People in Bourne are at the ‘end of their tether’ after a recent crime spree including a stabbing, break-ins and constant drug dealing, a councillor has warned.
Councillor Philip Knowles says that a greater police presence is urgently needed in the town.
He told a South Kesteven District Council meeting that drug dealing is rampant, and people have been left feeling scared.
A chief inspector covering the town says that Lincolnshire Police are doing their best to keep people safe, and a man has pleaded guilty after a series of recent burglaries.
Councillor Philip Knowles, the Independent representative for Bourne East, said: “The last few weeks have been berserk.
“There has been a knifing and charity shops being constantly broken into. The community has to get together to replace them.
“A sense of uneasiness is spreading. There are gangs of youths wandering, sometimes around with weapons and drink. It’s frightening people.
“Drugs are a very grave problem. Everyone can tell you where the drugs are being dealt. Everyone is frustrated that nothing is being done.
“It may not be much compared to big cities, but it feels like we’re at the end of our tether. There has been a lot of chaos and every town councillor is up in arms.
“The lack of police presence adds to problem. We don’t have our own PCSO anymore.
“Respect for police appears to be disappearing. All Bourne councillors have written to the Police & Crime Commissioner about their concerns, but there is a feeling that nothing been done.
“It’s great that more police are being deployed to Grantham, but that doesn’t help us in Bourne. We will start getting more crime as a result of the lack of police.
“The Neighbourhood Watch has gone, and we don’t have a PCSO who can access the contacts in police files. We understand resources are limited, but this is disappointing to many, many people in Bourne.”
Chief Inspector Phil Vickers responded he understood the concerns, and police were working to keep deal with the problems.
“We are conscious of the balance between keeping people safe and making them feel safe. While we want both, we have to focus on preventing harm,” he said.
“Road crime teams are spending a significant amount of time in Bourne. They may often be in unmarked vehicles rather than overt, to good effect.
“There have been a number of commercial burglaries. A local man was arrested and charged earlier this week. He pled guilty and has been remanded. These are fairly unique circumstances where he would get drunk and break into premises in the early hours.
“Neighbourhood Watch was a significant loss that occurred when the police force had to tighten its belt. We certainly want something to replace it.”
He also called for residents to share what they know with police.
“If everyone knows where drug dealing is happening, unfortunately they’re not telling us. I would urge everyone get in touch however they feel most comfortable, whether it’s directly or through Crimestoppers.”
People can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on www.crimestoppers-uk.org or 0800 555 111.