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Police force ‘spread thinly’ says South Flintshire inspector

THE police force in Flintshire is becoming the thin blue line as resources become more and more stretched – an inspector has said.

Acting inspector for South Flintshire, Andy Griffiths, told a meeting of Mold Town Council that cutting officers from North Wales Police was having an impact on the service.

He said: “Everybody knows the current climate of cuts in the last 12 months and there is no going away from that.

“We have reduced numbers but there has been a double impact because we have not been recruiting.”

He added: “We have to do the best with the staff we’ve got.”

He said recruitment was starting again and at least two new police community support officers (PCSOs) would be posted in Mold in the next few weeks.

Cllr Chris Bithell questioned him about the lack of officers seen in the town centre.

He said: “You very rarely see a police officer nowadays, except perhaps in a car.”

He told the meeting he had witnessed a member of the public who apprehended a shoplifter on a market day and was punched in the face by him while waiting for police.

He said: “It was very nasty and it seemed like forever before the police actually arrived.

“It was probably about 10-12 minutes but for Mold on a Saturday, a very busy day, 10-12 minutes to summon a police officer is a bit disturbing.”

Insp Griffiths said the Government’s target time for officers to respond to an incident was 19 minutes.

He said: “I do understand your frustration about why there isn’t a specific officer or PCSO in Mold on a busy market day but the numbers are so few and we have to do so much with our time.

“We are spread so thinly, I guess it is really the thin blue line.”