‘I wish I’d never bought this house’ – residents fed-up with drug use, urinating and public sex in picturesque street
- Credit: Emily Thomson
Home owners in a picturesque market town street say they are too scared to go in their gardens’ because of drug use and anti-social behaviour taking place just metres away.
Residents in St. Audrey's, Thetford, say more needs to be done to stamp out anti-social behaviour taking place in an area of Spring Walks, as attempts by the council and local law enforcement have been ineffective.
Maurice Stainsby, 53, said: "The people who use that small piece of land are an on-going problem for as long as I have been there.
"It's a case of drunkenness, hard drug taking and public urination and defecation.
"It's stressful, you want to be able to enjoy your garden and I work from home so my office looks directly at that spot. Breckland Council and the police have done their best to prevent it but their actions have been ineffective."
From December 7, 2017, a large area of Thetford's town was granted a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to restrict anti-social behaviour from having an effect on those in the community.
This gives officers in Thetford extra powers in those areas if they believe a person is; consuming alcohol and is intoxicated and incapable, urinating and defecating in places open to the air, or the use of skateboards, bicycles in pedestrian zones that may cause damage, nuisance and annoyance.
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PC Leah Norton, from the Thetford Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "We know this type of behaviour can have a significant impact on the local community which is why we've launched a dedicated operation to address it.
"Officers patrol problem areas on a daily basis and will take action against offenders, issuing warning notices and arresting them if that behaviour continues. To date, four people have been charged with offences."
But, residents say that they still feel unsafe in their homes, as their gardens back onto an area that is a well-known meeting point for offenders.
Another resident said: "My life is a misery. I retired when I was 60 and I wanted to enjoy life but now I don't even want to open my backdoor on a nice day.
"I have five little grandchildren and if they stay over I don't open the windows, because of the language and I have seen sexual acts.
"I have lived here for six year and wish I'd never bought this house because of it."