Row over policing of genteel resort

THE deputy mayor of Frinton has claimed that problems with nuisance youths in the town have increased since the introduction of a new method of policing.

By Roddy Ashworth

THE deputy mayor of Frinton has claimed that problems with nuisance youths in the town have increased since the introduction of a new method of policing.

But yesterday the chairman of Essex Police Authority questioned Terry Allen's remarks, saying that the resort was one of the safest places to live in the country.

Mr Allen said that since “neighbourhood policing” was introduced in the genteel resort, which has a large population of older people, problems with groups of youths had worsened.


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He made his remarks after Frinton and Walton's Crime and Disorder Working Party expressed concerns about drug dealing, drunkenness and nuisance youths on trains.

He said: “Frinton attracts lots of youths from other areas in the district, such as Weeley, Clacton, Thorpe and Kirby.

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“They all meet up with local kids in groups of around 20 to 30. Unfortunately there are some nasty people amongst the outsiders.

“They play football in the street and some in cars play their radios very loudly - and this is at about 11pm to 12am at night.

“When the residents phone the police they just come and talk to the youths and then go away, doubtless to do more important work. But the groups just carry on.

“The important thing here is to ensure the peace and tranquillity of local residents - but the police don't seem to think that is important.”

Mr Allen said that although the area had a high number of police community support officers (PCSOs), they had limited powers and the youths were aware of this.

“We need more PCs, and not to have to rely on response vehicles,” he said.

“I would like to have further discussions about neighbourhood policing. We have supported it whole-heartedly, but since it has come in I think the situation in our area has deteriorated.”

However Mr Chambers criticised Mr Allen for his comments, saying they would raise the fear of crime in the area when in reality it was extremely safe.

“I was in Frinton on Thursday night. It is one of the safest places in the country - not the county, but the country.

“There is very little crime in Frinton, although there is a perception of a few difficulties, particularly with young people.

“Apparently there was an event for young people held in Connaught Avenue recently. Around 400 to 500 turned up, and around 200 couldn't get in. But there was no damage in the town whatsoever. Where else in the country would it happen like that?

“It seems the more successful we are, the more people want. It gets blown out of all proportion, and that makes it worse - people think something is going to happen when it isn't.”

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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