Ashbourne News Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Gareth But­ter­field gareth.but­ter­field@ash­bourne­new­stele­graph.co.uk

THE way Ash­bourne is cov­ered by emer­gency ser­vices is due to come un­der close scrutiny by a lobby group at a pub­lic meet­ing in the town this month.

Ash­bourne and District Fifty Plus Fo­rum has in­vited po­lice com­mis­sioner Hardyal Dhindsa and am­bu­lance bosses to face ques­tions over po­lice pres­ence and emer­gency re­sponse times.

Mr Dhindsa, who was elected into his role over­see­ing Der­byshire’s po­lice bud­gets and resources, is to com­ment on re­duced polic­ing lev­els and the im­pact this has on the rate of crimes – and solv­ing them.

Two other guests from East Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, Tim Slater, gen­eral man­ager for Der­byshire, and Sa­man­tha West­well, am­bu­lance op­er­a­tions man­ager for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and en­gage­ment, will be quizzed on the ef­fec­tive­ness of their ser­vice.

Fo­rum mem­ber An­drea Cooke said: “Ash­bourne has re­duced vis­i­ble po­lice pres­ence and the clo­sure of the po­lice sta­tion means re­port­ing crime is not as easy.

“Mr Dhindsa will dis­cuss the in­crease in in­ter­net crime and how po­lice resources have been al­lo­cated to deal with this while main­tain­ing a po­lice force which is seen by the pub­lic to be deal­ing with crime.

“He will also dis­cuss the con­vic­tion rates given the news crimes are in­creas­ing and are not be­ing solved na­tion­ally – in par­tic­u­lar in Der­byshire,” she added.

“And he will com­ment on re­duced polic­ing and the im­pact this has on the rate of crime and solv­ing them. East Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vices will be dis­cussing their chang­ing role in the com­mu­nity.

“They will dis­cuss re­sponse times to emer­gency calls and how they are dealt with and pro­ce­dures to im­prove them.

“They will ex­plain work­ing across bound­aries be­tween coun­ties and the chal­lenges this pro­duces. Work­ing with other or­gan­i­sa­tions such as NHS, Po­lice and Fire Ser­vices can pro­duce ef­fi­cien­cies in ef­fec­tive work­ing and costs.

“They will ex­plain how this is evolv­ing and if this ef­fec­tive for the pub­lic.”

The open meet­ing, which can be at­tended by all age groups, is due to take place on Fri­day, Novem­ber 16 from 10am un­til 12.30pm at Elim Pen­te­costal Church in Water­side Park, and will also hear from Clare Water­fall, project man­ager within the Pre­ven­tion Team of Adult Care at Der­byshire County Coun­cil.

She will be there to ex­plain the Safe Places Scheme, which of­fers peo­ple some­where to go if they are scared, lost or in need of some help.

These pub­lic build­ings in towns and com­mu­ni­ties in­clude li­braries, shops, phar­ma­cies and GP surg­eries and have stick­ers in win­dows to show they are part of the scheme.

She will ex­plain how to ap­ply to be part of the scheme and who is el­i­gi­ble.

Re­fresh­ments will be avail­able for a small charge at the meet­ing, which will be fol­lowed by the group’s an­nual gern­eral meet­ing, and park­ing is free.

He will com­ment on re­duced polic­ing and the im­pact this has on crime clear-up rates. An­drea Cooke

Hardyal Dhindsa over­sees Der­byshire’s po­lice bud­gets and resources

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