NEWLY-elected Police & Crime Commissioner John Dwyer visited Helsby on his first official engagement since being elected to the role earlier this month, following ongoing concerns involving anti-social youths in the village.
Mr Dwyer was invited to the village by local campaigner Adam Wordsworth, following reports of anti-social behaviour and vandalism over recent months.
Speaking at Helsby Parish Play Area, which was vandalised last month, Mr Dwyer said: “Low-level anti-social behaviour and vandalism such as this don’t often get coverage in the press because they are not seen as high crimes, but these are the things that blight people’s everyday lives. It is the reason why my first pledge for the recent election was to have more police officers patrolling our streets. If people see a police officer in their area they will think twice before committing an offence.”
Helsby Parish Play Area became the focal point for local residents in April, when benches were broken and bottles smashed, shortly after a bus stop was vandalised on Chester Road.
Speaking alongside Mr Dwyer, Mr Wordsworth added: “I have been working with residents, Parish Councillors and the Police to try to drive down ASB in the village. A lot of it was kids being bored during lockdown but there is no excuse for it going this far. We now need everyone to work together to make sure this doesn’t happen again. That means parents taking responsibility for their kids, youths taking responsibility for their actions, and Cheshire West Council ensuring there are things for young people to do other than hang out on street corners.”
Helsby Parish Council Chairman Terry O’Neill added: “Helsby Parish Council is extremely concerned about the rise of antisocial behaviour in the village. We have a good working relationship with the local police, who know the local people and work hard to keep us safe but they can’t be everywhere at once. Residents have been doing the right thing and reporting things as and when they occur and I’m really pleased to have had such a swift response from the PCC to the concerns we have raised.”