Published: February 20, 2009
Highbridge residents urge police to crack down on drug dealing in town

Drug dealing in Highbridge is the top concern of residents in the town and will be the focus for police over the next three months, it was decided at a public meeting on Thursday evening (February 19th).

Thirty residents crowded into Morland Hall, as pictured, for the town's first Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meeting, where they were able to air their views on policing and set the priorities for police in the town.

Drug dealing was voted 'public enemy number one', while speeding along Highbridge's Marine Drive will be the second priority for the town's police.

Sergeant Ian Kennett said that Highbridge police "would do everything possible to displace and disrupt drug dealers." He revealed that 16 warrants had been served in Highbridge during the last year, with more to follow over the coming weeks.

Neighbourhood Beat Manager Adrian Jones urged residents to get in contact with Highbridge police if they have suspicions of dealing. "A lot of information comes from the public and has been very useful in serving warrants," he said.

Other key problems raised by residents include anti-social behaviour, illegal parking in Church Street, graffiti, dog fouling, littering, criminal damage, street drinking, CCTV coverage, unlicensed car sales and a lack of youth facilities.

Sergeant Ian Kennett said that 30 per cent of all Highbridge crime is now "detected with action taken against offenders", compared to a rate of 16 per cent four years ago.

Sergeant Kennett added: "I would like to see crime fall in Highbridge and I believe that this can be achieved by the neighbourhood beat team working closely with the community and our partners targeting those individuals who commit offences."

Several residents voiced concerns about the police response to the recent mass fight in Bank Street, which was first reported on Some residents say in Church Street say they are afraid to leave their homes in the evening.

While the role of PCSOs in the town was questioned, local resident Roger Keen praised the Highbridge PCSO team as "being very committed to their jobs and very visible."


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