HOME Secretary Theresa May visited a Northampton estate to learn how the community had worked with the police to combat crime.
Mrs May was shown around Eastfield by neighbourhood police officers yesterday and she met the local residents’ association at St Alban’s Church, in Broadmead Avenue, to discuss issues of concern in the area.
Eastfield Residents’ Association presented a special award to the police earlier this year to mark their work to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour.
Mrs May said: “Eastfield is a very good example of residents working with the police and PCSOs, dealing with issues on the estate. Residents have been very pleased with the support they have got from the police.
“I came to talk to local residents about their interaction with the police and how they have worked with them to take control of their estate and made sure it is somewhere people want to carry on living.”
The MP met the chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, Adrian Lee, to talk about the future of the force and said she was keen to see more police on the front line.
She said: “I am very keen to see more bobbies on the beat. I want to get police out there on the front line doing jobs they want to do and jobs residents want them to do. Here in Northamptonshire, the force has changed to make sure people get out from the back office and onto the front line.”
Mrs May said she had discussed funding cuts with the Chief Constable, Adrian Lee, and added they were “challenging but manageable”.
Northampton North MP Michael Ellis, who organised the visit, said it was a chance for residents to raise issues which concerned them, and added: “I wanted the Home Secretary to see the excellent example of the police and the community working together here in Eastfield.”
Secretary of Eastfield residents’ association, Sheron Watson, said the group worked with the police to make the estate a safer place to live, and added: “There was a time when it was terrible on the estate and there was a lot of crime. People were frightened to go out. The police have worked really hard in the area to change this.”
Northampton South MP Brian Binley had a meeting with the Home Secretary to talk about issues surrounding police funding, the culture of policing and police commissioners.
He said: “She said she was reviewing the funding matter over the next 18 months or so. I am pleased that she has made a commitment to me and at last we can begin to hope that the people of Northamptonshire will get a fair deal and the level of funding we get will provide the level of policing that is required on our streets.”