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End riverside drinking hell is Spalding residents’ plea

Residents check out the substation that has become a urinal. SG290817-015TW
Residents check out the substation that has become a urinal. SG290817-015TW

Residents of Spalding’s Barge Close and Commercial Road want police and the district council to end their noise and nuisance nightmare and stamp out riverside drinking.

An electricity sub-station on the neatly kept Barge Close estate road is used as a urinal by riverbank drinkers, forcing parents of one little girl to switch her bedroom in a bid to stop her being upset by men indecently exposing themselves as they use the makeshift loo.

But the ten-year-old still sees the upsetting sights through the window as she crosses the landing and, nearby, a boy of eight has witnessed men urinating against the wall of his house.

Residents say they are being fobbed off by the council and police and are now taking their case to South Holland and the Deepings MP in the hope he can find a solution.

Tracy Bycraft (45) says residents are subjected to noise at all times of the day.

She believes removing the riverbank tables and benches would be a first step, but says the council and police have so far failed to act.

She said: “It’s getting to the point where we will be getting a petition to get the benches removed. I’ve contacted the council on different occasions and been told it’s a police matter.”

Tracy says when she calls police “they say ‘no resources’ as usual”.

She said: “We cannot live like this. It is getting out of hand. One resident has made a decision to put cameras up to show how bad it is.”

Dad Ashley Knott said: “I have an eight-year-old boy. If he looks out of his window he sees them (the drinkers) going (urinating) there or on the back garden.”

Fiona Guy, the ten-year-old girl’s mum, said: “I have said to them (the drinkers) several times this is not a public toilet and they say ‘where’s the toilet?’ I want the benches taken away because they sit there drinking for hours and hours.”

Tracy said drinkers monopolise the riverbank tables and benches, and families either can’t use them or are afraid to try.

Both the police and the council say they work together to try to end anti-social behaviour.

A council spokesman said: “It is vitally important that incidents of anti-social behaviour are reported to the police via 101 or to our communities team on 01775 761161 so that these issues can be monitored and appropriate action can be taken. The benches were installed for the benefit of all residents to use and we do not have any plans to remove them at present.”

Insp Gareth Boxall said: “I encourage residents to report these matters to us as and when they are happening.

“I can’t promise that we will always have resources available to attend straight away though but all reports help us build a picture of what is happening and where each week.

“I have asked the neighbourhood policing team to look into the issue and see what we can do with our partners including the council to solve the problem.”

• Email your views to lynne.harrison@iliffepublishing.co.uk

Previously ...

Mum afraid to walk Spalding riverbank because drinkers gather there

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