Join panel and have your say on top police priorities

People have been urged to join a neighbourhood panel and help raise awareness of the crime problems facing their area.

Stamford Neighbourhood Open Forum meets four times a year to set policing priorities for three month periods.

Meetings are held around the town and are attended by members of Stamford’s policing team.

But key to the meeting are the members of the public who turn up to explain problems where they live.

Panel chairman Graham Turner, 69, got involved about seven years ago when he turned up to a meeting to complain about new licensing laws.

He then began attended meetings regularly and now chairs each quarterly forum.

But according to Mr Turner the panel only works if people come along - and at the moment, not enough are doing so.

He said: “We don’t get as significant an attendance as we think we should do.

“If people don’t tell us about problems, we don’t know.

“It is all local issues that people want the police to do something about.”

Many of the concerns people raise at the meetings are not major crimes, but are issues that affect a neighbourhood or a street.

They can include antisocial behaviour, speeding or even littering.

Members of the public are invited to raise their concerns with the panel, which then goes into closed session to decide on policing priorities.

At the most recent meeting in May, the set priorities were lorries breaching the weight limit in Stamford town centre and damage to vehicles between 10pm and 4am, Wednesday to Sunday.

Police community support officer Chris Clarke said: “The meetings are extremely useful.

“Since the last meeting the response team have been stopping lorries through the town which is very helpful.

“There has been positive action to come out of that.”

The next Stamford Neighbourhood Open Forum meeting will be held at 6.30pm on July 2 at Teenzone in Green Lane.

There is no need to make an appointment and people can raise any issue they like.