Safety first

THE first steps to make Biggleswade a safer town were taken on Monday night when a multi-agency group met to discuss the town s problems at a public meeting. It was the first meeting of the Biggleswade Com-munity Safety Forum led by Mid Beds District Coun

THE first steps to make Biggleswade a safer town were taken on Monday night when a multi-agency group met to discuss the town's problems at a public meeting.

It was the first meeting of the Biggleswade Com-munity Safety Forum led by Mid Beds District Council (MBDC) and supported by Bedfordshire Police, Biggleswade Town Council, Aragon Housing and the fire service.

Despite only 20 members of the public turning up for the meeting at Stratton Upper School, the forum eventually decided on tackling three major issues affecting Biggleswade.

First on the agenda will be the problems affecting The Triangle and Winston Crescent.

The forum wants to find ways of giving young people more organised activities in an attempt to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Secondly, the forum wants to reduce criminal damage in the town especially to vehicles as car crime is responsible for 50 per cent of criminal damage reported to police.

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The final area the forum will concentrate on is The Baulk and The Avenue, roads close to the town centre where police will tackle the major concerns of speeding and parking.

"This public forum is all about listening to what the people of Biggleswade want and we will listen to their grievances and act. This is not about uniforms talking," said chairman of the forum Rob Parsons, the community safety manager at MBDC.

"This is all about the public having a voice and talking to us and then we can all act in a better and positive manner to make Biggleswade a better and safer place to live.

"This is the first community forum set up by the council designed just to tackle local issues and to listen to what people want done.

"Now we can all work together and have the same agenda and not have agencies working alone. This is a big team effort with the public's help and Biggleswade is a pilot that might eventually be rolled out across Mid Beds."

Mr Parsons added: "We have now taken the first steps on tackling key issues in Biggleswade and hopefully it will be successful."

Biggleswade beat manager Pc Ian Wilson who attended the meeting said: "It will make it easier for agencies like the police to respond to problems in the town through the forum and hopefully it will make the town a safer and better place to live."

The next meeting of the forum will be on April 21 at Stratton Upper School starting at 7.30pm.

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