A police boss is spearheading a new crime-busting partnership in Denbigh following a spate of burglaries.
The town hit the national headlines when Mark Young, the owner of Denbigh Chocolate Shop, started going on night-time patrols in a bid to deter the break-ins.
The police have now arrested and charged a suspect.
At Prestatyn magistrates’ court, father-of-two Mark Godsall, 43, of Myddleton Avenue, Denbigh, was accused of burgling or trying to enter 11 premises in Denbigh within three days.
Godsall admitted two of the offences but gave no indication of his plea to the other nine charges. He was remanded in custody to appear at Mold Crown Court on November 4.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC has taken a personal interest in the matter and he visited the town to discuss the situation with community leaders.
After a meeting with Denbigh mayor Cllr Raymond Bartley, Mark Young and local police officers, Mr Roddick and his deputy, Julian Sandham, went on a walkabout to meet the business people who’d been affected.
The town council are now also going to investigate the possibility of upgrading and extending the CCTV system covering Denbigh.
Meanwhile, a Police Community Support Officer is visiting local businesses to offer crime prevention advice.
According to Mr Roddick it was “an outstandingly good meeting”
He said: “Around that table today there was a level of understanding which will give strength and direction to the measures that we will now be employing and deploying for the effective policing of Denbigh.
“The partnership that we are creating with the people of Denbigh, and with the statutory agencies of Denbigh will assist the local police officers who will be able to effectively police the area. The police cannot do it on their own.
“I am very sorry the shopkeepers in Denbigh have been burgled and I am very grateful to Mark Young for drawing my attention to the concerns among local shopkeepers about this spate of crimes.
“I was able then to respond then quickly and positively by taking a report, by analysing the course of it, and also by taking advice as to what the best response now could be to solving his concerns.
“Mark is obviously a person who’s highly respected in the community, knows it intimately and I’m looking forward to working in partnership in Denbigh as I have done in other places in North Wales to address this problem.
“The good thing that has come out of it that everybody has come together in the spirit of partnership for the greater good of Denbigh.”
Mark Young was extremely grateful to Mr Roddick for his personal interest in keeping Denbigh safe.
He said: “Credit where it’s due, Mr Roddick has shown leadership in responding quickly and decisively to address our concerns here in Denbigh.
“It confirmed at the meeting that North Wales Police did put extra resources in the area when needed very quickly, and apprehended someone.
“The word partnership was used a lot and I think that’s the key, to move forward together, and I look forward to working with the police as a town councillor to make that happen.
“Mr Roddick obviously knows what he’s talking about. He used to be a police officer and he’s been a barrister and a judge before becoming police and crime commissioner. That’s quite a CV.
“It was a pleasure to be in a meeting with him when he spoke a great deal of sense. He understands policing.
“I think the key thing is to reassure everyone that Denbigh is a pretty safe place to live, and long may that continue.
“We’re looking to move forward and draw a line under the situation. I think the focus on CCTV upgrades and community engagement is important.”
It was a messaged echoed by Cllr Bartley who said: “What we need to do now is work together with the community, the county council, the town council, and everyone. If we don’t work together like the commissioner has said then things will fall down.
“We’re glad that the police are working so hard in the town of Denbigh. They have worked with us, they have caught a suspect and that has lessened the apprehension of a lot of people in the town.
“It is important we tell the police if there is something not right in the town, or think that something not right in the town, to tell the police straight away, and it’s imperative for them report the matter by phoning 101.
“I’ve always held Winston Roddick in high esteem and I’m glad that he has come to Denbigh. It creates confidence.”
Among those attending the meeting was Chief Inspector Paul Joyce, native of Denbigh, and the district inspector, Gareth Jones.
Chief Insp Joyce said: “I think that it’s important to know that on this particular occasion the police response to these particular burglaries was a super level of response, including the unmarked patrols and the plain clothes patrols that we did, getting out to meet those victims.
“None of them are multinational stores, they’re all local people who have suffered. It’s the money out of their own pockets. So it’s important that we support them and we’ve arrested an individual.
“Going forward, it’s about crime prevention and working with the partners as we discussed round the table to try to prevent further offences.
“I’m really happy following the meeting today with the mayor, with Mr Young and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
“Indeed Mr Young himself actually sent out some really positive social media messages in relation to the dialogue that we had and indeed the police response once he understood in fact what the police were doing.
“We’ve got a good plan going forward how we can work together and influence those partners to ensure Denbigh is a safer place.”