Organisations in Sandbach must pull together to tackle anti-social behaviour, the new officer in charge of policing the town has said.
It was made clear at a town council meeting last Tuesday that Sandbach’s local policing unit, launched in November, would be calling on the help of others, including high schools and pubs, to pro-actively deal with incidents when they arose.
Sgt Craig Hodson, who took charge of policing Sandbach and Middlewich three months ago, outlined his vision to make the area a safer place in a letter considered by town councillors.
It explained that the strategy would aim to tackle “the issues that cause the greatest harm and target those who cause our communities harm”.
He told the Chronicle: “I am mindful of the fact that, when it comes to anti-social behaviour, sometimes people ring the police, sometimes they ring councillors and sometimes they ring schools.
“But by working together, we can identify priorities and concerns, while coming up with ideas to prevent it.
“In short, we are looking to set up an anti-social behaviour working group with a multi-agency approach. It is not that people are not working together now, I am just trying to co-ordinate it a little bit better.”
He said the other organisations he wanted to get involved were high schools, youth services, housing officers, Pubwatch, community groups and a councillor to represent each ward, in conjunction with Cheshire Police.
Sgt Hodson’s letter to the town council said: “It is my opinion that we will only achieve success in this area if we all pull together.”
He asked for a meeting to be set up involving a representative from each of the organisations to look at the location and causes of anti-social behaviour and how it could be tackled.
He emphasised that the meeting should not be a “large scale gathering” but with only “appropriate individuals” in attendance and that it should be “impactive with its information and actions, rather than a general catch up” about incidents.
Sgt Hodson added: “It is important to me that the meeting is attended by individuals who want to work together to make the town an ever-safer place to be.”
The launch of the local policing unit at the end of last year was welcomed by Cheshire Police chiefs as a way of getting officers to crimes faster.
Whereas previously “cover may have been coming from elsewhere”, the new set-up means dedicated officers at Sandbach Police Station will not only serve the town but also Holmes Chapel, Dane Valley, Middlewich, Alsager, Odd Rode and Brereton and the surrounding villages, with more staff based at Congleton Police Station.