Police step up patrols near churchyard after Newmarket residents plagued by anti-social behaviour

No Caption ABCDE ENGANL00120130827124607
No Caption ABCDE ENGANL00120130827124607

Police are stepping up patrols close to Newmarket’s All Saints’ Church after residents said they were being plagued by anti-social behaviour.

The churchyard is reported to have been increasingly used by various groups drinking, using abusive language, kicking balls at house windows and cars and throwing items over the church roof at neighbouring properties and vehicles.

Ward councillor Shirley Crickmere raised the issue at a meeting of Newmarket Town Council on Monday following a letter from Simon Bentley, director of the Sunnyside Park Lane Residents’ Association.

Mr Bentley said: “The latest occurrence of anti-social behaviour involved three women entering the churchyard for the specific purpose of allowing one of them to urinate.”

In a letter to Mr Bentley, Brian Thatcher, secretary and administrator of All Saints’ parochial church council, said in response to his concerns, the church had arranged a meeting between residents and police on Thursday.

“It was identified that there were different groups of people congregating in the churchyard. Some just sit there talking and drinking, but are responsible citizens, who cause no disturbance, and leave no rubbish behind.

“Other groups are much more disruptive and it is these people who are the major cause of concern.”

Sgt Mel Leaman, new head of the town’s Safer Neighbourhood team, said patrols were being increased and encouraged residents to report any issues.