LEADING Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne has praised the approach that local police are taking to clamp down on anti social behaviour.
The Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs was speaking after spending yesterday in Solihull.
During his tour, the MP visited local police stations, spoke with officers and observed local operations. He told the Solihull News that his party were very much behind a community-led approach to policing.
“I think that the neighbourhood policing which West Midlands Police have been pioneering over the last couple of years is very encouraging and it’s certainly something we’re in favour of. I think one of the Government’s failings is not recognising the advantages of this strategy sooner.”
In the morning, Mr Huhne had visited Winchcombe Road police station to find out about Operation Jilch - an initiative which aims to crack down on local troublemakers. Speaking to residents in Barn Lane, the MP for Eastleigh said that he had been encouraged by local operations which targeted nuisance behaviour.
“Anti social behaviour is one of people’s biggest concerns, but it’s not just about that. With the recession, there is inevitably going to be a rise in offences like property crime.
“As unemployment increases these types of offences are bound to rise. We need to look at tackling these problems.”
In the afternoon, Mr Huhne chatted with students at Solihull College and went on a tour of Shirley with PCSO Sharon Doherty. He was joined throughout the day by Solihull MP Lorely Burt and local Lib Dem councillors.
“I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen in Solihull,” said Mr Huhne. “Getting into the thick of an area is something we’ve advocated for years.”
For video footage of the visit, go to www.solihullnews.net