Friday, April 04, 2008

Crime's down but problems are up!

Last night Borough and Parish councillors from the south of the Borough (Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick, Yarm & Eaglescliffe) met with police for an update on neighbourhood policing and a general chat about problems in their area. The numbers of recorded crimes are down in almost every area, though generally people think they're worse! A real effort at communication needed there. For some reason the Ingleby Barwick Independent councillors didn't attend so the Parish council representative was left to represent the entire area.
Unfortunately for the Eaglescliffe councillors the meeting was dominated by Thornaby's problems. Two of the Thornaby wards were represented and they do have to contend with serious problems which makes our area seem like a real haven in comparison. But that meant that we didn't have the opportunity to explore ways we might work to reduce the very real problems we have with anti-social behaviour which isn't yet of a criminal nature. We're going to have to pursue that tack in separate meetings. It really is irritating to us that we have 5 primary schools and 1 secondary school in our ward and the young people don't seem able to use the fields to play football unless it's as part of an organised, supervised match.
One useful element of the evening was the opportunity to update the chairman of Preston Parish Council on the situation with possible bridges over the Tees. Although the Ingleby Barwick councillors and the Friends of River Tees Heritage Park see it as very important to have a footbridge to Preston Park the residents of Preston have some justifiable worries about whether there'd be any policing of the area at night or whether this would just be a short-cut for trouble makers. I have brought this to the FTHP committee meetings in the past because although the Park is a resource for all the Borough to enjoy and needs to be as accessible as possible we also need to ensure the safety and well being of the residents nearest to it.

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