Stowupland: Councillor’s fear over police cover

A PARISH councillor has voiced fears that his village will not get police cover for anti-social behaviour because of the need for officers to be in a nearby town.

Stowupland parish councillor Keith Welham said he was ‘worried’ after he claimed the village could suffer from reduced cover because of the high priority given to the policing of Stowmarket town centre.

The parish council has raised concerns from local residents to Suffolk police about groups of youths congregating in the village near Stowmarket.

Mr Welham said the anti-social behaviour had increased from April and come to a head in June when the council reported there had been 12 crimes.

These had included incidents where vehicles had been damaged and items had been stolen from a car, as well as an assault.

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Mr Welham claimed police were “particularly stretched” at the moment, and because officers were having to tackle problems in Stowmarket, he feared the cover provided in Stowupland would suffer.

Mr Welham explained: “If the police could not cover Stowupland, we were going to contact the Stowmarket town centre pastors because of the congregation of young people.”

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The councillor said that the crime levels had decreased in the last month-and-a-half because teenagers were on holiday and they were not communicating as much because they were not in school.

However, the police said that anti-social behaviour has decreased in the village because of the measures they have taken, which have included youth initiatives.

Pc Barry Abbott from Stowmarket Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “Tackling alcohol related anti-social behaviour in Stowupland remains a priority for local officers.

“They are addressing the problem through targeted patrols, the seizure of alcohol and issuing Section 27 Notices, directing individuals to leave the area and not return for 48 hours.

“Over the past six weeks as a result of this action, anti-social behaviour has decreased and the SNT has received fewer complaints from residents.”

Pc Abbott explained: “Over the summer holiday period the team have also been involved in providing positive activities and engaging with young people in the area.”

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