Top cop unveils policing target

A bobby on the beat
A bobby on the beat

WIGAN’S newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner has revealed his priorities for the borough.

Tony Lloyd, who won last month’s election by a significant margin, said targeting anti-social behaviour, strengthening neighbourhood links and the policing of the town centre was on his agenda.

The former Labour MP has been in his new role for less than a month but has already urged the Home Secretary to commit to no further cuts to Greater Manchester Police’s budget.

Speaking to the Evening Post, Mr Lloyd said: “We have had disproportionate cuts and across the party political divide my fellow commissioners have been saying the same thing - we can’t take any more cuts.

“This year’s police grant will be maintained at the levels already committed to - a small victory - but that’s in the context of losing 20 per cent of our funding, which is an awful lot.

“What I don’t want is the cuts jeopardising all the hard work that has gone in Wigan borough.

The 62-year-old was complimentary about policing standards in Wigan but views anti-social behaviour as an ongoing concern.

He said: “I think it is for most people the most frequent issue. Of course we need to deal with violent crime but anti-social behaviour is very serious - it can trash communities.

“There is a role for the police here but also for other agencies, whether it be local housing authorities and maybe schools, they’re very important, the residents might be the first people who find out there’s a problem.

“This is about building the strong community partnerships that can make the borough stronger and safer - one of the key things I want to be involved in is working to help build those partnerships across Wigan.

“There’s no magic wand in that, it’s very obvious that people tell people things that they need to know at an early stage to help prevent crime and then when things do go wrong they can deal with it.”

Co-operation with other agencies within the borough was a topic Commissioner Lloyd is keen to progress.

He added: “Wigan borough is a stable place - I don’t think many people think it is a hot-bed of crime.

“And policing in Wigan has been getting better in recent years - they’ve got some very good results and we mustn’t be complacent with those gains. They can be easily swept away if we don’t keep our eye on the ball.

“The police can never use as an excuse that it takes more than the police to stop crime but it is true that we can tackle crime when everyone is working together and I think most people know that intuitively.”

Town centre policing was also identified as an issue the commissioner would be keeping an eye on.

He said: “We should not let that small minority who do cause trouble have their way and make other people’s time a misery. What everybody wants is for somewhere to enjoy themselves and feel like they’ve had a great night out. Wigan is a good place to be and we want to keep it that way.”