Council’s crime fears increase

PUBLISHED: 10:57 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

LITTLEPORT parish councillors claim crime in the village is spiralling out of control and fear no-one is listening to their concerns. They claim youngsters are collecting ASBOS like they used to collect Guide and Scout badges and villagers are too scared

LITTLEPORT parish councillors claim crime in the village is spiralling out of control and fear no-one is listening to their concerns.

They claim youngsters are collecting ASBOS like they used to collect Guide and Scout badges and villagers are too scared to report crime.

Now they want to change the by-laws to outlaw drinking on the village's Parsons Lane play area, giving police community support officers the power to move on youngsters after dark.

Littleport district and parish councillor Fred Brown has also called a meeting with Ely Police temporary inspector, Alan Savill, East Cambridgeshire District Council chief executive, John Hill and the council's external partnerships committee chairman, Councillor Allyson Broadhurst.

Councillors have already passed a motion of no confidence in the police, claiming they are failing to crackdown on vehicle thefts and anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Brown said: "If the statistics say vehicle crime is going down, then that's only because people are too scared to report it.

"The police must look more at CCTV footage obtained by the parish council. If they continue to say there are no resources to go through it, and if anti-social behaviour happens consistently, then people will have no recourse but to take matters into their own hands. That's what worries me.

"It's not just Littleport. I've had reports from all over but I'm worried that people are coming to me and bypassing the police because they know they won't do anything."

Fellow Littleport district and parish councillor, Andy Wright, described policing in the town as "cosmetic".

"It's not just a load of us sitting round a table talking about a problem that doesn't exist," he said. "If people feel insecure then the town is insecure. Littleport has made the national papers as a place where some people are too scared to go out and ASBOs are being sought after like a guide or scout badges were 20 years ago. Kids just aren't scared of PCSOs.

"We are being forced to spend thousands out of our own budget when the problem wouldn't be there if policing was adequate in the first place."

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "Police have not been contacted about these concerns.

"We would like to reassure residents, however, that Littleport is effectively policed by a dedicated neighbourhood team, including a police constable and PCSOs, and also a reactive team which offers 24-hour cover.

"These reactive officers include dog units, traffic officers, the air support unit and CID officers.

"In the past six weeks, over and above calls for service, Littleport's dedicated Pc, Dave Bishop, has secured seven arrests, investigated 19 crimes, issued four street cautions for cannabis and three £80 fines for disorder.

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