NORTH Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has paid a visit to Whitchurch and Wem to take a look at the levels of policing in the area.

On Monday, he visited Whitchurch Police Station in Station Road to talk to officers about communication systems in place and how residents could contact them with ease.

He then paid a visit to Wem where he met with police constable (PC) Liam Heathcote who took him on a walk around the town to see the roles of the police out and about.

Mr Paterson was keen to visit his constituency to see if he could assist the police in any way.

He said: "The whole idea was just to catch up with the police and see the sights to get an insight into their presence.

"The visits weren't part of my agenda, I just wanted to meet with them [the police] to learn about their roles and whether I could help them with anything."

While in Wem, Mr Paterson and PC Heathcote called into The Fruitful Deli, owned by councillor Phil Glover, to have a chat.

Cllr Glover said: "Mr Paterson wanted to find out what we thought of the level of policing in Wem.

"With us being on the High Street and me being a member of the council, I think he wanted my opinion on their presence and also what I thought about communication with the police.

"He was speaking to shopkeepers about the issues in town rather than just the police so it's not just one-sided really.

"Due to lack of manpower there are issues. Officers are spread so thinly over North Shropshire.

"They're doing brilliantly though, but if we had more they'd do doubly well.

"About 18 months to two years ago we were given a form to fill in about police performance," he added.

"And looking at the survey it would show that we are happy with the police – but Liam wanted to highlight to Owen that although we are happy with the service, there's just not enough of them present."