Hucknall councillor calls for greater police presence in ASB hotspot

A Hucknall councillor has called for a greater police presence around an area of the town where he says residents’ lives are being made a ‘nightly nightmare’.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 2:50 pm

Coun John Willmott, who represents Hucknall North on Ashfield District Council, has asked for increased police patrols around Leen Mills Primary School and Balmoral Grove after residents complained about drug dealing and taking, serious anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

Coun Wilmott said: "Residents are living in fear, we need to take urgent action and I have been liaising with the police for some time.

"It’s vital that we increase police presence to reassure residents that we are taking action to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour.

Coun John Wilmott with local resident Frank Wilkinson at the garages on Balmoral Grove
Coun John Wilmott with local resident Frank Wilkinson at the garages on Balmoral Grove

“There are a number of garages on Balmoral Grove where young people are congregating and drug taking.

"It’s a nightmare for residents – many of them elderly.

"I have also been in touch with Nottinghamshire County Council with regards to the poor street lighting around Leen Mills Primary School.

“It’s a recipe for crime and anti-social behaviour.”

However, Nottinghamshire Police have countered Coun Willmott’s claims, saying that they are already regularly patrolling the area and his comments are unfair.

Insp Mark Dickson, district commander for Ashfield, said: “We have increased patrols by neighbourhood officers and our proactive Operation Reacher team has also been tasked with doing more targeted work in the area.

“Where people are committing criminal offences or dealing drugs they will be arrested and punished.

“As drug dealers all over the district have been finding out, we are responding to community intelligence and we are disrupting their activities with targeted raids.

“Equally important, however, is the work we are doing every day to tackle lower level anti-social behaviour.

“Whilst this behaviour may not be criminal, we understand that this has a considerable negative impact on people’s lives and we are determined to address it.

“To this end we have recently diverted significant resources to launch a series of regular night-time patrols with our partners at Ashfield District Council.

“Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night we currently have Police Community Support Officers and council Community Support Officers patrolling this and other areas of concern engaging with residents and taking action against people whose behaviour negatively impacts others.

“We will continue to work with all local partners to address these issues. I would also urge any local residents who have concerns to contact the police on 101.

"We want to hear from you and we want to help.”