Anti-social behaviour top of crime priorities

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ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour plus vehicle nuisance and damage in and around Ruffs and Beauvale Estates are a problem priority for police to focus on, it was agreed at a public meeting.

It was claimed that such offences happened on ‘most evenings’ between 6 pm and 11 pm.

There has also been an outbreak of shed burglary offences in Hucknall, particularly within allotments, the meeting was told.

Officers will also focus on cycle safety in Hucknall, with a particular emphasis on young people.

At a meeting of Hucknall’s Reach Out Residents’ group this week, Coun Chris Baron, a Labour member for Hucknall West on Ashfield District Council, said there had been a spate of opportunist burglaries in the ward, partly due to people leaving back windows open.

He added that a number of car number plates had also been stolen.

A police representative at the meeting said these crimes stressed a need for people to lock their doors, including car doors, shut windows and not leave keys in locks. Shed alarms were recommended and security lights could be an effective deterrent to burglars.

Reach Out secretary Davina Williams claimed that on Hallowe’en, gangs of teenagers had ‘terrorised’ young children on Ruffs Estate.

She said a pumpkin effigy was stolen from a front garden and smashed.

“It was clear that some youngsters were left petrified and really intimidated,” she said.

Malcolm Hodgkinson, owner of Eel Hole Wood — in the west of Hucknall — said motorcyclists had been riding through the land without helmets. “I have even seen two or three kids riding on one bike,” he added.

Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, who is deputy leader of Ashfield Council, said there had been a reduction of 20% in recorded crimes — from 635 to 508 — across the district in the last year. He added that this figure included a drop of 40% in reported cases of anti-social behaviour.

One resident said some people did not bother to report crimes because they did not think anything would be done about it.

But group chairman Sally Wyatt stressed that it was vital for offences to be reported to the police. She said: “If the police are unaware that a crime has been committed, how can they be expected to respond?”

Police will hold a further priority-setting meeting on Tuesday January 8.

A spokesman said: “We hold these meetings to discuss neighbourhood survey data and crime patterns in different parts of Hucknall.

“They are an opportunity for the public to discuss their concerns and what they think the priorities should be for officers to tackle.”

Anyone wishing to attend one of the meeting should e-mail ashfieldsouthnpt@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk for confirmation of times.

To ensure that your views are considered, visit www.neighbourhoodprioritysurvey.co.uk and complete an online survey.

If you know someone who does not have access to the internet but would like to complete a survey, paper-based ones can be obtained from your local police beat team or from the front desk at Hucknall police station on Watnall Road.

If you are unsure who your beat officer is or do not have a contact number for any of them, call 101 and ask to speak to them.