The mayor of Tring has blasted police for deserting the town – despite reports that crime is now rising.
Last week it was reported a spate of vehicle crimes had taken place in the area in recent weeks.
Roads targeted included High Street, Faversham Close, Park Road and Rosebery Way – and many of the crimes have been reported on the Everything Tring Facebook page.
Town mayor Stephen Hearn said: “I think a lot of things could have been prevented by the visible presence of police.”
This week, the Gazette asked members of the Everything Tring page whether they thought more police should be based in the town. Almost all of them said yes – and some of their views are listed in our vox pop on the letters page of this week’s Gazette.
Mr Hearn said: “You hear all these nasty reports of what’s happening in town and when you go out, you never see a police officer.”
Mr Hearn has previously complained that vandals had snapped in half an oak tree that school children planted to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Berkhamsted & Tring Sgt Peter Huffer recently attended a meeting of Tring Town Council.
But Mr Hearn said: “The comment from people was: ‘Where are the police that we have supposedly got in Tring?’
“We have got three PCSOs, but I have not seen one of them walking in town for quite some time. We have got all these nasty little crimes taking place and my own opinion is the presence of police would do quite a lot to reassure people.”
He said he understood that there had been funding cuts in recent years – but that having a few PCSOs walking about couldn’t cost that much.
Neighbourhood Inspector for Dacorum George Holland said there are five PCs and seven PCSOs in the Berkhamsted and Tring Safer Neighbourhood Team, led by Sgt Huffer.
Mr Holland said they deal with issues of concern to people in the area and provide a visible presence to reduce crime, catch criminals and keep everyone safe.
He said: “The officers have bases at both Tring and Berkhamsted stations. Tring is a permanent police station and will remain so well into the future.
“I am disappointed to hear that the mayor feels there is no longer a visible police presence in the town and we have spoken to him about his concerns.
“We do have one PCSO vacancy for Tring and we are actively recruiting for this post.
“My officers work extremely hard to provide a good service to the public and will continue to do so.
“As well as the Safer Neighbourhood Team we have dedicated Intervention Response team, we benefit from the Roads Policing Unit frequently patrolling and collaborated resources, plus other specialist resources such as Scorpion and Tactical Team.”
Chief Inspector for Dacorum, Glen Channer said: “We would always welcome many more PCSOs – they do a great job providing public reassurance and actively support our police officers.
“However, balancing priorities and economic environment means decisions have to be made on a bigger scale.
“Dacorum has not made any cuts to the neighbourhood team – in fact it’s establishment was increased on 1st April 2013.
“Apart from our regular police officers, we are supported by a fantastic group of Special Constables, who have a wealth of experience and are dedicated to serving the public of Tring and Berkhamsted.
“We feel we have the right balance at the moment which is keeping crime low across Dacorum. We do have a scheme which allows local authorities to fund a PCSO who can cover their area.”