Police in control of town’s anti–social behaviour issues

PCSO Nigel Wass
PCSO Nigel Wass

“IF there’s a problem we’ll deal with it.”

That’s the message on anti-social behaviour from Sgt Alisdar Booth of Horncastle Police.

Although Horncastle suffers from sporadic incidents of ASB, the town hasn’t fallen victim to this type of crime on the scale seen in Lincoln and in other parts of the county.

“We haven’t got the volume of incidents here like in other areas and we have a good and well established policing team who have good community links,” said Sgt Booth.

Since January 5, Horncastle Police has logged 18 reported incidents of anti-social behaviour related to street drinking in the town.

But according to Sgt Booth, the problem is only confined to a very small group of people and officers have multiple powers and options at their disposal to tackle it.

In December 2008, Horncastle became one of the first towns in the county to be covered by a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) in a bid to tackle ASB and binge drinking.

The legislation gave police discretionary powers to stop people drinking and to confiscate alcohol in Horncastle.

Failure to comply with requests can lead to a £50 fixed penalty notice, or upon arrest and conviction, a fine not exceeding £500.

Intelligence is a key factor and Horncastle Police always welcome information from the public to help them stamp out any ASB in the town.

“The bottom line is that we have the tools and legislation to deal with it and good working relationships with our partner agencies, such as East Lindsey District Council and the social housing associations,” said Sgt Booth.

Since 2011, Horncastle’s streets have also benefited from Operation Hornet - a Lincolnshire Police initiative which sees additional hi-visibility policing in town centres on Friday and Saturday nights.

Sgt Booth added: “We’ve no major problems at the minute.

“If we get anything on our radar we deal with it

“We monitor things very closely and we ensure that we get in there quickly to prevent anything from escalating – it’s the same for low level anti-social behaviour and serious crime.”

l PCSO Nigel Wass is a familiar face on Horncastle’s streets.

While out on patrol on Thursday, the town’s market day, PCSO Wass was not only on the look out for ASB, but was also enforcing the law in relation to illegal parking.

Within minutes of setting out from Horncastle Police Station, he had words with the driver of a car on Manor House Street.

Although the car displayed a disabled parking badge, it had parked too close to the junction at the end of the road, posing a hazard for vehicles turning in from the Market Place.

A courteous word from PCSO Wass soon resolved the situation and the driver agreed to park elsewhere.

Blue badge holders, while having certain parking privileges, are not immune to the law and since January, two fixed penalty notices have been issued to such drivers in Horncastle.

In the High Street, where a no waiting ban is enforced from 8am-6pm, a driver escaped receiving a fixed penalty notice with seconds to spare.

PCSO Wass slapped a warning notice on the windscreen of his car which was parked half on the road and half on the pavement.

When the car was still parked in the same spot minutes later, PCSO Wass was just about to issue a fixed penalty notice when the driver returned to his car.

PCSO Wass said: “There’s no excuse at the end of the day and it’s what we get complaints about.”

Twenty notices have been issued in Horncastle town centre since the end of January, plus numerous warnings for parking offences.

During the same time, Horncastle Police has informed the DVLA of eight vehicles in the town which failed to display a valid tax disc.

Delivery vehicles parking in the town centre can also be a problem.

But PCSO Wass said the police would rather work with the shopkeepers and businesses to resolve any issues.

“Vehicles, including delivery vehicles parked on the wrong side of the road, has a serious impact on traffic flow and on those occasions it will be dealt with on the spot,” he added.

l Report any incidents of anti-social behaviour of parking offences in Horncastle to PCSO Nigel Wass on 07939 312724.

Email nigel.wass@lincs.pnn.police.uk to receive updates from the Neighbourhood Policing Team.