CONCERNED residents have spoken out about continued crime and anti-social behaviour in an area of Gainsborough – but the council say action is being taken.
Last month, a 47-year-old local man was stabbed on Queen Street Gainsborough. Recent months have also seen a number of arson attacks in the surrounding area and the town’s ‘crime map’ shows that the area around Trinity Street in the South-West Ward has some of the highest levels of anti-social behaviour, burglary and other crimes.
Residents are calling for more to be done to improve public safety – and the council and police say their work has already begun.
“There are a lot of drunks, burglars and loud music in the streets near here,” said Mary Watson, from Wheeldon Street where a 4 x 4 was set alight in April.
“These things don’t bother me too much but they bother my daughter. After that stabbing the other week, we take extra care. If I have to go out on a dark night to Tesco or anywhere, I won’t take the back way up Sandfield Lane.”
She continued: “I think the police are trying to do all that they can, but there are supposed to be community police patrols around here but you very rarely see them. I would like a greater police presence.”
“The police are always about afterwards, but it seems to take something happening before they come here and do anything.”
A routine Neighbourhood Panel meeting will be taking place at Trinity Arts Centre in October.
Mary added: “If the community pulls together, then meetings like this will help.”
Her neighbour added: “There was that stabbing the other week, someone nicked a drain cover and there have been fights and people playing loud music at all hours. I always get a taxi back from town and night and I never walk around alone of I can help it.”
“There’s just a general decline in people thinking of others. There has been an increase in policing which we’re grateful for but they can’t do it all by themselves - we need the schools, the council, landlords, tenants and everybody to be involved. Something needs to be done at once, either that or we’ll have to move.”
And the community coming together to tackle anti-social behaviour and community issues is exactly what the council has in mind, says West Lindsey and Town councillor for the South-West ward Trevor Young.
“The council has already been actively engaged in the last few weeks and we have started up a community task group,” said Coun Young.
“We are looking at a number of issues, one of which is anti-social behaviour. What we have tried to do is bring together all of the partners involved in the local community to have their say on the problems.”
He continued: “Anti-social behaviour is a high priority, as is improving the environment and getting better opportunities for young people.”
“We’re looking at issues in particular areas and streets. People get confused that there are so many agencies at work handling different things, often with police and the council passing things back and forth, but this is a co-ordinated approach.”
Coun Young said that since last weeks riots across the country, there has been a greater focus on improving life for everyone.
“The riots have certainly had an impact,” he said. “Particularly in certain areas, where we have to improve the opportunities and future aspirations for young people - whether that’s through helping people into jobs or getting them off the streets and engaged in more positive things.”
He added: “People just need to have more respect for their neighbourhoods, enjoy them, and have more consideration for the people they love with. It’s about more than bricks and mortar - it’s about social regeneration, which is a huge challenge.”
A Lincs Police spokesman said: “The panel meeting is designed to take residents’ views onboard so they inform the priorities of the neighbourhood policing team for the following months. Anyone interested in joining a Panel can contact their local team via the non-emergency number.”
For info call 0300 111 0300.