Villagers demand more police presence

By Patrick LowmanFED-UP residents have called for an improved police presence in their village after further problems with young vandals.Glemsford Parish Council became the first local authority in Suffolk to use taxpayers' money to hire a private security firm to patrol its streets.

By Patrick Lowman

FED-UP residents have called for an improved police presence in their village after further problems with young vandals.

Glemsford Parish Council became the first local authority in Suffolk to use taxpayers' money to hire a private security firm to patrol its streets.

The private security guards were called in after young vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage by continuously attacking the village hall and sports pavilion.


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But residents said the security guards, who will operate in the village until at least December, must be backed up by an improved police presence.

People in living the Post Office Lane area of Glemsford have now sent a petition to the parish council asking it to look into the situation.

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Although the security guards have successfully deterred the young vandals from congregating at the village hall and sports pavilion, some residents claimed the youths had simply moved on to a new area.

They complained youths have been gathering on old allotment land near Post Office Lane, damaging property, leaving litter strewn over the area and using foul language.

The villagers also alleged youngsters had been building shelters and starting fires on wasteland at the rear of Crownfield Road and a barn at the bottom of Low Street had been vandalised on a regular basis.

Glemsford Parish Council chairman, Colin Permenter, said the security guards had done an excellent job and had helped to reduce crime in the village.

“Overall crime has fallen since the security patrols were introduced, but it is impossible to completely stamp out vandalism and anti-social behaviour,” he added.

“The problems have moved from one place to another, so we will work with the police and the security firm to redirect resources. Although we do still have some problems, the guards are helping us keep it them under control.”

Earlier this year Sudbury police introduced a second extra beat officer to cover villages surrounding the town, including Glemsford, effectively doubling the previous police presence.

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “We are in consultation with the parish council and we are aware of the concerns in the village.

“We must stress that levels of reported crime has fallen in recent months and would remind people to contact us if they witness a crime so we can act upon it.”

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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