Nuisance behaviour concerns in grounds outside Framlingham Castle, say police

There are claims of anti-social behaviour outside Framlingham Castle. Picture: GREGG BROWN

There are claims of anti-social behaviour outside Framlingham Castle. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

It is one of Suffolk’s most famous landmarks and the subject of an Ed Sheeran song – but there are concerns over anti-social behaviour in the grounds outside Framlingham Castle, according to police.

Officers say they have been working proactively in response to people failing to adhere to social distancing rules and alleged drug activity in the area.

In the last 12 months, antisocial behaviour dropped across Suffolk by almost 10% compared to the long-term average.

Successive annual falls have been put down to better recording of antisocial behaviour – reflected by a corresponding 9.9% rise in public order offences across the county in the last year.

Despite annual reductions, Suffolk Constabulary has a case management system briefing in place to manage a number of ‘hotspots’, including – according to a recent report presented to the police and crime commissioner – the grounds around Framlingham Castle.

A Police and Crime Plan performance progress report said monthly antisocial behaviour volumes increased during the coronavirus lockdown.

While antisocial behaviour tends to spike in volume between June and August, monthly rates in the first quarter of 2020/21 – over the lockdown period – were higher than those reported in the equivalent quarter of last year.

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The report said: “In Framlingham, the grounds around the outside of the castle have been the chosen location by many to picnic, gather and play in the sunshine.

“Whilst many have adhered to the Covid-19 social distancing rules, others haven’t. There is also a changing picture in the area regarding drugs – mainly class B.

“The area was adopted by the safer neighbourhood team as an antisocial behaviour hotspot.

“There is an Athena briefing in place regarding all of our hotspots, which is regularly reviewed so that officers know where to prioritise their time.”

Chairman of Framlingham Town Council Phil Collins said: “It’s not something I have been made aware of.”

Mr Collins said he would be disappointed to hear if such behaviour was taking place by the castle.

He also said that he had been made aware of other anti social behaviour taking place near the town’s skate park and had been speaking to police about issues there.

Mr Collins said he believed things had improved at the skatepark in recent weeks.