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Police urge people not to call 101 for ‘unreasonable’ complaints

PUBLISHED: 15:19 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:19 25 August 2020

After complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from residents, Norfolk police stepped up its patrols around the recreation ground. Picture: Getty Images

After complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from residents, Norfolk police stepped up its patrols around the recreation ground. Picture: Getty Images

Archant

Calls to complain about a noisy children’s park have sparked a police officer to encourage neighbours not to call 101 for “unreasonable” complaints.

After complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from residents, Norfolk police stepped up its patrols around the recreation ground. Picture: Swaffham Town CouncilAfter complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from residents, Norfolk police stepped up its patrols around the recreation ground. Picture: Swaffham Town Council

After complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from neighbours of the town’s recreation ground, Norfolk police has stepped up patrols in the area.

But despite adding the grounds to their route every shift, officers such as PC Joanna Higgins have not found anyone breaking the law but have been receiving 101 calls from residents about children making noise at sociable times.

In a report to the council Miss Higgins, said: “While I am keen and happy for the town council to get residents to phone 101 when a problem is occurring, what we are actually getting is a lot of complaints that are not really reasonable to deal with, such as kids on the rec making noise at 5.10pm on a Sunday.

“We have been down there numerous times and made it a patrol priority on every shift, but to date I am yet to find anyone doing anything criminal or anything they really shouldn’t be.”

After complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from residents, Norfolk police stepped up its patrols around the recreation ground. Picture: Swaffham Town CouncilAfter complaints of antisocial behaviour to Swaffham Town Council from residents, Norfolk police stepped up its patrols around the recreation ground. Picture: Swaffham Town Council

Crime figures in Swaffham have remained the same over the last two months with 42 in between April and June and 45 between June and July. Out of these incidents, a total of 25 were antisocial behaviour related.

The antisocial behaviour offences reported the most in Swaffham are groups being congregated in public areas and noisy or nuisance neighbours.

“My stance on the subject is that the rec is exactly where the young people should be,” Miss Higgins added. “Making use of the open space and excellent facilities the town council has provided.

“All the people I speak to are given words of advice, around inappropriate language, littering and damage.

“I have to say that all of the young people I speak to have been polite and engaging and I don’t want to unnecessarily harass them if they aren’t doing anything wrong.

“I am aware that criminal damage and the broken glass and litter is an ongoing problem and we will continue to make it a patrol priority.”


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