Is there no solution to anti-social behaviour?

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AS reported by the Journal, people living in Signal Road and Sharpe Road are dealing with anti-social behaviour on an almost daily basis.

A panel meeting bringing together affected people, police, councillors and council officers took place on Friday...but there were many more questions than answers.

FRUSTRATION is what is being felt not just by people whose lives are being blighted by yobs, but also those in authority who are trying to help.

Around 25 people attended Friday’s meeting to discuss the ongoing anti-social behaviour problems in Sharpe Road and Signal Road in Grantham, problems which became so bad earlier this year that the people living in the area paid for their own CCTV cameras.

They are all angry and frustrated that the issue, which has been escalating over the past decade, seems beyond resolving.

But their frustration is at least matched by their Lincolnshire Police beat manager Pc Jane Ellis.

Pc Ellis told the meeting the three main offenders in the area had been sent to a Young Offenders Institute three times in the past year - a process which takes “an immense amount of effort”.

She added: “The problem is we keep locking these young men up but they keep coming out and re-offending. The problem is the life these people have to live and we can’t solve it for them.

“I wrack my brains at night trying to think of a way to help.”

Residents who spoke up praised Pc Ellis and her team for their efforts but now realise that the most the police can do is, after exhaustive investigations and hundreds of hours of work, get one or two of those responsible sent to a young offenders institution for a couple of months.

Then they are returned to the streets - time served and slate wiped clean - and usually back to terrorising their neighbourhood.

At the meeting was Grantham MP Nick Boles and Chief Inspector Mark Housley. Residents asked for a representative from South Kesteven District Council’s housing department to be at the next meeting.

But as people left there seemed little prospect of a speedy resolution to their problem. There is plenty of willingness to do something, but too many hands are tied.

Neighbours are pinning their hopes on getting the families blamed for the anti-social behaviour - SKDC tenants - evicted, but ask: “Then what?” They fear it will only become someone else’s problem.

It was a meeting in which plenty of questions were asked, and answered, but solutions were nowhere to be found.

l What do you think might solve anti-social behaviour problems in neighbourhoods? E-mail: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk