CRIME levels are falling in Wrexham – including significant decreases in the number of break-ins, police have revealed.
House burglaries across the town are down by 19 per cent from this time last year, and other burglaries are down 25 per cent on 2013 figures.
There has also been a marked reduction in anti-social behaviour.
Wrexham town centre chief, Insp Paul Wycherley of North Wales Police, said residents in the Smithfield ward in particular should be “commended” for their efforts in reducing crime in the area.
Insp Wycherley, who took over the town centre role last October, met with Smithfield councillor Keith Gregory to bury the hatchet after Cllr Gregory dished out fierce criticism of how the area was being policed. Since then, the two men have worked together to reduce crime in the area, which has led to Insp Wycherley receiving a ‘thank you’ letter from residents.
Insp Wycherley said: “I went to a residents meeting in October and Cllr Gregory had a lot to say publicly and in the press about the problems in the area – that we weren’t doing this, and weren’t doing that.
“Residents complained about loutish behaviour, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage. It was clear we needed to work differently and as a team so the community could enjoy living in Smithfield again.
“We have worked with Cllr Gregory, introduced cycle patrols, joint patrols, an increase in PCSOs and foot patrols.
“Environmental audits have been conducted, we’ve picked up syringes, litter and cleaned up graffiti.
“We’ve engaged with residents and reports of anti-social behaviour are significantly decreasing, as are vehicle crime and criminal damage.
“Burglary from dwellings is down by 19 per cent and other burglary is down by 25 per cent.
“I’d rather prevent a crime from happening at all rather than be commended for dealing with them.
“The way we’ve worked together with councillors, Wrexham County Borough Council and residents is a cracking example of what can be achieved.
“There is a better community spirit in Smithfield and I want officers to continue in this vein.”
Cllr Gregory said he felt a level of trust had been re-established in his ward between the public and the police.
He said: “I’m honest and point out when something is wrong and give praise when things are put right, so they know I really mean it.
“Going back a while, we were having problems in Smithfield and different policing problems.
“I had a meeting with Inspector Wycherley to see what could be done. Since then we’ve worked as a team, been out in the community and things have changed. They are a lot, lot better now. The trust is back.
“Councillors, the police, we were all getting stick, but the residents are pleased with what they are getting now.
“Anti-social behaviour is down, there are fewer complaints, they are dealt with quickly. Working as a team has helped everyone.
“I’d just like to thank Paul and Sgt Wes Williams for all they have done in Smithfield and I hope it continues.”