James Grundy MP: New tactical aid unit is a boon for Leigh
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This significant new investment in policing in Leigh will help bolster the police presence locally, and I was very pleased to see first-hand the new facilities and meet the police officers working there.
At my recent meeting with the police, I was very pleased to hear about a reduction in the anti-social behaviour and shoplifting that has been blighting Leigh recently.
My office has been working with local businesses and the police in Leigh to tackle this issue, and I am pleased to say that instances of both shoplifting and anti-social behaviour have fallen by over 50 per cent over the last few months.
As regards shoplifting, what was clear was that almost all instances of that crime were being committed by a handful of individuals.
With the police and local businesses working together, it was possible to identify these individuals, and then the police took action to arrest and prosecute them, taking them off the streets.
As regards anti-social behaviour, it was often specific locations that were the issue. By carefully and repeatedly targeting certain problem locations, the instances of anti-social behaviour have been greatly reduced, although there is always more work to do.
I was also pleased to hear from Chief Constable Stephen Watson, who was present at the opening of the new TAU, that police response times had improved dramatically, both in terms of call handling and getting on site to deal with incidents.