Sunday, 30 December 2007

Happy New Year?

Here are just a few examples of what happened in one road in Abbeygate ward overnight. A distraught resident telephoned me at 9.30 this morning, and I arrived soon after to see a total of well over £1,000 of damage to most parked cars, and police questioning neighbours - who are praying for rain on Monday night.

Any answers? (And I'm not talking about the location.)


david said...

Criminal damage is a constant headache for the police. Over the years, the locations change. In the Risbygate ward it used to be Fornham Road or Ipswich Street, now it's Spring Lane or Queens Road.

The constabulary put resources into these areas and it has an effect, only for incidents of lawbreaking to erupt elsewhere.

As for solutions, well, I don't own a car, but if I did, I wouldn't leave in the street overnight. Cars are safer in a car park. Money needs to be spent on improving car parks like Ram Meadow including better surfacing, wider spacing between bays, brighter lights and cctv. This outlay could be recouped by issuing permits to residents at a lower rate than on-street permits to encourage greater use.

The improved street lighting in the Brackland has acted as a deterrent and the county council should be extending this type of scheme where needed.

My other suggestion is more people walking about late at night. Vandalism is less likely when it may be observed. This can be achieved if premises licences are extended.

Years ago, when I was chairman of a local residents group, we were constantly plagued by criminal damage and antisocial behaviour in and around Station Hill. It was noticable, however, that when a temporary extended licence was granted - often until 06.00 - there was little trouble as people drifted away in small groups in the early hours.

Rose said...

Are car parks really safe now David!!!
One of my sons had a car which was vandalised and written off after he had to take it off the road due to the road being swept or repainted.
Another newer car was stolen. Maybe the lights which are there now make it safer but once bitten !!!.

Paul F said...

David - your last two paragraphs will not convince the victims.

Rose - welcome!

david said...

Rose - I said safer not safe.

Paul - There must be over 50 streets in the Abbeygate ward and we await the Safer Neighbourhood Team Report to assess the overall level of criminal damage over the 'festive' period. It may be that the street shown in your photos needs special attention in order to avoid a repetition.

I have asked that Spring Lane be put on the 'at risk' list by the SNT and I have some new information about one recent incident which I will pass on later this week.

I'm well aware that there is an issue of closed minds versus reality when it comes to expanding the evening economy, but it is a minority view. Most people are fair-minded and open to ideas. Indeed, many of my electors enjoy the benefits of more liberal licensing laws and act responsibly when out-and-about after dark.

I was struck by your remark about it raining on New Year's Eve. What a miserable outlook to take into 2008. By contrast, I hope it remains dry and everyone who ventures out enjoys themselves without spoiling it for anyone else.

Happy New Year.

Paul F said...

David - as you say, YOU are not going to be troubled by forking out £100-200 each time a wing mirror is ripped off. On reflection do you not think it is a little insensitive to tell the residents of this street (one of
70+, and already at risk) that they have closed minds and are miserable, just because they hope the weather will give them a more peaceful night tonight?

We all hope for the best, but some of us recognise reality.

My good wishes to you and all should come in a new post before the night is out.

david said...

Paul - as you have asked me a question I will answer it. I think it awful that you are 'praying' for rain tonight, and, it's you who is miserable not some unnamed resident of a mystery street which for some strange reason cannot be identified.

I thought that I had already dealt with the criminal damage to vehicles issue by advising that statistically, it's safer to park off-street rather than on-street, and if the car parks were upgraded with a better surface, more realistic spacing, brighter lighting and cctv, it would be safer still.

It will only happen if politicians decide to do something about improving the situation rather than constantly whine without willing the means. How are going to make it rain anyway?

I see you are resorting to ageism again and although I wouldn't buy a car even if I could afford it, isn't it a little bit insensitive of you to assume that I could afford to replace a wing mirror if I did leave it in the street overnight? Bank Statement supplied on request.

And while we're at it, your letter in the BFP on Friday is rubbish. Who, other than you, is the architect of the 'them and us mindset' and where was your 'compromise' over the QH Application? It's just more warm words without substance.

It looks like rain is on the way.

Paul F said...

Come back everyone else - all is forgiven!

I shall reply to David directly so as not to bore readers further. Applications for copies on request.

Bury Boy said...

Some of us don't have a choice. That is we don't have a choice where to park, I like to park outside my own property. It seems because I choose to live in the town I have to pay for this luxury, unlike those who live on the estates. The council have issued more permits than parking places so its a lottery, regularly I am forced to park 200yards away outside some-one elses property.
For this unwelcome tax I have to accept that 2 or 3 times a year my vehicle will be damaged in some way. The plants will be removed from my neighbours box, some leftover kebab will find its way into the gutter, or across my car. Florries mum will park a few streets away.
While we endure this restriction a SCC carpark sits empty (record office).A carpark overseen by the borough council, but controlled by the county council for free use by memmbers of council staff. (office hours only). No amount of requests can break the combined council intransience.

If you mean what you say help Paul F and Paul H and others bring this carpark into zone F.

Just to help forcus attention if this area cannot be used for such local parking then we must ensure the council staff who have the luxury of parking outside their own houses at night and week-ends, PAY for these spaces, and are TAXED on the benefit. Its like shared space- shared parking space.

Rose said...

Thanks Paul.
Sorry David.
We prefer on road parking to the local car park, we think the road is safer.
Regarding permits - why pay for parking during the day when it is the evening parking that is the main problem.

Paul F said...

There are a number of reasons Rose. Bury Boy can "bag" his overnight space during the afternoon if he wants, or can leave his car there for several days whilst away on holiday or business.

Others in roads close to town choose a permit scheme because it stops the shop and office workers clogging up their roads.

Are you perhaps a little further out, where the daytime competition is less?

Bury Boy said...

Strangly enougth, Bury Boy has a job, which means he cant bag his space in the afternoon. What is apparent is that spaces appear at around 6pm, and disappear at 7 pm when other events take place, only becoming free again after 10pm.

What upsets him even more is the fact that when he purchased the property 20 odd years ago, there was amble parking. the problem only exists due to poor planning, and parking charges.A golden oppitunity was lost many years ago, when council land on the out skirts could have been turned into free parking, rather than housing.
I have a property with a fontage of say 30 feet, why cant I have at least 16 feet of that for my personal parking, It seems I have certain liabilities regarding surfaces, services and liability should some thing fall off my property BUT no right to park.
Not only can I no longer park out side my property, I can not unload the shopping, or what ever I have in the car. I also dont remember being asked if I wanted this TAX. I suppose By proxy I voted for a group of councillors who chose to impose this tax, as a way to solve a different problem. A group of councillors who on balance either do not live in the area concerned ( one of the schemes), have off street parking, or in one case no car. I dont know which way people voted and must say at this stage dont care. But the fact remains I am taxed for a right I used to have, while other options exist close by which could help.

Maybe I should park across some councillors off road parking space to enforce the point, or even across the enterance to council workers free parking...... No I will moan about it and accept it as usual.

That how ever does not make it right.

Paul F said...

Bury Boy - I'll try to find out about the origins of your permit scheme before commenting further. I have the 2003 consultation forms but need more info.

In the meantime, please don't park across my driveway!

Bury Boy said...

Thanks Paul, Time I think can be best served by bringing the record office carpark into scheme F at least from 5pm to 9am, and weekends.
maybe with help from others

Paul F said...

I have talked to some people about both issues BB.

I understand that the present mixed permit scheme with limited waiting came in at the start of 1999 (I was elected in 2003) and that the consultation for revising the scheme in 2005 showed 80% of responding permit holders wanting to keep the existing times of operation.

The record office car park is owned by SCC. As I'm sure you know there will be changes in that area resulting from the decanting of staff to West Suffolk House, and it would not surprise me if the County had alternative plans.

However, I will ask them.

21st Century Mummy said...

ssshhh - don't tell anyone about the Records office Car is one of the best kept secrets in Bury...along with one another public but little known location.

Bury Boy said...

Thanks Paul, lets see what you can acheive and bring this carpark within the scheme. After all do the powers of Ipswich really need reserved parking space during the evening and weekends. I dont think so. I dont suppose the public has access to the revenue the county council receive?
Can the BC increase the charges or tax to the CC ?

21CM if you want some good parking for free, and have the bottle the greene king staff carpark outside working hours is worth a shot. enter via the Butts ( local code) and drive up to the main parking area. As an extra you get security ?? about time our local company put some thing back into the community, free storage of the xmas lights would be a start.

Angry Resident said...

As one of the residents of the street with the vandalised cars I would comment that we have 2 cars, one parked on the house frontage and one on the street - both were damaged so parking off the road made no difference whatsoever. We used to have lights at the front of the property but gave up when they were ripped down for the 3rd time. Our street is for the most time a good place to live with respectable, caring householders, it is the mindless thugs who walk down the street, often at 2:00/3:00 in the morning as a shortcut - what are their parents thinking of as they are usually under 18? The value of my home will be reduced as no one will want to live in the street, we pay for residents parking and the council is very quick to issue tickets if you do not display a valid permit, but not very quick to provide any security systems. The worrying thought is that residents will take matters into their own hands if they get no support, we need a strong government who realises that it is not just criminals who have rights, what about the victims? Lets get some sensible laws so that the Police are not the ones in "handcuffs".

Paul F said...

BB - "got the bottle" ha ha, I like it. Isn't there a danger of being shut in if the exit barrier suddenly comes down?

Angry - I don't blame you. You will know I have written to SEBC about this. So far they claim that there have been two such occasions known by the police in 2007 (don't know if last Sunday was included) but that its not a police "hotspot" - not what I was told by the attending officer.

The police are pursuing their enquiries and will monitor the situation, if necessary using mobile CCTV. No word about anything permanent yet, I'm afraid. And false cameras/signs are not used in case false expectations of evidence are raised.

Not what you wanted to hear I know - I'm only the messenger, but ill keep trying.