“Lock your cars!” warn police

“Lock your cars!” warn police

FYLDE villagers are too complacent about crime, a police inspector told us at our last meeting, on Thursday, 17th November 2011.

Thieves know that in any street in the Fylde there will usually be two or three cars left unlocked and with valuables in plain view, Inspector Keith Ogle said. Thieves he’d spoken to said Blackpool wasn’t a good prospect anymore because people were more crime conscious, but in the Fylde stealing from unlocked cars was much easier than smashing car windows and leaving DNA evidence.

Insp. Ogle was talking about crime generally, following his report on October’s figures, which included two cars broken into for their contents.

However, the council’s main concern on the night was speeding through the parish which, despite some 800 tickets and warnings, continues unabated. The council is currently investigating the possibility of creating a mini-roundabout at the main road junction with Church Road. But, said Insp Ogle, chicanes had worked very well at Woodplumpton as they had ‘designed out’ speeding more effectively than bumps or roundabouts.

Speeding will continue to be targeted, said the Inspector. From January there will be more police cars available in and around Kirkham; the community beat system is being updated through appointments and promotions; phone systems are improving; and a new satellite tracking system will enable faster responses to incidents.

Residents’ fears about vandalism and theft were being tackled, he added. Thefts of metal were a current problem because any recaptured metal was difficult to trace back to its owners, but two Blackpool scrapmetal merchants had been thwarted recently – one had been closed down, and the other prevented from starting business as a result of police interventions.

Residents shouldn’t fear calling police to any incidents, even verbal threats, he added after Cllr Chris Bailey said residents had reported two lurchers on the loose and potentially worrying sheep. “It doesn’t matter what gangs are operating in the area,” added Insp Ogle, “Nobody’s got a bigger gang than us.”

Other issues
OUR concerns at the meeting included:
– The county’s litter-picking, which isn’t happening at monthly intervals, as it should;
– The inadequate grass-cutting around the parish and, in particular, at the playground;
– Surface weathering in the car-park behind the village hall;
– Poor broadband in the village;
– Hedge-cutting;
– The poor state of the fire-engine shed, a listed building at the junction of The Village and Church Road, which has not been renovated satisfactorily by its owners, United Utilities.

A new swing
The council has decided to order a ‘team swing’ for the playground, following residents’ requests for more play equipment. It will be installed with rubber matting around it, like the other play equipment.

The council decided to increase its precept by 2% to allow for increasing costs. This is much less that last year’s 5% increase and well below the rate of inflation. The increase is necessary to cover higher parish maintenance costs and to allow for the bigger projects expected during 2012.

Our next meeting…
… is being arranged. It was to have been on 15th December but may now be brought forward. Watch this space.