Retailers and shoppers voiced their concerns on crime during a surprise visit by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews.
The PCC took part in a patch walk in Beaumont Leys to listen to businesses and residents on the problems impacting the area and concerns around street safety.
First stop was Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre where Mr Matthews met centre manager Simon Revill to discuss the issue of shoplifting and the impact of weekly losses on businesses such as Tesco.
Next, he met Beaumont Leys Councillors Vi Dempster, Hemant Rae Bhatia and Paul Westley at the Home Farm estate where he chatted to local people to find out their policing priorities.
Concerns about gangs, drugs and lack of police presence in the area remain high and the PCC identified a vacant shopfront that local PCSOs and councillors agreed could be used as a police information desk to increase police visibility in the neighbourhood. The idea is being discussed with the city council and Mr Matthews agreed to attend follow-up meetings to seek to progress the idea.
Mr Matthews said: “Beaumont Leys is a tight-knit community and residents are rightly concerned about street crime and the risk of young people being drawn into violence and gangs here.
“There are some great partnership programmes already in place which work closely with my team but it is clear there is more to do to reduce fear of crime and increase opportunities for young people and this is something I am keen to pursue.”
PCSOs from the local Neighbourhood Team, PCSO Megan English and PCSO Kurtis Hurst were also on hand to discuss local issues.
Before concluding the patchwalk, the Commissioner visited E2 Training Centre and Community Hub in Home Farm to meet Chief Executive Martin Buchanan.
E2 receives funding from the PCC to deliver educational and community-based services for young people.
During the visit, the Commissioner was given an insight into the charity’s work and plans to have follow-up meetings to discuss its work preventing crime.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021