Pleas for more village police patrols

A HOLBROOK woman is calling for a return to the days of more police patrolling village streets on foot.Maureen Abbott, 50, of The Street, raised the policing issue at a recent meeting on the results of a village appraisal, whose results have been published as the Holbrook Action Project Report.

A HOLBROOK woman is calling for a return to the days of more police patrolling village streets on foot.

Maureen Abbott, 50, of The Street, raised the policing issue at a recent meeting on the results of a village appraisal, whose results have been published as the Holbrook Action Project Report.

Mrs Abbott said: "I think it's the concern of most people in the villages. We don't see a policeman on foot any more and I think it just gives that bit more sense of security.

"If you are in need of a policeman it seems to take forever to get one.


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"The problem is that the area is covered from Capel St Mary by a couple of policmen and if they are over Hadleigh way it takes them forever to get here, though I know they can't come to every little thing."

Another issue, she said, was that the local community policewoman had not attended a parish council meeting since last December.

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Some months ago Holbrook had a problem with youngsters congregating outside the village Co-operative store and on the community's Reade Field, leaving broken glass from alcohol bottles in an area where there was a playground for smaller children.

The play equipment was eventually set on fire causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage and depriving the toddlers and small children of somewhere to play.

Other problems had been teenagers tearing around at night on motorbikes and playing loud music in the area, which is surrounded by houses, many of them containing young families.

Those responsible for damaging the play equipment had been caught and it turned out were not from the village. They were reprimanded by police but were too young to prosecute.

Mrs Abbott said problems with groups of teenagers seemed to have abated for the time being, though she felt a police patrol was important to keep things under control.

A spokeswoman for the police said the force had taken notice of Mrs Abbott's comments.

She said the community policwoman Pc Sarah White had been on long term sick leave but was now back on restricted working.

However, she would be attending all the parish council meetings in her patch for a time before reverting back to the previous arrangement of attending one meeting in three.

Surgeries would be set up with the police and the community in Brantham, Shotley and Holbrook – the villages with the largest populations – and the police were hoping to make progress in setting up more neighbourhood watch schemes.

Foot patrols would also be introduced in Brantham, Shotley and Holbrook.

A letter confirming all this had been sent to the parish council.

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