CROWLAND PARISH COUNCIL: Frustration over crime grows amid claims of ‘lost impetus’

South Holland Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Gareth Boxall outside Spalding Police Station.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
SG190517-209TW.
South Holland Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Gareth Boxall outside Spalding Police Station. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG190517-209TW.
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Crowland Parish Council members have accused police of “losing impetus” after the town saw reports of disorder jump by more than 100 per cent in a year.

No police officers or PCSOs were present at Monday’s meeting where councillors heard that 19 cases of anti-social behaviour were reported across Crowland in August, compared to just eight for the same month last year.

There’s a small minority of people who have been a damn nuisance and it’s unfortunate that there isn’t a continual police presence to get on top of it

Coun Bryan Alcock, parish and district councillor for Crowland

Coun Bryan Alcock, parish and district councillor for Crowland, said: “There’s a small minority of people who have been a damn nuisance and it’s unfortunate that there isn’t a continual police presence to get on top of it.

“Some months ago, we made some noise and there seemed to be some progress made.

“But it now seems that the impetus has been lost and you’re getting various comments on social media from people, one of which suggested starting up vigilante groups to clear the streets.”

Some examples of recent disorder included damage to public toilets in West Street over the August bank holiday weekend and councillors also claimed that plots at the town allotments in James Road had been damaged.

Crowland hosted a meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones last month where the town’s problems with anti-social behaviour were raised.

The meeting came a month after South Holland Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Gareth Boxall warned parish councillors during their July meeting that their was no “overnight fix” to tackle crime in Crowland.

In a response to parish councillors voting to express their concerns to both the police and Mr Jones in writing, Insp Boxall said: “Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams are responsible for 23 parishes in South Holland, including the six wards of Spalding.

“Officers do attend parish council meetings periodically and have ongoing contact with members in-between, with Crowland Parish Council having been provided with a written update prior to Monday’s meeting by the area PCSO.

“Our officers patrol Crowland when they can but we continually have to prioritise resources and when officers aren’t patrolling Crowland, it is usually because they are busy elsewhere.

“This includes doing such things as searching for vulnerable missing people, arresting domestic abuse perpetrators and attending serious road traffic collisions.

“I recognise the problems that the residents of Crowland are having to put up with and we continue to work with our partners to address the underlying issues in the area.

“The Street Smart Programme we have run over the summer months has had success in diverting a small number of youths away from offending and we look forward to supporting the parish council with the proposed skate park.

“We have made some progress but it is clear that incidents such as the damage to the public toilets in West Street continue to be a problem for the town.

“This particular incident is being investigated and once the CCTV images are available for publication we will release them to local and social media in order to identify the offenders.

“My advice to those responsible for this damage would be to contact Lincolnshire Police, quoting incident 173 of August 27, and avoid having your face published in the newspaper and on social media.

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