Reducing the fear of crime

SIR – Concerning your item on August 10 Churchyard has become a no-go area , I should point out that North Herts District Council works hard with the police and other agencies to reduce fear of crime in our district. Crime is not at high levels, but peo

SIR - Concerning your item on August 10 'Churchyard has become a no-go area', I should point out that North Herts District Council works hard with the police and other agencies to reduce fear of crime in our district. Crime is not at high levels, but people still fear crime, partly because of the diet of crime fed to us by national media. I would normally exclude The Comet from that charge, so it is disappointing that your headline on Hitchin Churchyard sensationalised a minor problem which the police have under control.

Another issue for us is the need to engage younger citizens with the community; this also is not helped by the stereotypical images of anti-social behaviour portrayed in your article.

Hitchin town centre has become an attractive place for young people because of its facilities and lively night life. That's a good thing and we need to encourage the great majority who cause no problem. So come on The Comet! Let's not treat our youngsters as a nuisance, especially when there are such positive stories to tell about young people in Hitchin, such as their involvement with the Caldecote Youth Trust and The Voice of Hitchin Youth (the youth forum for Hitchin), to name but two good examples.

Cllr Tricia Gibbs,

Portfolio Holder for

Community Engagement

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Nort Herts District Council

EDITOR'S COMMENT: Closer inspection would have shown the phrase 'no-go area' was in quote marks, a direct comment not by us but a resident. We are here to report the views of our readers...let's hope the council acts on behalf of its electorate rather than dismissing their concerns as sensationalising. As for our record with young people, it is foolish to suggest we don't publish good news stories. Along with this we also provide weekly work experience placements for budding reporters and are proud to support youngsters in the area who have printed their own paper called Holla.

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