Independent and Conservative councillors on a North Yorkshire city council have made a formal complaint about the lack of police action on crime.
They say Ripon residents are fed up with the numerous incidents of trouble on the streets and that phoning 101 is next to pointless.
They feel Ripon has lost confidence in the North Yorkshire force.
It’s so bad that, according to the leader of Ripon City Council, Andrew Williams, when they complained to the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Zoe Metcalf, at a meeting last week she told them to make the complaint.
Their concerns are echoed by residents in many other communities in the county, one of them being Foxwood in York as YorkMix has reported before.
Cllr Pauline McHardy, an independent city and district councillor, told YorkMix Radio that Ripon needed to see value for money after the police part of the council tax bill had risen again.
Update: We can now publish that letter to the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner
RCC met on Monday evening when Councillors discussed the recent, very positive, meeting held, Council would like to express its thanks to you for your engagement.
As discussed at our meeting, RCC wish to raise a formal complaint with your office regarding the policing within Ripon and the apparent lack of response from the local policing team in recent weeks.
Councillors are aware of recent activity on social media which appear to document a lack of response and engagement from the local policing team.
In terms of social media presence, we do seem to have lost engagement from the local policing team on Ripon based sites. We have previously seen local officers engaging on Blow Your Horn and This is Ripon (Facebook community groups) . This engagement allowed the police to increase its presence and accessibility within the community.
We would be grateful for an explanation around this decreased activity and confirmation of whether the Police are able to monitor the key sites.
Discussions around the decreasing community engagement, visibility and accessibility of police with Ripon took place at the meeting of Council. RCC consider that neighbourhood policing must be the bedrock of policing in Ripon, we would like to see a commitment to proper, community based, visible policing which includes hot-spot targeting to deal with local matters.
As we have seen previously, prioritising a bolstered presence in areas with spates of anti-social behaviour can make a real difference and help to restore community confidence.
Only last Thursday, we learned that one of the market traders in Ripon had his cash box stolen from his stall at the start of the day. Despite the trader logging the incident on 101 and attending Ripon Police Station in person, no one from the local policing team made contact with him before he left the market square at the end of his trading day.
The lack of response from the police within the city is leading to a loss of trust and confidence from the community. In our opinion, trust and confidence is paramount and communities must have the confidence to report issues and concerns. People need to be confident that the policing response will be there when they need it.
We would also like to acknowledge that we are grateful for your offer of officer assistance/guidance with the process of procuring a CCTV camera and have already been in touch with Tom on this matter.
We would be grateful if your office could get in touch to co-ordinate the further meeting discussed last week.
It is signed by the Clerk to the city council
Cllr Mike Chambers, who is also cabinet member for housing and safer communities on Harrogate Borough Council, told the Stray Ferret:
“I have been pressing the commissioner for more warranted police officers on the beat in Ripon, because the PCSOs (police community support officers) have only limited powers to take action when an incident occurs.”
There were similar issues this time last year too where police claimed that they were on top of the issues. Inspector Alex Langley spoke to YorkMix Radio at the time.
YorkMix has asked North Yorkshire Police to respond to our article.