Police chief urged to 'walk the walk' in Jarrow as councillor calls for action on drugs, antisocial behaviour and nuisance riders

A new policing boss has been urged to ‘walk the walk’ and follow through with her promises to put communities back at the heart of fighting crime.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 15 August, 2019, 16:45
Northumbria Police

Jarrow councillor Paul Milburn has issued the challenge to Kim McGuinness, who took over as Northumbria Police’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in July 2019.

And he has called on the freshly elected PCC to visit his Primrose ward to see firsthand the ‘lawless’ nuisance riders and drug use he claims is blighting the area.

“I want Kim to come here and walk the walk, I want her to demonstrate what she has said she is going to do,” said Coun Milburn, who was elected to South Tyneside Council as an independent in May’s round of local elections.

Councillor Paul Milburn

“I would like to see an analysis of what is going on, to understand hot spots and times of incidents – we cannot cover all bases 24/7, but things don’t happen 24/7.”

In a letter to the PCC, Coun Milburn claimed his constituents were ‘fed up’ with the police’s 101 phone service and urged his ward be used as a ‘as a pilot scheme to bring the police and community closer together’.

McGuinness stepped down from Newcastle City Council after she was elected as the Labour Party’s candidate for PCC to replace the outgoing Dame Vera Baird, who quit the post to become Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales.

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During the campaign, McGuinness promised communities would be ‘at the heart of policing’ under her regime.

Newly elected Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness

She said this would include a new police plan for the force, focusing on response times, neighbourhood policing and antisocial behaviour, as well as the ‘bigger issues causing crime and affecting victims’.

And this is what Coun Milburn says he wants to see.

He said: “I don’t want to see a panda car racing down to chase every bike, we just need a deterrent.

“What I wouldn’t want is a knee-jerk reaction, we want to see someone put a bit of thought into how to prevent it long term.”

A spokesman for the PCC’s office declined to comment but said a response would be sent to Coun Milburn directly.