A crime tsar has rejected calls to “go soft” on crimes like burglary and small-scale cannabis offences.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick spoke out after it was suggested by a senior figure in national policing that people whose homes have been burgled should no longer expect officers to turn up at their door to investigate the offence.
Chief constable Sara Thornton, who leads the National Police Chiefs’ Council, also said forces might not always investigate complaints about people growing cannabis.
Mr Roddick said: “There has been commentary in the press that cutbacks will necessitate police forces to decide not to attend at the burglary of someone’s homes.
“I wish to make it clear I will never endorse this approach. The violation of one’s home is one of the most traumatic crimes that anyone can suffer.
“I place security at home amongst my highest priorities. Domestic burglary levels in North Wales have, through hard work and dedication, been reduced to very low levels. Our intention is to continue prioritising this.
“We certainly shouldn’t go soft on either of these crimes, burglary in particular, because burglary by definition threatens people’s homes. One of my principal crime policies is that people should feel safe and secure at home. If you don’t feel safe and secure at home, you won’t feel safe and secure anywhere.
“So although the Chair of the Chief Constable’s Council has said the police won’t be enforcing burglaries when investigating them, that is not the North Wales Police policy, quite the contrary. North Wales Police will pursue burglars.
“Similarly, our policy towards drugs has not changed. The people we serve have every right to expect us to provide a comprehensive and professional service in these cases.
“In relation to cannabis, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. In the last week or so there were no less than three reported cases in the newspapers showing how North Wales Police had enforced against three separate growers of cannabis.
“In one, there were many plants worth quite a lot of money. In another one, there were only five plants and in the other there were about a dozen plants.
“Those examples show that North Wales Police will enforce no matter how many plants you’re growing and each one of those persons was arrested, prosecuted and fined or imprisoned, so that is the answer, yes, North Wales Police will enforce against them.
“Policing is a local matter. It’s the responsibility of the local force. The decision to enforce will be taken locally and not by the national council of chief constables.”