POLICE are being urged to put more officers on the streets to help rid Spalding of anti-social behaviour.
Spalding Town Forum heard one police officer and three PCSOs have been assigned to the problem and, since May, 178 offenders caught drinking in the Designated Public Place Order have been dealt with.
But Coun Howard Johnson said: “One policeman and three PCSOs, I would say that number is ridiculous.
“It’s far too small and, although it’s better than nothing at all, it’s not very much.”
Details on numbers of officers and offences were sent to the forum in an email from Spalding neighbourhood police inspector Chris Davison.
Coun Graham Taylor wanted to know more about the offenders.
He asked: “Is it 178 different people or ten offenders that are being repeatedly dealt with?”
And Coun Christine Lawton said: “It’s a great pity that there’s no one here from the police who we can actually have a conversation with.”
Coun Lawton felt police were being complacent in the light of Free Press reports about crime and anti-social behaviour in Abbey Path and criticised police for giving the anti-social behaviour campaign a “grandiose name”, Operation Trunk.
Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce president Phil Scarlett said: “We seem to be pushing the problem off the main street in to the back areas – that doesn’t solve the problem, I think it makes it worse.”
Forum chairman Coun George Aley said: “We are talking about two dozen or three dozen yobs who we know are causing all of the problems. How many police officers do you need to sort that out?”
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said Spalding should look at other similar-sized towns which have beaten the anti-social behaviour problem and use that as a blueprint.
Coun Angela Newton said Spalding had missed an opportunity by not joining BID (Business Improvement District). She said: “I do believe that people who have gone down that route tend to have a calmer and less criminal element in their town centres.”