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Police faced with a catalogue of work from public meeting

Tuesday, 7th June 2011.

Residents who attended a public meeting in Haverhill about policing issues came up with a catalogue of problems they would like dealt with.

The Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team quarterly meeting was held last night at ParKway Middle School and residents heard from the team's leader, Insp Chris Galley, there had been good progress on two areas highlighted at the last meeting.

These were parking in Shetland Road and anti-social behaviour in the Leiston Road area, and the two priorities were discharged.

A third one, concerning ant-social behaviour along the railway walk and to the north towrads Strasbourg Square was retained as there was more work to do, although progress had been made in Strasbourg Square.

But when the meeting broke up into groups to put forward ideas for the next three months of work by the police-led multi-agency team, a long list of possibilities resulted.

Over 30 people attemnded the meeting and divided into five groups, facilitated by PC Richard Oldroyd, town clerk Gordon Mussett, borough councillor Karen Richardson, town councillor David Russo, and Margaret Marks.

PC Oldroyd's group listed inconsiderate parking all over the town and called for zero tolerance from police, which should be part of day-to-day police work.

It particularly focused on High Street and Queen Street, which it described as a 'free-for-all' and a hazard to pedestrians, and highlighted the footpath from Queen Street to Tesco being 'littered' with cars, demanding double yellow lines and enforcement.

Another area of inconsiderate parking to be dealt with was at The Keep and Knights Court at school times.

Boy racers in the cinema car park, alcohol being consumed along the railway walk, with resultant smashed bottles which members of the public had to tidy up to make the area safe, were also mentioned.

Cllr Russo's group highlighted speeding drivers in Atterton Road and speeding buses in Shetland Road, but focused most on youths drinking and being involved in anti-social behaviour on the Recreation Ground.

They also mentioned intimidating groups of youths outside the Leiston Centre.

The whole area from the Recreation Ground to the library was highlighted by Cllr Richardson's group. Trees had been damaged and now the bandstand was being targeted, while there had been anti-scial behaviour such as urinating, spitting, drinking alcohol and smashing bottles.

Parking restrictions along the Recreation Road side of the Rec were being flouted.

The group also listed ball games, stone-throwing and parking on verges on the Chimswell estate, bopy racers in the Tesco car park and intimidating youths on teh steps behind the store, and parking in High Street and Queen Street.

Mrs Marks' group also raised the same issues on the Recreation Ground and in High Street. It asked what was happening about the town centre traffic regulations and High Street closure, and were told by county councillor Tim Marks who chaired the meeting, it had to go to a public inquiry due to unresolved objections locally.

Mrs Marks urged everyone in favour of closure - and no one spoke against - to attend the inquiry and make their views known.

Other issues raised by her group were parking on kerbs in Squires Copurt, youths congregating in the Newt Pond area, youths congregating at Osier Place, speeding on the Chimswell estate and parking in a turning area in Orchard Close.

Mr Mussett's group also raised the High Street issues, anti-social behaviour on the Chalkstone up as far as the new football ground, and anti-social behaviour on teh Parkway estate.

Insp Galley suggested three priorities be drawn from the list for particular attention, although he said all issues raised would be looked at.

These were: parking and driving in High Street and Queen Street, anti-social behaviour on the Recreation Ground and the continuing problem of anti-social behaviour on the Railway Walk and to the north of it.

Cllr Marks concluded the meeting with an assessment that 'parking has become public enemy number one, not for the first time, in Haverhill'.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, September 5, at Burton End Primary School, beginning at 7pm.

Haverhill Online News

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