Mum afraid to walk Spalding riverbank because drinkers gather there

Afternoon drinking  on The River Welland bank alongside Commercial Road, Spalding. SG030817-123aTW
Afternoon drinking on The River Welland bank alongside Commercial Road, Spalding. SG030817-123aTW
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Police are asking residents worried by drink and drug use in Spalding’s public places to call them rather than “vent” on social media.

One mum posted on a community site that she was afraid to walk on the riverbank because drinkers gather there.

She said: “I would love to have walks along the river in town with my baby but there are people drinking on each bench and picnic table, even at 9am. “Will it ever stop? I don’t feel safe.”

A man’s reply suggested nothing had been done by police, despite them claiming in the past to be tackling the issue, and he added: “Castle is full of drugs. I won’t take my children there as the smell of weed is unbearable.”

The sector inspector for South Holland Neighbourhood Policing, Gareth Boxall, said: “I encourage members of the public to report incidents of street drinking and drug use to us using 101.

“Social media is often the first port of call for people to vent about problems but that doesn’t help us in understanding where the issues are or inform us about it at the time.

“When we do receive calls about such incidents though, I can’t promise we will always be able to attend immediately. We constantly have to balance conflicting demands on resources and prioritise where to send officers.

“In reality, there may be occasions when such a group have dispersed themselves before we are available to attend but by reporting these incidents, we can better understand exactly when and where the problems are, who is involved, and the impact on members of our communities.

“I do understand how intimidating groups of people drinking can be; even if they are sometimes otherwise well spirited.”

The Free Press spoke to a five-strong group gathered at the picnic benches by the river bank.

They told us they lived in Spalding, and were from Poland originally.

But when we asked how they felt about negative comments from people regarding them drinking alcohol in public they told us they did not understand English.

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Previously ...

New powers to tackle street drinking and disorderly behaviour in Spalding

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

YOUR VIEWS: Stop hiding behind Spalding street drinking ‘perception’