Crime is the great scourge of a civilised society. The cost of crime is not just the damage done by criminals but the huge expense and effort we have to put into protecting ourselves from it. 

I was elected in 2019 on a manifesto promise to recruit 20,000 more police officers in England and Wales. That target has been met, with over 210 new officers in Wiltshire.

Crime is coming down overall but that’s no comfort to individual victims. And for too long the police in Wiltshire failed to deter or detect crime properly. Fittingly the force was placed in special measures.

Since the election of the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson in 2021 the management, culture and performance of Wiltshire Police has started to improve markedly. Action on sexual assault and domestic abuse has increased sixfold. All burglaries are now attended and investigated by the police, and 999 response times have halved. Wiltshire Police is now the top performing force in the country for responding to car crime and for drug and county line disruptions. 86% of victims report they are satisfied by the actions of the police. 

I am particularly concerned about rural crime. People living in isolated communities, and dependent on expensive assets - cars, farming machinery - for their livelihoods, are especially vulnerable to burglary. And like rural communities across the country we suffer from the damage done by the appalling crime of illegal hare coursing, perpetrated by organised criminal gangs who make large sums of money from people watching their hunts and gambling online. 

As Philip told me in the video above, he is leading the national effort to combat hare coursing and we are seeing robust action here in Wiltshire.


Anti-social behaviour in Caen Hill Gardens - 4 September, 2023

I was disappointed to hear reports about continuing anti-social behaviour in Devizes over recent months and especially of residents at Caen Hill Gardens, who have experienced unacceptable problems with neighbours over the course of several years.

Closure Order granted for Station Road car park

In recent weeks, I have met with residents, Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police to discuss the ongoing anti-social behaviour that has been taking place along Station Road and particularly in Station Road car park.