Sawbridgeworth police put anti-social behaviour top of their priority list
Anti-social behaviour is top of the list for Sawbridgeworth police after a priority-setting meeting unearthed residents’ major concerns.
Community members highlighted regular incidents occurring in three areas in the town – Bell Street including the car park, Bullfields Community Centre and Highfields.
Police say among the main issue raised at the forum was groups congregating and being intimidating.
On Hallowe’en last year groups of masked yobs caused havoc in the town, letting off fireworks and firing them at homes, cars and police officers.
Then in December a post on the Sawbridgeworth Facebook group reported that a group of teens was letting off fireworks in Bell Street, abusing passers-by and had set fire to a wastepaper bin.
Police have agreed to target the areas and are encouraging residents to report any incidents to them directly and not to rely on social media.
Officers have been patrolling the areas over the past 10 days, targeting Bell Street on foot and Highfields, Bullfields Community Centre and Crofters in police cars.
PCSO Amanda Higham also attended a Sawbridgeworth Young People’s Recreation Centre meeting at Bullfields Community Centre last week to update members on the new priority and give them some “youth-related advice”.
Safer Neighbourhood Team officer Pc Shelly Marshall said: “This priority will generate an increase in police presence at these locations between 5pm and 11pm.
“We are actively encouraging people to report ASB to us if they see it. We are finding that it is creating a lot of talk on social media, but our call stats don’t reflect that.”
Pc Marshall encouraged residents to email her on Shelly.Marshall@herts.pnn.police.uk with comments about the new priority. To report an anti-social behaviour crime visit www.herts.police.uk/contact, call 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Sawbridgeworth police’s previous priority was to reduce theft from vehicles and they have declared it a success. They increased highly visible patrols in key target areas; worked with local authorities and venues to increase security and carried out advice surgeries.
More by this authorMichael Vaughton