A public meeting was held at Christ Church on 24th June and was attended by 40 local residents who were able to raise their concerns about the on-going ASB in Flackwell Heath and to suggest ways in which we, as a community, might be able to help. The meeting was addressed by Buckinghamshire Councillor David Johncock and our new PC – Jed Russell – who explained about modern policing and answered a number of questions.
Residents expressed concern about resourcing of the neighbourhood police team particularly over the summer months and also about the perceived weaknesses in the current criminal justice system that didn’t seem to fairly punish minors or their parents. Cllr Johncock has now raised these issues with our MP – Joy Morrissey – and also our Police Superintendent Emma Burroughs.
Great concern was also expressed by residents about the lack of CCTV particularly in the Straight Bit Recreation Ground and there were suggestions to install floodlights and other measures to deter children from congregating there late into the evening. These are now being addressed by the Buckinghamshire Community Safety team and the Parish Council with the assistance of the Police.
On a more positive note, a number of those present along with local church officials agreed to form a village “action group” to pursue a number of initiatives to both address current levels of ASB and to educate younger children on the reasons why ASB is not acceptable to the community. Initiatives included encouraging greater use of the new boxing club in the village and possibly setting up a music studio. The group will be lead by Rev James Dwyer and further reports will be issued in due course.
The main message coming out from the meeting was that very few of the ASB incidents witnessed by residents were being properly reported to the Police and this resulted in ASB resources being sent to other locations where there were a significant number of reports from the general public. It is therefore vital that all incidents occurring in Flackwell Heath are reported to the Police promptly using 101 or, probably more easily, using the TVP website reporting system. Residents were also advised to use 999 when ASB was actually happening such as the recent beating-up of a youngster by other youths.