September 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Authorities tackling anti-social behaviour in an east Suffolk town have invited their MP to see the “positive impact” their work is having on the community.
Members of Leiston’s safer neighbourhood team (SNT) made the invitation after reading comments from Therese Coffey in this newspaper, in which she said local residents had revealed to her concerns about the problem.
The SNT’s John Rayner, who is also Leiston Town Council’s parish clerk claimed to be “surprised” by Dr Coffey’s comments, as there had been vast improvements in reducing anti-social behaviour, which he feared had been overlooked.
He said the issue was barely raised as a concern at the SNT’s latest meeting on August 27, where 30 people attended and were “very pleased with the way the town was being policed”.
Councillor Andrew Nunn, a Suffolk Coastal District Council ward member for Leiston, extended the invitation to Dr Coffey to highlight the efforts being carried out by the authority’s anti-social behaviour officer and the SNT.
“We thank Dr Coffey for her interest in Leiston,” he said.
“A lot of good work has been going on in the town, particularly involving Leiston Town Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council anti-social behaviour officers and the local police safer neighbourhood team, to address the issue of anti-social behaviour.
“I would like to invite Therese to come down to Leiston and see for herself the positive impact this work with young people has had in making a real difference to the area.”
Dr Coffey, who had previously welcomed the commitment expressed by Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore in tackling the issue, said she was also “glad to hear of the positive work undertaken” by the other authorities described by Mr Nunn.
“I hope that the effects of the positive work will soon be felt by all residents, including those who replied to my survey with concerns on anti-social behaviour affecting their lives,” she said.
“I am pleased that the Police and Crime Commissioner has taken this issue seriously.”
Sgt Mark Beresford, from the Leiston and Aldeburgh safer neighbourhood team, responding to Dr Coffey’s initial comments, said anti-social behaviour was a “key priority” for police.
“In Leiston we have made significant progress in tackling anti-social behaviour including having targeted patrols, deploying extra resources, engaging with youth groups and schools, introducing a youth forum and holding weekly surgery sessions,” he said.
Mr Passmore said tackling anti-social behaviour “is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan and something I take very seriously”.