Street drinking is a ‘perception’, claims Spalding police inspector

Insp Jo Reeves (back second left) with county and district councillors, Civic Society members and other delegates at the first meeting of Spalding's new Riverside Community Forum at the Pennygate Foundation, Spalding, on Friday.
Insp Jo Reeves (back second left) with county and district councillors, Civic Society members and other delegates at the first meeting of Spalding's new Riverside Community Forum at the Pennygate Foundation, Spalding, on Friday.
  • ‘Police response is dependent on public demand’, forum is told
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The officer in charge of policing Spalding has claimed that problems over street drinking and disorder in the town are just a “perception”.

Insp Jo Reeves, community policing inspector for South Holland, stated that riverside and town centre patrols had thrown up fewer issues for police to deal with than thought by the public.

The claims came during the first meeting of a new Riverside Community Forum set up to monitor and improve the River Welland area in Spalding.

One of the items raised at Friday’s meeting was vandals who threw two builder’s skips full of rubbish into the river last week.

Insp Reeves said: “I know people often get frustrated because they report information when the police aren’t available to respond to it.

“But this information is valuable to us and our resources can be directed to areas where anti-social behaviour has been reported.”

If we don’t know about an issue in an area, we can’t attend to it and deal with it properly

Insp Jo Reeves, community policing inspector for South Holland

She added: “If we don’t know about an issue in an area, we can’t attend to it and deal with it properly. A lot of the concerns that we get are (people’s) perception, including street drinking which is something we get very few calls about.”

Insp Reeves added that a PCSO had come across the skips in the river and then alerted the authorities to get them removed.

“We do patrol the riverbank at least once a day and we would love to be omnipresent, but we can’t,” Insp Reeves said.

Meanwhile, riverside campaigners joined police, district and county councillors at the Riverside Community Forum’s first-ever meeting on Friday.

New bins to sit alongside benches in Spalding, asking low-level offenders to carry out community work in the town and new artwork on some of the town’s railway bridges were a few of the ideas discussed at the Pennygate Foundation on Friday.

South Holland District Council member for Spalding St John’s, Coun Jack McLean, said: “We feel quite passionately that we don’t want to see any more problems occurring to the detriment of the riverside and the best way of going about addressing it is with a multi-agency approach.”

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