AN ECHO item (April 25) reports that Dorset Police have in recent weeks had a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Poole, and that including Ashley Road, Upper Parkstone.

Yes. Absolutely. The effect has been transformational.

No more day-time drinkers causing no-end of upset and distress to shoppers and outlets. No more day-drinkers taking over bus-stops to the extent bus users can’t use bus stop shelters.

Well done Dorset Police and BCP council officers.

But then the question writ large why has this taken three years to commit the resources to clear the high street of all this trouble?

It really is outrageous. As far back as 2018 shops and shoppers were complaining about the problems including fighting in the street.

There have been, to my knowledge, three meetings in St John’s Church, Ashley Road, with large numbers of shop owners and residents attending.

Vociferous complaint after complaint – urinating in the street, pestering the public, at worst fighting.

And we need to be clear, legislation that police are using has been on the statutes since 2014. Section 35 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2014.

This gives police power to move on anyone who is causing harassment, alarm, or distress, to the public.

In other words this action now being taken by police could have been taken anytime in the past four years.

It is then to my mind highly suspect that this crackdown takes place weeks before the Police and Crime Commissioner election, on May 6.

In all, personally, and I think many in Ashley Road would agree, we would gladly trade any grand one-off crackdown for the regular presence of a community officer in the high street, every day.

That way we have an orderly high street, every day.

We don’t have to go through three years of disruption and upset before someone in authority, finally, after so many complaints, commits to taking action.


Jubilee Road, Parkstone