A HEREFORDSHIRE town is calling for police to do more to tackle drugs and other crime in the community.

The police were absent at a Ross-on-Wye Town Council meeting on October 9 that they had been asked to attend, as councillors discussed their policing priorities for the town.

At the meeting, Councillor Julian Utting said: "The police haven't bothered to turn up to our meetings for a while to be held to account."

Mayor Louis Stark agreed and said: "The policing resources don't match the risk, even though they say Herefordshire is safer than other areas."

The mayor, Louis Stark, said that the town's top three priorities for police to tackle were drugs, anti-social behaviour and shoplifting.

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According to West Mercia Police, 115 crimes were reported in the Ross-on-Wye area in August 2023, the most recent month for which data is available. Of these, police were unable to prosecute a suspect in 17 cases.

These statistics make Ross-on-Wye the second most dangerous town in Herefordshire, after Leominster.


Councillor Utting said that more policing resources should be given to Ross-on-Wye, and said that he believed the current Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion should be voted out of his role.

PCC John Campion told the Hereford Times: "I am not aware of the basis of the two councillors to assert their judgement on policing matters. I recognise there is more to do, and want to see police officers evermore visible and accessible in the communities they serve."

Councillor John Winder highlighted that Ross-on-Wye's crime rates should be viewed in the context of a declining number of police officers on patrol in all parts of the UK.