Holbeach: Crackdown on louts

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IT’S TIME to get tough on anti-social behaviour in Holbeach, according to the councillor heading up a six-man team set to zero in on the problem.

South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth is leading a group made up of councillors, police, fire and youth workers that yesterday started a six-week project to combat anti-social issues in the town.

The team will take on a mini Total Place project – a government-endorsed pilot scheme that encourages groups to get together for a short blitz on an issue affecting one area.

They will look at the causes and effects of anti-social behaviour and draw up a plan to tackle it.

Coun Worth said: “We were offered the chance to do a mini Total Place project in South Holland and I took the opportunity to do one on anti-social behaviour in Holbeach.

“It’s not a massive issue but I am not aware that there are 20 or 30 people who regularly give us problems.

“We are looking at all the stats and the issues surrounding anti-social behaviour to see if we can come up with half a dozen action points.

“It’s quite ambitious.”

The project comes in the week that details have emerged of Home Secretary Theresa May’s new plans for a “toolkit” of policies to replace the controversial ASBOs.

The measures include fines for people who are a persistent nuisance to the quality of life in an area, “criminal behaviour orders” to ban people convicted of being drunk and disorderly from a town centre for two years and court orders to close problem properties.

Coun Worth thinks the tough measures outlined in Theresa May’s plans could prove useful for Holbeach.

He said: “I think it looks as though she has taken a slightly harder line and I think that might be what is needed.

“We are looking at positive ways of dealing with it but also we have maybe got to start cracking down.

“The fact they are in groups is an issue because the group gives them security and they can be quite confident. We might need to break the groups down and start tackling them in ones or twos.

“We have got to make use of some of the laws in place and we can use bylaws.

“We have always been reluctant to put them in but we need the short, sharp shock treatment.”

Problems in Holbeach often occur around the town’s takeaways and Coun Worth says the group might look at how to ban troublemakers from being served in all the town’s takeaways, in the same way that prolific shoplifters are barred from stores in Spalding’s Shopwatch scheme.

There are also problems in Stukeley Gardens to be addressed by the group.