A man who started a campaign to hire a private security contractor to patrol the streets of Wickford in Essex has said that it may not happen as the town has witnessed a sudden drop in its crime rate.
James Poole, a resident of Wickford, was instrumental in starting the private security initiative in October 2016 after his house was burgled. The burglary was one of several that had taken place in the neighbourhood.
Poole now says that the town residents do not appear to be interested in pursuing the scheme after a trial run was conducted. He added that while discussions are still ongoing with residents who are interested, the initial interest has waned since the number of burglaries has dropped. Nonetheless, those people who are interested in having private security contractors patrol the streets at nights are trying to convince their neighbours.
Poole believes that the scheme will catch on gradually as he does not expect things to change overnight. He feels that the reluctance comes from the fact that people do not want to pay for a service to which they are entitled. However, he said that the scheme is still on track.
Poole was part of the trial group that patrolled the streets along with a private security firm, and he has been trying to raise the necessary funds ever since to hire the security personnel on a full-time basis. He was quick to acknowledge that after the numerous burglaries, the police presence in the neighbourhood has been ramped up. If this trend continues, there may be no need for a private security contractor to handle the night security in the community.
While Poole is happy that the security situation has improved, he feels that there could be an increase in crime during the Christmas season.