When I took over this role, I was determined to make a difference where it matters most - in our community.
Shortly afterwards, a lot of local concerns were raised about antisocial behaviour in Countesthorpe. I decided to act and organised a public meeting to hear what residents had to say. Some of it was shocking. People were undoubtedly becoming victimised by a number of young people whose behaviour left a lot to be desired.
To cut a long and complicated story short I worked with the police and local authorities, in particular Leicestershire County Council and Blaby District Council, plus other partners to find long term solutions. By and large things have been a lot better since then.
So, I was determined to try and help again when I saw some posts on social media this week about problems in Gwendoline Drive, Countesthorpe.
I posted on the Countesthorpe Current Affairs Facebook page offering to do what I could, inviting people to private message me. I am grateful to all those who got in touch.
I’m also absolutely delighted that thanks to information received from members of the local community in Countesthorpe several arrests have been made. Local residents told police about a moped regularly engaged in anti-social behaviour and as a result on 14 July three people were arrested. One of the men, aged 20 was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply. A moped was also seized.
The men have since been released under investigation.
Aware of ongoing community concerns in the area, I have asked whether a meeting, virtual or face to face, with some local residents, would be of interest. I want to see if there is anything the wider partnerships can do to provide a sustainable solution to reduce problems in the area.
Hopefully people will see that we do listen and we do act. Certainly the messages on the aforementioned Facebook post are supportive of the police.
The power and speed of social media is impressive and effective. But this incident also brought home to me how much we can and do achieve together.
The response to the local lockdown in Leicester and neighbouring areas shows that we really are rather good at pulling together. I trust that people will continue to do that as we edge our way towards an easing of restrictions in the protected areas. The City and Oadby and Wigston will remain in lockdown, a situation to be reviewed in a fortnight. But elsewhere, we have just been told (and not before time) that things will be eased tomorrow, 18 July.
We must not let our guard drop on COVID or crime. We must continue to follow the guidelines to protect lives and livelihoods, and we must continue to report crime and anti-social behaviour whenever we see it.
To borrow a famous slogan from the King Power stadium: Foxes never quit! Together we will beat COVID, and we’ll beat the criminals.
17 July 2020
Posted on Friday 17th July 2020