‘Dealers are bringing misery to our town’ - Horncastle residents

Police have asked residents to report suspicious behaviour.
Police have asked residents to report suspicious behaviour.

Frightened residents have urged police to take strong action against drug dealers in Horncastle amid claims they are ‘bringing misery to the town.’

Town councillors heard at their monthly meeting last week that dealers are increasingly targeting Horncastle.

One resident told councillors police should be focussing on dealers and not users.

The resident, who did not give his name, said: “With all respect, we need to tackle the dealers – not the users.

“They (dealers) are the ones bringing misery to this town.

“They need more attention from police.

“What is been done to take them off the streets?”

Another resident said: “I know there’s a problem with drugs everywhere but the problem in Horncastle is very worrying.

“I wondered what the police were doing about it.”

The resident added she understood there had been a drugs raid on a property earlier this month.

She said: “Can the town council do anything?

“I know it is a difficult situation but there are a lot of elderly people getting really anxious and frightened by all this.

“We had another incident at the Almshouses last weekend.

“A person got into the gardens and did some damage.

“The police did get there very quickly but people are worried.”

PCSO Nigel Wass attended the town council meeting last Tuesday (July 9) and stressed officers were working hard to combat drug related issues.

He said: “A lot of work is on going. A lot happens behind the scenes so people aren’t aware of what is happening.

“We do work closely with other organisations and with housing providers.

“Every day are doing something to try and combat this.

“That work will continue.”

PCSO Wass said one initiative saw officers visit local schools, warning about the dangers of taking drugs.

Several councillors said they were increasingly concerned about the situation and they asked why a senior police officer could not attend town council meetings.

Coun Alan Lockwood said: “My understanding there is a inspector and a sergeant.

“There are only two towns (Horncastle and Louth) in this area.

“Surely it is not asking too much for them to attend one meeting.

“We never see them about the town. In fact, the only (police) presence we do see is PCSO Wass.

PCSO Wass said he did inform senior officers about town council meetings but he was not responsible for whether they decided to attend.

The Horncastle News contacted Lincolnshire Police for a comment.

Inspector for the Wolds, Sarah Constantine, said: “I understand that there are concerns within the community in relation to drug abuse and the impact that this has on the community at large.

“I would encourage that these concerns are reported to the police and want to reassure residents that we do work with our partner agencies to try and tackle the issues that drugs cause, given our limited resources.

“In relation to attendance at council meetings, I am often operationally committed covering the Wolds area which is a large area that covers right from Holton Le Clay in the North through to Sibsey in the South and has over 120 parish councils.

“I always try to ensure a police representative at the council meetings.

“Any concerns are fed back to me and the rest of the team so that they can be addressed.

“I am also available and can be contacted via the local police station if anyone wishes to discuss any matters of concern.”

PCSO Wass also told the meeting one person ‘causing issues’ was serving 15 months.

He added another person has been remanded on bail – with conditions relating to problems he had caused in the local community.

PCSO Wass admitted police resources in rural areas like Horncastle were an issue.

He said the much publicised ‘County Lines’ supply issues meant places like Skegness and Lincoln were being prioritised.

He added: “In the 12 years I have been a PCSO (in Horncastle) we have put a lot of dealers in prison.

“I am not saying we have taken them all out.”

PCSO Wass appealed for the public to help identify any issues.

He said: “A lot of this is intelligence.

“If you see anything suspicious then report it.”

Deputy mayor Coun Angela Birchall said she understood residents’ concerns and said a lot of people – including individuals and organisations – were working hard in Horncastle to combat the issue.