A STRONGER police presence has been called for on Wrexham Industrial Estate after reports of thefts.
Craig Malley, director of CMP Properties, located off Ash Road North on the estate, believes it has become more of a target since it has been without a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).
Mr Malley said: “There does seem to have been an increase in diesel thefts and minor thefts recently since we have been without a PCSO here. We are landlord for 80,000 square foot over six acres of land on the industrial estate and have 14 tenants.
“As well as ourselves, other tenants and companies used to chip in for a PCSO to be based here and North Wales Police used to pay for one as well, but then it just stopped and they were gone.
“I know there were cutbacks but we’ve never been given a reason for it, and there didn’t seem to be any objections amongst any one here contributing to one.
“The co-ordination centre used to be based at Redwither Tower but then it was moved out to Gresford.
“If the nearest officer is based in Gresford then thieves know how long it will take them to get to the estate. It’s still a good few minutes away.
“Ideally someone would be based here, and I’d have no objections to paying something towards that.”
Mr Malley’s comments come in the wake of a theft from a tenant last week, which saw £3,000 of fireworks stolen from Bright Sparks Fireworks.
He says they now rely on OWL (Online Watch Link Service) reports, which provide subscribers with the latest messages and crime alerts from the police, via email, telephone, SMS or fax.
Mr Malley added: “We’ve been using OWL for over 12 months now and from their notification service we can see petty thefts are up, and it’s petty crime which hits us.
“It seems to be more of a problem since we lost the regular presence of officers here.
“The OWL reports just highlight the crime and potentially make it worse for us, as they could put off potential and current tenants if they feel as if crime is rising, or can’t see anything being done about it.
“You just hear about the thefts and the break-ins, but not whether anyone gets caught.”
Stuart Deeley, owner of the Sandstone Brewery on the industrial estate, said: “I’ve only been here since October but we have installed CCTV for ourselves.
“We would be interested in chipping in for a PCSO to be based here, especially if it meant our insurance premium came down.
“You do wonder why there isn’t one anyway as is it should probably be covered in our rates.”
A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “There was an old system when PCSOs were funded by the Welsh Government and businesses.
“There are PCSOs and police officers patrolling and covering the area, whether they are physically based there or not.
“It cannot be said for certain having a PCSO based there would see a reduction in crime, but we ask people to be vigilant and if they spot anything suspicious to contact us on 101.”