Garstang teen nuisance: police to use new powers?

Police line tape
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Garstang’s police Sergeant Danielle Freaney has revealed how she and colleagues have had to get on their bikes after being allocated just one vehicle for their patch.

She told Monday’s Town Council meeting she and police officer PC Matt Butcher had had to cycle ten miles to Preesall earlier in the day to collect the one vehicle.

She noted: “It’s a little bit difficult at the moment but we are doing our best to get around.”

Her comments came as she revealed an increase in antisocial behaviour in Garstang means police are now considering getting a Public Spaces Protection order for the High Street car park.

Sgt Freaney said, in May 2014, police had dealt with nine cases of antisocial behaviour in the Garstang and Over Wyre area, but this year it had escalated to 19.

She said: “There’s a big increase - there’s a number of little pockets of problems.”

One area of concern was the Discovery Centre car park - the main car park off High Street, with problems with young people continuing to drive on it inappropriately.

She revealed she was looking into the issue with Wyre Council and it was likely the council would organise a local consultation as part of work looking at the possibility of/need for such a Protection Order.

Explaining this is new legislation which allows police and council to issue a fixed penalty ticket to offenders who break conditions listed in the order, for example banning the playing of football in a certain area, she said: “It would be the first Public Spaces Protection Order to be put on our area...It’s not just a toothless tiger.”

She revealed other areas with antisocial behaviour problems included the Millennium Green and Kepple Lane.

She said these were: “All areas when we do have time we try to visit.”

Town Councillor David Williams complained about speeding vehicles on Church Street and Kepple Lane. In contrast he said he noted frequent speed checks on Catterall Road and the A6.

He said: “Yet on Church Street where I live and Kepple Lane it is virtually open season, particularly on motor bikes. There’s a laughable 20 mph limit - it might as well be 200 ... Why can we not at least have a presence on that road?”

Sgt Freaney explained the constraints on placing speed checks - ranging from parked cars preventing checks to weather conditions and the need for safety assessments before a check point could be set up. It was not always possible to find a suitable site to set up the mobile speed checking equipment on particular stretches of road.

She urged anyone interested to volunteer to join the Constabulary’s Community Roadwatch scheme. Alternatively anyone interested could accompany PC Butcher on his Roadwatch duties to see what is involved.

Meanwhile, Coun. Sandra Perkins highlighted a recurrent problem - an increase in supermarket delivery lorries using Kepple Lane

* Coun Gordon Harter reported that, at a recent town council surgery, a resident had raised concerns about taxi drivers parking on two-hour bays on Moss Lane and doors being slammed at antisocial times.

Wyre Coun. Alice Collinson, who had attended the meeting, said she would raise the issue with Wyre Council.