Police urged to step up actions

URGENT action is needed to tackle anti-social behaviour in Rose Green, a meeting was told this week.

Pryors Lane resident Malcolm McKeag said his life and those of his neighbours were being ruined by the actions of groups of young people.

He called on the police to solve the problem by stepping up their involvement in the issue around Aldwick Parish Council’s offices, Willowhale Community Centre and the millennium garden.

Mr McKeag told Aldwick Parish Council’s amenities committee on Monday the problem had occurred every autumn and winter since he moved into the road in 2011.

“This is the fourth lot. My health is suffering because I am so stressed,” he said.

“Pretty much every night, mostly during autumn and winter, there are crowds of teenagers. There is not just a few. It’s lots of them.

“I’ve had things thrown at my window. I’ve had verbal abuse from kids when I’ve stepped outside. I’ve had rubbish thrown in my garden. It’s endless.

“The noise out there of a night is unbelievable. Just recently, there have been motor scooters involved as well. On Saturday night, there were fireworks in the car park.”

He said the disturbances also affected his neighbours. “A lot of them are elderly and vulnerable. They don’t know what to do with themselves,” he said.

Sergeant Chris Pipkin, who is in charge of Aldwick’s community policing, said he was well aware of the situation. The site is popular with young people because it has seats and lights.

“We have tried all manner of different things to try and address this issue,” he said. These included regular patrols, speaking to the parents of the youngsters and investigating any offences.

There had been two recent incidents of criminal damage – to a wall and the pergoda. But there could be no prosecutions because the evidence from the area’s CCTV cameras was too poor to identify the offenders.

He asked the council to install lighting in the youth shelter in Avisford Park recreation ground to provide an alternative site, as well as seeking streetlights around the Willowhale community area be switched off.

Police officers are also looking to see how the latest law to tackle anti-social behaviour, introduced last month, can best be used, as well as keeping up their patrols.

Parish council chairman Dr Tony Poland said the meeting had given the council some ideas to consider. He asked the police to keep it informed about their actions.

Cllr Michael Warden said: “We should write a strong and forceful letter to the Sussex police and crime commissioner demanding action is taken.

“We should also write to the commissioner to request a meeting to explain the matter in detail.”

Council deputy chairman Molly Myers said lighting was proposed for the youth shelter but it was omitted because the council spent money on public consultation for the scheme.

“If we get lighting there, it may solve the problem. It is something we should try,” she said.

Cllr Brian Dodd said the garden’s CCTV camera should be upgraded and signs about it installed.