Police in Spalding face balance of tackling town and rural crime
Claims that a tougher approach to fighting rural crime has come at the expense of keeping town centres safe have been denied.
At least two Spalding business owners have complained about a lack of a police presence in the town, claims brought on after a break-in and attempted burglary over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.
Thieves stole items from Carmen Hair Salon, in Sheep Market, after smashing through a back door overnight last Tuesday, just three days after an attempted break-in at the Polish Help Centre, in Abbey Path.
A spokesman for the centre said: “These people just do what they want and break into where they want, when they want.
“But most of the business owners feel left alone by the police.”
Sue Stubley, of Spalding Town Retailers Association, said: “Things are quite worrying at this time, but there is no police presence to deter anyone.
“So it’s no wonder that these problems are getting worse.”
Town centre policing came up during a meeting in Spalding on Friday attended by South Holland and the Deepings MP, John Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones, Deputy PCC Stuart Tweedale and members of the Operation Galileo team tasked with tackling hare coursing across Lincolnshire.
Mr Jones said: “We know that with a lot of burglaries, it can be a small number of individuals who are having an impact.
“But there’s a lot of work happening behind the scenes and an appropriate response is being undertaken.
“There hasn’t been a significant amount of funding put into fighting rural crime and any kit we have invested in is also used to save lives in urban areas of the county as well.
“It’s all about effective policing as we can't keep asking people to do things without giving then the right kit.
"Our force is transforming itself into one doing the right thing to make its officers as effective as possible.”
Inspector Gareth Boxall, neighbourhood policing inspector for South Holland, told the Spalding Guardian that he would be looking into the concerns of business owners.
Meanwhile, the police officer in charge of tackling hare coursing in South Holland has pledged that there will be no let-up in protecting farmers and landowners.
Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, tactical lead on rural crime for Lincolnshire Police, made the pledge during Friday's meeting at Spalding Police Station where a chance took place to review the progress made by Operation Galileo.
Between September 2017 and March 2018, reports of hare coursing in South Holland and Boston fell by 25 per cent, compared to the same period in 2016-17.
Chief Inspector Tyner, ex-neighbourhood policing inspector for South Holland, said: “Operation Galileo isn’t led by a huge amount of people because it’s about embedding it in the response by neighbourhood policing teams.
“Not everyone enjoys dealing with hare coursers because we know, once we’ve arrested and interviewed them, that they have links with serious, organised crime.
“But the commitment we’ve put in to try and catch these hare coursers has yielded the results and there isn’t an appetite for taking our feet off the accelerator.”
More by this authorWinston Brown