Notts Police Commissioner speaks at Hucknall tenants’ meeting

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A CLAIM that Hucknall police station is no longer fully operational was categorically denied this week.

“It is just not true,” said Sgt Simon Scales at a special meeting of George Street Tenants and Residents’ Association.

He was answering a question worded: “It seems poor that a large town such as Hucknall no longer has a fully operational police station. This must have a negative impact in many ways. Should this be reviewed?”

Sgt Scales insisted that the Watnall Road station was responsive to calls 24 hours a day and had a full complement of sergeants, constables, police community support officers, special constables and volunteers.

Although Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, was guest speaker at the meeting, the attendance was a major disappointment. Only 26 people were present and half of those were police representatives and councillors.

Association secretary Cath Garratt said: “We have advertised the meeting widely in the whole of Ashfield, including invitations to nine other tenants and residents associations.”

Mr Tipping, a former Labour MP for Sherwood, including Hucknall, said he felt he was ‘back on home territory’.

He pointed out that Nottinghamshire Police were being hit by cuts totalling £42 million to their budget over four years. But he said he had ‘stuck to his word’ by successfully pressing for the county to get an extra 150 uniformed officers on the beat, as well as 100 more PCSOs.

He told the meeting one of his chief aims was working towards a 50 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour over the next three years.

He also wanted to see the police work with other agencies to combat domestic violence, as well as a speed-up of court cases for the benefit of crime victims and less bureaucracy in the police force to help offset the budget cuts.

Answering a question, Mr Tipping said he favoured the idea of early intervention to stop young people ‘escalating’ from low-level crime to more serious offences.

He claimed that drug usage was going down and stressed: “We are keen to get on top of this.” But Sgt Scales said he was concerned about ‘legal highs’ which could be added to with dangerous substances.

Albert White, chairman of the now-defunct Welbeck Tenants and Residents Association, called for action to stop illegal parking, including on pavements, which was happening ‘throughout the district’.

In reply, Mr Tipping revealed that the police and Notts County Council were shortly to make a major announcement about neighbourhood community traffic schemes. He said: “They will focus on eight areas, concentrating on schools in the first instance.”

Cath said she knew someone who was robbed at knifepoint but was ‘more than happy’ with the swift response of the police and was given the confidence to go to court when the culprits were brought to justice.

A letter was read at the meeting from the ‘George Street kids’ who wished to praise a local PCSO and saying he deserved a pay rise!