Budget cuts to Bedfordshire Police are now threatening children’s safety from reckless road users. Houghton Regis Town Councillor Tim Welch reports:
“On Monday 9th I picked up my sons from Queensbury School at the end of the day. As I was waiting in my car, a motorbike with two young male riders rode up very close behind me, mounted the kerb and rode up the pavement, nearly colliding with several members of the public. A second bike then followed, with another two male riders.
“When I called the police they told me that they had already had many reports of these riders. Later on, as I was speaking with Queensbury’s principal on the roadside, the bikes passed by on the pavement again, narrowly missing children. At the same time a police patrol car passed the school, without stopping to assess the situation or apprehend the dangerous riders. I phoned the police again while the principal kept watch, and was told that this was not considered urgent and that no officer was available to patrol the area surrounding the school.
“Bedfordshire Chief Constable Boucher has already told us that budget cuts have left the police without the resources they need to protect Bedfordshire’s citizens -- budget cuts that the Tories have imposed in the name of austerity. Now it seems that our police are so badly starved of resources that even reckless riders endangering our children can’t be considered an urgent matter. Will it take children’s deaths to compel the Tories to give our police the funding they need to protect our communities?”