It was with surprise, dismay and annoyance that we learned of the removal of Wirksworth`s only remaining police officer to be deployed in Matlock.
This depletes our community policing team to a single PCSO and dependent upon response from other divisional quarters.
Wirksworth has always prided itself in recent years on its community policing, its partnership with residents and its low comparative crime rates.
That it should have achieved this and high satisfaction with its safer neighbourhood police team should not be an excuse to remove 2 police officers in the last 6 months and destroy it.
The action will undoubtedly provoke outrage in the community; residents and traders will feel less secure and be apprehensive of the manning of community events.
Budget constraints and pressure on divisional resources brought about by draconian government cuts are now clearly having an impact on day-to-day policing.
These strategic changes are being undertaken without prior notification or consultation with the community.
The strengthening of one town at the expense of another will be counter-productive and severely impact on the very notion of “community policing” and the success of safer neighbourhood partnerships.
These cuts will not be cost effective and place an unacceptable burden on the shoulders of a lone PCSO.
The community will undoubtedly be outraged and perceive this as tokenistic and the dismantling of community policing.
We would urge that this action be reconsidered and a re-evaluation of the strategic approach to policing Derbyshire Dales.
Cllrs. Irene & Mike Ratcliffe, Peter Slack
Ward Members for Wirksworth, Middleton & Bolehill