Lawn and dis­or­der

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

This is the story of Sharon, Stan, Stephen and Char­lie. It’s the story of four or­di­nary Peter­bor­ough folk. But a warn­ing be­fore you read on it’s quite de­press­ing.

The quar­tet are all al­lot­ment hold­ers in Mal­borne Way, Or­ton Mal­borne. Last week the PT re­ported how thieves had struck at their al­lot­ments nine times in 11 days - yes that’s right nine times in 11 days.

Lawn mow­ers, a tiller and a chain­saw were among the items grabbed by the thieves.

I’m sure their story sur­prises no-one – a shrug of sym­pa­thy here, a raised eye­brow of ex­as­per­a­tion there –but this is typ­i­cal of the low level crime that blights too many lives in this city.

The po­lice, to give them their due, have throughly-in­ves­ti­gated the thefts even send­ing in foren­sic ex­perts (wouldn’t it make a great CSI episode?) but site rep Char­lie is not con­fi­dent ar­rests will fol­low. He said re­signedly: “These peo­ple can get away with it and they do.’’

He’s right and that’s the de­press­ing part.

Equally, de­press­ing was a call I took from a res­i­dent com­plain­ing about a man who has been liv­ing in a van near her home for months.

She and her neigh­bours were clearly at their wit’s end par­tic­u­larly as they said the man was us­ing a chil­dren’s play area as his toi­let.

The po­lice had been called but with­out ev­i­dence of a crime have been un­able to do any­thing but en­cour­age the man to move on.

Anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and low-level crime has a huge detri­men­tal im­pact on too many peo­ple. Of­ten there is lit­tle that can be done ex­cept to grin and bear it. But some­times there are small things that can make a dif­fer­ence.

So if some­body of­fers you a good deal on a lawn mower, you know what to do... for Sharon, Stan, Stephen and Char­lie.

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