Published: February 4, 2009
Burnham police hold street briefing to address Marine Drive problems

Burnham-On-Sea police held a public meeting on Wednesday (February 4th) in response to mounting concerns about vandalism, speeding and crime in Marine Drive.

The 'street briefing' was held at the Park Ranger's Office in Apex Park and was attended by residents, police and local councillors.

It comes after first reported in January how Marine Drive residents' windows had been attacked by vandals and follows problems with speeding traffic and anti-social behaviour.

At Wednesday's meeting, local residents aired their concerns and heard from Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant Sgt Ian Kennett about what is being done by local police to tackle the issues.

He reassured residents that work is underway to resolve the issues, saying: "Many actions have already been put into place, including regular patrols of the area, targeted high visibility patrols, targeted speed checks, the application of a mobile CCTV camera, and alcohol seizures."

He added that there had been just one incident reported to police in Marine Drive during the last two months and eight in the last six months. Residents were urged to report incidents so that the true scale of the problems is recorded.

Residents at Wednesday's meeting complained about drunks using the road between 2-4am at weekends, noise issues, damage to property, anti-social behaviour, speeding and the use of mini motorbikes in nearby Apex Park.

They added, however, that the closure of the gates at the park in the evenings had helped to reduce problems. Suggestions for improvements included the installation of lights in the car park; the launch of a CCTV camera and a traffic speed camera to record average speeds along the whole road.

The possibility of launching a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and a Speedwatch scheme, similar to the one in Burnham's Rosewood estate, is also being considered.

District councillor Cllr Joe Leach, who has campaigned on behalf of Marine Drive residents, told after Wednesday's meeting: "I think it went well, particularly because locals got to speak to their local police, and are feeling more reassured."

"The problems we are encountering can be dealt with as a community and all are prepared to help. We are having an evening meeting on February 25th to establish a Speedwatch and I look forward to working with all residents and our police to sort out these problems once and for all. We will never stop all the problems, but our aim is to reduce the amount of issues, and help residents feel safer in their homes."

Our photos show (top) residents, police and councillors at Wednesday's street briefing and (beneath) residents listening on as the meeting got underway

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