Police and Crime Commissioner urges people to report crime following community meeting
Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson pledged to ensure recruitment within his own office is more accessible and told a public meeting in Swindon on Saturday (January 29), that he will work with Wiltshire Police to ensure the same.
Around 50 residents attended the event in Walcot where Mr Wilkinson, who was invited by local councillors Junab Ali and Abdul Amin, talked about his background and explained his draft Police and Crime Plan.
Mr Wilkinson was asked questions about roles in the police force for members of the Asian community and how his police and crime plan, and the police, would address recurring problems of anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.
(Councillor Junab Ali, PCC Philip Wilkinson and Councillor Abdul Amin)
Residents told the meeting, they felt despondent and were reluctant to report crime as they thought wouldn't get a response.
Mr Wilkinson stressed why all issues had to be reported so the police could build an accurate picture of what was happening and communities could help to keep themselves safer.
"The weekend's meeting has only reinforced my perception that some people don't want to report crime because they don't think anything will be done," he added. "I want to tell them that I am listening, Wiltshire Police is listening and I need them to tell us what's going on where they live.
"Community intelligence is vital for Wiltshire Police so they have an accurate picture of crime and so resources could be allocated accordingly. People should not live in fear of crime and the only way to stop it is to report it.
"I also heard how they felt that their community isn't represented within Wiltshire Police.
"Work to ensure a diverse workforce within the police force is ongoing. And I know a lot has been undertaken to ensure the police force is as diverse and representative of the community it serves but we can always do more.
"I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure we are looking at all opportunities and I will personally look at my own office's recruitment processes to see what more we need to do to ensure we have that representation - across my office and the force as a whole."
Councillor Abdul Amin, who represents Walcot and Park North, on Swindon Borough Council, said:
"I'm pleased the Police and Crime Commissioner took the time to listen to the concerns and questions raised by our residents. I hope this gives him a better understanding of the area and look forward to seeing him in the future."