Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dispersal Notice for Fiveways Area

I should have posted on this matter before.

It seems to me that although the problems of teenage behaviour around the area at night seems to have grown recently, the response to issue a dispersal order is a particularly heavy handed and negative way of responding to the issue.

Firstly I dislike intensely the fact that the authorities think it's OK to communicate with the local community by sticking up notices on lamposts as if they were planning applications. It smacks of distain for the intelligence of the population at large. The notice includes an invitation to direct comments to Chief Inspector Kerry Cox on 0845 607999. It has proved almost impossible to get through to this person directly and promises of a response to comments have not been kept. Has anyone managed to speak to her?

Where was the public consultation before this draconian action was taken? No-one I have spoken to was aware of any.
Why didn't the Council or the Police call a Public Meeting to discuss this issue and see whether any positive steps could be taken to occupy the kids more constructively in the evenings.

I have commented many times before that in so-called affluent middle class areas such as this the Young are very poorly catered for and are the most easily ignored until they find themselves in trouble. Those facilities which are available cater to an agenda - sport, church, anti-drugs etc - but there is essentially nothing for kids to do that allow them to set their own agendas. It's a great shame that the scheme for a Community Centre on the St Augustine's site came to nothing. So much for the C of E showing an interest in community needs.

Can we not utilise all those playing fields and school buildings which stand idle evenings, weekends and holiday times? There is an excellent resource for a wide variety of community led opportunites for our youngsters and others.

It would appear the only way to get things done around here is to make a big noise about it. No-one wants sensible discussion on the subjects of the recycling scheme or wheelie bins, it seems. They just cause a holler - whether it gets them anywhere I'm not sure. But if you feel passionately about the welfare of our kids - the next generation of responsible (or otherwise) citizens and future leaders of our community, perhaps it's time to start kicking up a fuss!


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