Shefford calls for police action amid crime wave
PUBLISHED: 14:18 12 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:18 12 December 2017
Police have moved to reassure the community in Shefford after almost 1,500 people signed a petition calling for action against a wave of violence and antisocial behaviour.
The petition, launched on Sunday night, calls on Bedfordshire police and crime commissioner Kathryn Holloway to meet the public to discuss concerns about a gang of thugs described as “terrorising our small town”, with reported assaults, stabbings and more within a few weeks.
Lee Searle, one of the people behind the petition, said concerns were mounting about how police were handling the problem –which he said centres around one small group of teenagers.
“We have elderly people afraid to leave their homes,” he said.
“We have parents avoiding the local park, we have decent and caring teenagers scared – and, of course, we have a knock-on effect to our local economy.”
The petition, which demands regular police patrols, concludes: “This has now gone too far and intervention is required.
“With a stabbing and severe assaults by this small collection of teenagers, it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed.”
Responding to the petition, Supt Juliette Everett told the Comet that after reports of an assault at a Chinese takeaway in Shefford High Street on Monday last week, three people from the town – two 16-year-old boys and a 48-year-old man – had been arrested.
She said: “We are investigating a number of incidents in Shefford and are aware of the impact these ongoing issues have on residents.Criminal activity and antisocial behaviour is never acceptable and will not be tolerated. Departments across the force are working with partners including the council, the Youth Offending Service and the Crown Prosecution Service to resolve the issues.
“We take all reports of criminality and antisocial behaviour seriously and want to reassure the community that their views do matter and that we are listening to them.
“We won’t tolerate behaviour that makes our community feel unsafe and impacts on their lives and that of the wider community. I’d like to reassure residents that we are committed to resolving the issues facing the town.”
Supt Everett asked people who live and work in Shefford to continue to report concerns on 101 ”so we can work to build a picture of the criminality as well as antisocial behaviour in Shefford”.