March 20, 2023 10.00 am This story is over 15 months old

Call for Boston community to become ‘strong together’ after young girl’s stabbing

Residents aired their issues to local representatives

There were calls for Boston to become “stronger together as a community” at a public safety meeting in the town on Friday.

The meeting, organised by Lina Savicke, the mother of stabbed schoolgirl Lilija Valutyte, and Boston businessman Dale Broughton.

It featured a panel including Boston MP Matt Warman, council leader Paul Skinner and police representatives Superintendent Pat Coates and Inspector Colin Clarkson.

Opening up the meeting, Lina said: “I cannot begin to describe the journey of pain and grief I am going through.

“Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed.”

However, she said she has strength to organise the meeting on behalf of her family.

Follow our reporter’s coverage of the meeting

“I have my three-year-old daughter to think about. I worry about safety in summer and I want to make sure my daughter has a safe future in Boston.

“All of us have families we don’t want to come to any harm. So I hope we can use the time tonight to raise issues we’re most worried about.”

She later concluded the meeting by saying: “”Let’s get stronger together as a community.”

Resident Mark Rawlings called for streetlights to be switched back on. | Image: Daniel Jaines

During the meeting residents raise concerns over topics including anti-social behaviour, a lack of visible policing, the impact of migration and community cohesion, street-lights and the appearance of the town.

The panel reassured the audience that the town was safe and that there were a number of staff on hand to tackle issues.

However, they also acknowledged that they needed to work closely with partner organisations to improve the situation further.

One concerned parent said there was “nowhere for the kids to go, no way to keep kids safe”. | Image: Daniel Jaines

MP Matt Warman asked people to dwell less on the past and focus more on the future.

“History is important, a sense of where we come from should give us a better opportunity to be something in the future but what we need is a combination of investment, community spirit, pride and all of those things.”

Lina Savicke and her husband at the meeting. | Image: Daniel Jaines

Following the meeting Lina said said efforts to improve the town would “not stop there”.

“We need changes in Boston,” she said.

Dale Broughton was one of the organisers. | Image: Daniel Jaines

Dale said the meeting had gone “really well” and had “been a success”.

“Let’s just hope something good comes out of it and we can have another meeting to discuss what’s been talked about tonight. Hopefully plans are put into place,” he said.

Boston Borough Council leader Councillor Paul Skinner said there needed to be closer partnership working. | Image: Daniel Jaines

Councillor Skinner said there were “genuine problems” out there, adding “Even the fear of crime is a genuine worry”.

“I am really convinced with the skills we’ve got among the Community Safety team, and working with the public more we can actually move things on,” he said.

Boston MP Matt Warman speaking at the meeting. | Image: Daniel Jaines

MP Matt Warman said there had been a “real passion and frustration” for the town from those attending.

He praised commitments from the police to work closely with communities and said there was investment coming to the town.

“But we shouldn’t underplay the real frustrations that the community have that I share that I know the council shares to try, and make sure that people feel safe and to try and make sure that the the anti social behaviour end of the spectrum as well is something that’s tackled,” he added.

For our reporter’s full live tweets from the meeting click here.


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