Police force promises to take more action to prevent crime in Weston neighbourhoods

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 September 2019

Avon and Somerset Constabularys Weston Town Centre Beat Team.Picture: Lily Newton-Browne

Avon and Somerset Constabularys Weston Town Centre Beat Team.Picture: Lily Newton-Browne

Lily Newton-Browne

Police say less talk and more action is required to keep the crime rate low.

Town Centre Police Sergeant Lee Kerslake.Town Centre Police Sergeant Lee Kerslake.

A public meeting in Weston was told last week on occasions people have been too 'terrified to leave their home'.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators attended a police beat team meeting to establish a solid relationship to tackle crime in Weston town centre's residential areas.

Weston neighbourhood police team sergeant Lee Kerslake and police community support officer (PCSO) Nick Gough headed the meeting at the Town Hall on September 17.

Seven co-ordinators attended from Clifton Road to Locking Castle, and members initially said there has been 'a lot of talk, but not a lot of action' from the previous team's efforts.

Lee said: "You are in a low-crime area in Weston, that being said, I won't make promises I can't keep.

"We care about the town centre, and we have to work together to prevent crime in town.

"I have made mistakes in previous job roles, and I do not want to make them again."

Clifton Road Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, Adela Holland, said: "We had an incident take place on our street some time ago, which I don't want to go into, but we need to put our neighbours' minds at rest - some are terrified to leave their homes."

PCSO Gough stated the police team seeks to reassure people and will visit their home if they are scared, and said 'that should be the way it is'.

There was also a discussion about a lack of Neighbourhood Watch groups in Weston.

PCSO Gough said there are 18 groups set-up in town, fewer than in Portishead. Members stated people want a team set up in Queens Road.

Neighbourhood Watch is a charity and aims to ensure fewer people feel afraid, vulnerable or isolated where they live.

Adela said she and fellow co-ordinator, Angela Gardiner, feel 'so happy' to be in the town centre beat team's area.

Adela also said she would prefer to call Clifton Road's Neighbourhood Watch a residents' action group, as the charity's name has a 'bad stigma' after previous lack of action.

The police team also considered introducing crime prevention master classes at future meetings.

At the end of the discussion, people said it was 'very informative' and felt assured Weston's police beat team would deliver on its objectives.

The next group meeting will be held in December, with a date and time yet to be confirmed.

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