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Police boss looking to recruit 'eyes and ears'
THE region’s police and crime commissioner wants to splash £15,000 on employing five “eyes and ears” of the community.
Bill Longmore has decided to hunt for five people who can get critical feedback from residents about their views and fears of crime.
The move is an admission that Mr Longmore is struggling to reach out to enough households across West Mercia’s vast landscape.
The new recruits will be given particular patches to cover each, including south Worcestershire, north Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford.
Each recruit will have to put aside three days a month to get feedback from communities on key policing issues, and act as a ‘go to’ between the public and Mr Longmore.
But the idea has been criticised by some politicians, who say they will want to see evidence it works.
Councillor Peter McDonald said: “To me this is one of the biggest insults you can offer to councillors - we are here ourselves for the very purpose he’s talking about.
“If he wants the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, he’s got parish, district and county councillors across West Mercia who can fill him in.
“If a councillor didn’t know what was going on in their patch, they’d be voted out at election time - we talk to people and get views ourselves.
“I don’t know of any councillor who would not pass over the opportunity to convey their thoughts to him, given the chance.”
Mr Longmore said he is looking for “talented and passionate” people to join his team. The five “ambassadors” will get a £3,000 allowance each.
He already has one member of staff working as a co-ordinator for the project.
Mr Longmore said: “People’s views so far have been invaluable and I hope that by expanding this scheme it will help me to reach out to them further.
“We will be expecting a great deal from the successful candidates as they will be fundamental to help us make the area even more vibrant and safe.”
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