Tearaways cause havoc in Eastwood

NEAALM110810B2 - Cllr Ken Woodhead on Princes street Eastwood
NEAALM110810B2 - Cllr Ken Woodhead on Princes street Eastwood

EASTWOOD’S mayor is calling for the town to join forces to fight the scourge of anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Ken Woodhead, who took the chains of office in May, says residents lives are being made a misery by the problems – with residents in Prices Street particularly badly affected.

Now in a bid to fight the problem, Cllr Woodhead, who is also chairman of Eastwood Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, is planning to organise a public meeting and urged residents to get involved.

He said many residents refuse to talk about the problems because they are scared of the repercussions but he urged people to speak out.

“We need some meetings now to get it resolved. We have had enough,” he said.

“A lot of people are afraid to come out at night and there’s a lot of elderly people down here.”

Cllr Woodhead, who lives at nearby Hopkins Court, said the area has always suffered on and off with anti-social behaviour.

And while it was recently brought under control, he says the problem has come back – with residents so fed up they have given up calling the police.

“It quietened down not long ago and it was quite pleasant. But the problem is, when people are reporting it, nothing is done,” he said.

“Either that or by the time they (the police) get there, they’ve gone.”

The Mayor said part of the problem was that while police had put more patrols on to try and combat the problem, the extra officers were being used during the day rather than at night when it is needed most.

“They say they’ll put more patrols on but then they come out during the day. Well the problem is not during the day, it’s at night. It starts at 9pm when they all start to get drunk,” Cllr Woorhead added.

“People are now worried that once Eastwood Police Station shuts down it will only get worse.”

But Beat Manager Pc Martin Battison said the police were working hard to tackle anti-social behaviour and had seen results.

He added: “Over the last three months the local Beat Team has done a lot of work to reduce anti-social behaviour in Eastwood.

“We have targeted the key group of offenders responsible for the majority of the incidents. One is now serving three months in jail and there are three Anti-Social Behaviour Orders in the pipeline .”

“Public perception of crime is important to us. Reports by leading figures in the community purporting incorrect information about the level of crime in the area is detrimental to our residents’ sense of security and disproportionate to the fact that anti-social behaviour in Eastwood has reduced by 50 per cent compared to last year and there have been 50 per cent fewer instances of this type of offence since April.”

The next Eastwood Tenants’ and Residents’ Association meeting will take place on August 17.

Cllr Woodhead plans to invite the police and council along to discuss the problems, and then organise a public meeting.

n There has also been an increase in anti-social behaviour at Brinsley cemetery, according to residents.

One resident said youths were ‘always drinking, taking drugs and causing trouble’ in the churchyard.

“They shouldn’t be there,” she said. “It’s disgraceful.”

The Brinsley resident did not want to give us her name in fear that ‘her husband’s grave might get smashed up’.