Haverhill Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) held it’s quarterly public meeting at the Days Inn hotel yesterday (Monday, September 9) to set the three priorities for police to focus on.
Inspector Peter Ferrie was again left frustrated as 40 or so members of the public yet again elected concerns over roads and parking instead of crime matters and anti-social behaviour.
The three priorities chosen were:
– dealing with speeding cars and ‘boy racers’ down the High Street late at night
– pavement parking throughout the town
– anti social behaviour in Clayhive Drive, Clements Drive and Bedford Court, and robbery in the latter, and generally people going through the Clements estate to the Recreation Ground drinking
Passed over was the chance for the police to deal with people drinking in the town’s alcohol free zone and dealing with people sleeping rough on the Manor Road allotments.
Insp Ferrie said: “I think we have passed up the chance to adopt a really important priority, but that’s what the public have said.”
Anger was directed at the police chief for not taking on the issues raised in addition to the adopted priorities, with one man declaring: “You don’t have to ask our permission, why do you just go and deal with it?”
However, Insp Ferrie replied he had limited resources and liked to target what the public choose as their three priorities – even if they are not what the police would choose to focus on.
Issues of illegal parking, particularly on the High Street, have long dominated the SNT priorities despite the police opposing having to direct resources at the problem when Suffolk County Council continues to block pedestrianisaion which would serve as a long term solution.
The three priorities from the June meeting were all dropped.
Insp Ferrie said School Lane parking problems had receded with the school holidays, anti-social behaviour and drug taking in Osir Place had been tackled through a partnership approach with Havebury Housing Partnership, and fixed penalty notices had been issued to cars parked illegally in Swan Lane and Murton Slade but much of the area has no parking restrictions and police have struggled to get in contact with Suffolk County Council to arrange a meeting to discuss a solution.
The next public SNT meeting is at Haverhill Arts Centre on December 9.
For the full report and all the latest news see Thursday’s (September 12) Echo.