The Dales’ top cop has defended the decision to take the last police constable from Wirksworth and move him to Matlock.
At a recent meeting of Wirksworth Town Council members were dismayed to learn that PC Doug Eyre has been reassigned to Matlock, leaving just one PCSO remaining in the town.
The constable explained that the move was made because, due to staffing issues, there were no PCs covering Matlock, Cromford and Darley Dale.
This is the second loss to policing Wirksworth has seen in recent months.
Alarmed at the news that within six months the police presence in the town had gone from three people to one, Cllr Irene Ratcliffe, who represents Wirksworth on the district council, has spoken out.
“I was appalled to hear that we are losing our last police officer,” she said.
“We have been working really hard with the police over the years – Wirksworth is a different town now to what it was years ago. We have done really good community work and getting projects off the ground to help young people and older people.
“But if we take that support away then this is just for nothing.”
Cllr Ratcliffe praised the work of PCSO Sue Lester, who remains in Wirksworth, but raised concerns that more cover was needed to keep the streets safe.
Insp Bryan Hall, who is responsible for policing throughout the Dales, has defended his choice to move PC Eyre to Matlock, claiming it is only a temporary measure and he will still report on and off duty at Wirksworth Police Office.
The inspector reassured residents that Wirksworth will not lack a police presence during this time as PCSO Jo Dales will be moved to the town to provide extra support to PSCO Lester.
He also stated that, if warranted, PC Eyre would still be available to respond to incidents in Wirksworth.
Insp Hall added: “It should be noted that year to date Wirksworth and area is seeing a reduction in overall crime of over five per cent in comparison to last year. Please be assured that I and my team are committed to the provision of the highest quality of service to the public and to maintain the Derbyshire Dales as one of the safest places to live and work in the country.”