In recent weeks Derek has spent two Friday evenings out on patrol with local police officers in Runcorn and Widnes to get a better understanding of the way Community Policing is carried out in his constituency.
In Widnes he joined officers on 'Operation Stay Safe' which targets anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking, with a particular emphasis on protecting vulnerable young people. Last Friday night Derek went out in one of the police's regular car patrols in Runcorn.
"Complaints about crime and disorder, including anti-social behaviour, form part of every MP's post bag and advice surgeries, so it is important that MPs see first hand how our local police deal with these issues and there is no better way of doing that than by spending time with police officers out on patrol.
I was very impressed with what I saw, particularly with the dedication and enthusiasm officers show in carrying out their work. I witnessed how officers use their local knowledge and intelligence to deal with the many issues and challenges that confront them. In respect of young people, I witnessed a clear determination to both prevent disorder and anti-social behaviour but also to see the vulnerable protected. I spoke to many young people and the vast majority were well behaved and caused no problems. It was also good to see the police working in partnership with other organisations such as Halton Borough Council and local Housing Associations.
While a great deal has been done to reduce crime in Halton in recent years, it is important that the police continue to get the support and resources to continue, along with the Community Partnership, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour."