Anti-social behaviour problems in Luton streets under the spotlight

Petitions sent to council by fed-up residents

Friday, 8th October 2021, 11:13 am

Reports of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in part of Luton are to be referred to the offices of Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner.

A 46-signature petition was submitted to the borough council regarding alleged issues in Stanton Road and the adjoining busway.

There were 12 crime-related incidents in the Stanton Road area during the past year, with only four of these recorded as anti-social behaviour, according to a report to the local authority's petitions and representations board on October 4.

The Stanton Road area near the busway (Google)

"In neighbouring roads, such as Matlock Crescent, there were again 12 incidents recorded and just one of anti-social behaviour," said the report.

Deputy neighbourhood operations manager James Hardiman told the board: "A petition was received relating to ongoing anti-social behaviour and drug dealing within the area of Stanton Road.

"Part of the petition was to make a recommendation for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to be aware and to take note regarding pledges, and consider introducing CCTV within the area," he said.

READ THIS: Man charged with attempted murder following Luton shooting"The proposal is it gets referred back to the offices of the Bedfordshire PCC and the council services look to support the local policing team over enforcement of any issues."

The report added: "The busway stations, including one at Stanton Road, are covered by static CCTV, which have captured no incidents to date.

"A redeployable camera being installed within the area, would only be deployed for a period of time.

"As these cameras aren't routinely monitored, there would need to be an increase in reporting of incidents to the police by the petitioners and the wider community.

"While a redeployable camera may deter the behaviour, there's no guarantee this wouldn't displace the reported behaviour to another area."

Labour Biscot councillor Haji Abid, who chairs the board, said: "It's quite straightforward. It's a policing matter, so we notify the police."

The board agreed to refer the petition to the OPCC and Bedfordshire Police over enforcement activity around drug supply and use, with support from council services.

A 44-signature petition was submitted to the council by campaigners in the area of Saxon Road and Biscot Road.

"The petition was in respect of a Saxon Road property being the focal point of drug supply and use, as well as anti-social behaviour within the area," explained the report to the board.

"Also within the petition were concerns about environmental issues and fly-tipping within the area.

"There were 48 reports received by the council about fly-tipping, environmental issues, such as waste on private land, and abandoned vehicles over a 12-month period."

Mr Hardiman said: "Staff from my teams and Bedfordshire Police worked together. A warrant was executed on September 6 and a subsequent closure order was placed on the property for three months.

"Community engagement has been ongoing with work to address the environmental issues within the area.

"The recommendation is that no further action is taken relating to this petition."

Local resident and campaigner Aldima Bibi said: "We were amazed by the rapid action by the council's enforcement team and the police.

"But our area has been a hot hub for a long time. So I'd like you to keep an eye on it because these things are going to be coming back.

"We still want that rotating CCTV and the police presence as well, obviously with the drug dealing and everything else."

Councillor Abid replied: "Across the town, you deal with one problem and then it moves on to another area. It's a constant battle basically. That's the problem we have."

The board agreed no further action would be taken over this petition.