Luton Council has funded additional community policing to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve feelings of public safety in Luton town centre.
High visibility patrols are being conducted in the town centre over the coming days as part of Operation Foresight.
The operation first began in November 2019 and aims to prevent and deter anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder as well as reassure shoppers and businesses by providing a visible police presence. The public can expect to see an increase in police officers in and around the town centre.
The council has received funding through the Home Office’s Partnership for People and Place initiative to back the additional enforcement.
Cllr Maria Lovell, portfolio holder for neighbourhood services and community safety said: “Improving the town centre remains a key priority for the council and we want everyone to feel safe when they visit, so building on the success of Operation Foresight is vital.”
“The community feedback from earlier patrols showed there was a strong feeling that the additional enforcement and visible police presence made people feel safer when visiting the town centre.”
But it’s not just about tackling crime, Cllr Lovell explains: “Bedfordshire Police will also be working closely with a wide range of support services to make sure we can get help to the vulnerable people who need it.”
Luton Council’s neighbourhood enforcement team, staff from the ResoLUTiONs drug and alcohol service, Mind BLMK mental health services, and the charity NOAH Enterprise, are among those involved.
Following the two most recent operations, Bedfordshire Police recorded dealing with 20 reports of crime, 46 stop checks, 13 arrests, 42 pieces of intelligence submitted, issued 17 enforcement notices and attended 33 incidents.
Sergeant Ben Schofield from the Luton community policing team said: “Bedfordshire Police are committed to Operation Foresight and share the common goal of making the Luton town centre a safe and enjoyable place to visit.
“We know how reassuring it is to see police officers out in our communities and this partnership work with Luton Council provides an increased policing presence which we hope is making people feel safer.
“Good policing is about a lot more than just enforcement though, which is why we are working side by side with charities and other agencies to help support people where we can and create long term solutions to anti-social behaviour.”