Calling the police?

Yobbish behaviour of youth is one of the hottest topics in housing areas. A pensioner was killed when youth set his home alight during an attack. Neighbours said they called and were presented with an answer machine and the anti-social behaviour line also gave no joy. As it happens those youth were riding motorbikes.

We had a similar occurence here on our estate not long ago when youth rode a motor scooter without number plate at the back of Rosebery House. I called 999 because it looked dangerous and they had no helmet, the bike had no number plate and they were then riding the wrong way up the one-way Sewardstone Road.

Police did not react at all for the simple reason that they say motor cycles, which were not reported stolen are not their responsibility and it is the council’s responsibility to dispose of them.

But I ask is it just about the vehicle as if it stood still in a location or is it about a motor vehicle that is abused in the wrong manner?

In general people are confused of whom to call in cases of anti-social behaviour. There is an 0300 number for non urgent, when an officer will visit within 48 hours. There is the SNT line, which is only manned during shift hours, there is the 999, which is an immediate emergency service and there are the council anti-social behaviour lines.

In the case of of Alan Greasley, 63, from Coventry, neighbours said they called the police and the anti-social behaviour hotline but no evidence of those calls was found to be recorded.

It is my great concern that if policing should now be changed to more phone contact like our housing services are at the moment, that the response to calls that are not clearly within any category, will simply be inadequate.

People now have so many numbers to ring and here in Tower Hamlets calls to anti-social hotlines are not immediately given to the SNT teams and take time to reach their statistics.

And what about the parents of those youth who were riding the motorcycles, did anybody try to talk to them about acceptable behaviour standards of their children?

I think that each neighbourhood should set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and work continuously with the police to find good solutions to difficult problems. In cases where silly regulations like councils being responsible for removing ‘not stolen’ vehicles and that is an excuse for the police not to get involved, response agreemens could be reached with local police forces via the SNT discussion panels or local Neighbourhood Watch Associations.

I am concerned to read again and again that calls were made about a problem and that no record of calls can be found. If call logging is so easily erased then that is a real weakness of any call system that is supposed to deal with problems.  In case of vulnerable single people, who rely on an efficient directly calling service to emergency services, the deadly outcome is certain if those call systems fail.

I would like to here from our residents their views on that please.  Source article The Sun, 25.6.11.

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