Lawless claims have been blown out of proportion'

PUBLISHED: 11:36 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 14:45 12 May 2010

POLICE say claims about Buntingford being lawless are blown out of proportion . In the past two weeks under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour have been causes for concern among residents and town councillors. But police in Buntingford say it is no

POLICE say claims about Buntingford being "lawless" are "blown out of proportion".

In the past two weeks under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour have been causes for concern among residents and town councillors.

But police in Buntingford say it is no worse than other towns in the area.

PCSO Francis Higgins, said: "It has been blown out of proportion. Buntingford is no worse to any other town. In fact it's probably a lot better than other places.

"The issue at the moment is litter, loud music and youths congregating with cars and motorbikes in car parks.

Mr Higgins claimed incidents of anti-social behaviour had been less in the past year.

"When I first came to the town about 18 months ago there were a few under-age youths who liked a beer but they have grown up now," he said.

"Youths around here are not bad. It's all good-natured and not malicious.

"It is not turning into a Wild West town by any stretch of the imagination."

Police are currently going through an educational exercise with youths as well as carrying out regular patrols at hotspot areas.

Mr Higgins added: "Police have not abandoned the town. We are keeping on top of it and keeping it contained."

Cllr Pat Whittaker said that he believed high visibility policing could improve the situation.

"All towns have the same problems, but there's a small group in the town that cause a lot of disruption.

"I spoke to someone the other day and youths were revving their engines and playing music until 1.30am, but police weren't around to witness it.

"And as a councillor I take that on board.

"It's all right for people to say it's blown out of proportion, but it does happen in the town.

Town clerk Jill Jones said she had talked to youngsters at the Seth Ward Centre car park recently who moved on without complaints or bad behaviour.

"They aren't vandalising anything. It's more of a noise problem," she said.

The town council has been asked to consider erecting a barrier at the Seth Ward Centre car park.

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