Dentist urges action over down and outs plaguing surgery

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A dentist has issued a plea to police after seeing the road outside his practice beseiged by people boozing, urinating and abusing passers-by on a daily basis.

Over the last 18 months Sab Bhandal has seen the behaviour outside his practice on Peel Street, Luton, degenerate to new lows.

Staff members have grown fearful for their safety after regularly receiving abuse from men seen drinking and urinating on the road at all times of the day.

Prostitutes and drug users have also been spotted in the alleyways either side of Luton Dental Centre.

When the Herald & Post visited the site yesterday Peel Street and Peel Place were littered with empty beer cans and vodka bottles, while the odour of urine was strong.

Sab, who owns the dental practice, says that the issue has hit crisis point.

He said: “We have asked them to leave but every morning we still have to go through the process of clearing up and washing away faeces, the stench is terrible.

“We’ve had two or three significant incidents where staff have been threatened, one was end of the day and another was first in the morning.

“I’m equally concerned about patients as I am about our staff members.

“It has been going on for 18 months, we can’t have people doing this.”

Beds Police said it is aware of the problems.

A spokesman told the Herald & Post: “(Our) local policing team have recently spoken to Mr Bhandal about the actions we have taken and will be taking in the area and we now understand he is happy with these.

“It is often difficult for those working during the day to notice when Police are patrolling but officers take action against anyone causing anti-social behaviour.

“The local PCSO is working with Luton Borough Council to ensure the signs indicating the area is part of a no drinking zone are clearly visible.

“This has enabled police to move on those drinking alcohol and sleeping rough in the area.

“Help and assistance is also offered to these individuals to help change their patterns of behaviour.”

Problems have also surfaced with repeat fly-tippers on Peel Street.

Sab said: “There are a number of bins outside our building so as a result we have had people dumping mattresses and other large items.

“On occasions patients have actually had to get out of their cars to remove mattresses from the road so that they are able to park.

“We have also had alot of problems with congestion on Wellington Street, after 6pm every night it is gridlocked which makes it very difficulty for our staff and patients to get past.”

The Beds Police spokesman added: “Officers have also been working with colleagues in Luton Borough Council to ensure parking regulations are strictly enforced and we understand that parking enforcement officers have visited the area almost 400 times so far this year and issued 155 tickets to those parking illegally in the area.

“Rubbish and street cleansing are matters for Luton Borough Council.”

A council spokesperson told the Herald & Post: “Wellington Street and Peel Street are busy thoroughfares in the town centre and as a result, Council civil enforcement officers visit the area regularly.

“Please note that some of the parking on the single yellow line is by drivers with a blue badge and so they can legitimately park in the area for a period.

“The area is regularly cleaned but there was an extra clean and inspection last Friday with a follow-up visit on Monday to ensure the area was clean and tidy.

“We have received two reports of flytipping this year and any such waste has been removed within 48 hours. Where it is possible to identify the source of the waste or the person responsible for the flytipping, the Council will carry out a thorough investigation and pursue enforcement action as appropriate.

“We urge local residents and businesses to act responsibly and ensure they ask anyone offering to remove their waste for their waste carrier certificate- remember we can issue a fixed penalty notice to anyone who has not done this.

“Offenders could also be convicted and face up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to £50,000.

“Council parking enforcement officers have visited Wellington Street almost 400 times so far this year and issued 155 tickets to those parking illegally.

“Peel Street has been visited over 100 times and we have issued 101 penalty charge notices this year.”