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Police Help Clean Up Town's Troubled Estate

By Jo Deeks on Wednesday, 18th October 2006.

Police and other agencies swooped on an estate in Haverhill on Wednesday.

A team of 70 people including police, firefighters, council and DVLA staff launched an intensive sweep on the Chalkstone estate to crack down on abandoned and unlicensed vehicles, rubbish and graffiti.

The multi-agency operation, led by Suffolk Fire Service, was an Environmental Impact Day and voted such a success it could be repeated elsewhere in the town.

Of 22 vehicles stopped, 5 were served with immediate prohibition notices and another 8 with delayed prohibition notices because of mechanical faults. 4 vehicles were seized for having no insurance.

Automated number plate recognition equipment revealed 10 vehicles with no tax and 5 not properly registered. 1 abandoned vehicle was served with a 24-hour notice to be removed.

A total of 101 housing issues were raised with Havebury Housing and 15 home fire safety checks booked with the fire service. HM Revenue and Customs staff checked that alcohol and cigarettes being sold had duty paid on them and checks were made that the right fuel was being used in works vehicles.

Educational welfare officers found no truants, but 2 youngsters were advised about unauthorised absenses.

Haverhill police sector commander Inspector Bruce Gent said the Chalkstone estate was chosen because of concerns raised by residents about the high number of reported incidents of criminal damage, abandoned vehicles and fly-tipping.

Similar sweeps had been held elsewhere and he welcomed them as a valuable way of working with local communities to help improve their environment.

Street surveys were also carried out by police officers who asked residents what they felt policing priorities for the area should be.

Insp Gent said: "It was a very successful day and showed the benefits of multi-agency working. It had a really impressive community impact and showed what can be done in one day. I am very keen to see it in Haverhill again.

"It is an intensive blitz on an area by lots of different agencies working in partnership so that they can be more effective. The community is very much involved and everyone works together. It is a combined effort to really improve the community by identifying and dealing with its problems.

"It also sends a message out that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour like abandoned cars, rubbish or graffiti."

Haverhill Weekly News

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