime rate seems to have gone down, and that’s only because someone else helped us and helped the police,” she said.

Councilor Gareth Mackey (Central Bedfordshire) said: “My heart sank when I heard farmers had to have their land effectively patrolled by third party security companies due to the failure of the police.

“It’s so disheartening for everyone, and what makes me a little more [concerned] about it is that he is one step away from vigilantism.”

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye responded: ‘I wouldn’t say we’ve seen policing fail here, without an appreciation of the wider picture of our funding situation.’

“So I wouldn’t go to the extent that we’ve seen a policing failure given that we have such a large rural area, and the policing resources and the level of demand when mapped against each other to others

“So I think it would be helpful to caution your comment there, although I fully understand where you’re coming from,” he said.

Councilor Mackay said: “It’s a failure of policing and I’m stunned that the commissioner doesn’t acknowledge it.

“That doesn’t mean there isn’t work going on, that doesn’t mean it’s directly the fault of Bedfordshire Police because the commissioner knows I’m a big supporter of the police .

“Whether the blame lies with various governments that have cut back on policing over the years, it doesn’t matter right now.

“We need to understand why the people we are responsible for feel the need to go to a third party and, quite frankly, not recognize that failure is completely unforgivable.”

The CCP said it understood the strength of Councilor Mackey’s feelings

But he said: “To say what you said without acknowledging the fact that on a per capita basis we are one of the least funded police forces in England and Wales with one of the most risk exposures the highest in the country in certain criminal areas.

“I think I’ll let others decide for themselves.

“Of course. I wish the police could witness every crime, I wish all crimes were dealt with adequately, but we can’t just create enough police from nothing.”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-07 08:41:28

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