Time To Get A Grip - Talking Politics by Councillor Mark Birkett

April 6, 2007 3:10 PM

You know as well as I do that we have a youth-nuisance problem in our town. Whilst most of our youngsters want to enjoy life and allow others to do the same, a tiny handful of our youngsters are choosing to make life an absolute misery for their neighbours. Vandalism, graffiti, litter, verbal abuse, under-age drinking and often far worse.

It's time to get a grip. But what can we do?

We all know our Police are under-funded. That's why this Lib Dem Council have argued forcefully at local and at National level with Paul Rowen MP for more officers on the beat with FULL powers of arrest. But that's a longer-term answer. In the short-term, I believe we must all work 'smarter' with the Police. That means you, me and everyone else reporting every single crime and getting a log number. When delving out resources the police look at the amount of complaints in a specific area. Above all, it means community groups becoming the focal point of this work.

A PC or PCSO should attend and report back to every meeting you have. Social Services must follow up every instance of 'problem' families. Where there is enough anecdotal evidence from the community, the troublemaker concerned must get a stern warning. So should their parents. Where that doesn't work and they have 'earned' an ASBO, let's make damn sure they get one and more importantly that they work.

This problem has a much bigger impact than just 'nuisance'. When people tire of nothing appearing to work, they simply pack up and leave. Every time that happens, Rochdale loses another decent family and that makes a pleasant community impossible.

So let's work together from today. Support your local Police. Support your local community groups. Report every crime on 0161 872 50 50 and let's get a grip today!

For further information, call Councillor Mark Birkett, 07944 814297 or email me at mark.birkett@rochdale.gov.uk