WITH regard to high street anti-social behaviour, to some extent we really are not dealing with anything new.

You can go back to the 1950s and “Teddy Boys” and “flick knives”. The age of James Dean, “Rebel Without a Cause”, and Marlon Brando, “On the Waterfront”.

And the 1960s with pitched battles in sea-side resorts, such as Margate and Brighton, between Mods and Rockers. Check out Quadraphenia.

But what has changed, I believe eclipsing all other hard crime issues, is access to drugs and alcohol. Hard drugs and drug running. The all too easy access in high streets to alcohol.

And coupled with this we have had huge reductions in police numbers. Up to 2010 we had a police community officer in Ashley Road most days. This was all swept away in 2011.

Check out local and national headlines the past ten years. BBC February 2011: Dorset Police to axe 248 jobs in budget cuts.

Bournemouth Echo April 2018: 37 per cent reduction in visible police patrolling in a decade.

Bournemouth Echo September 2018: Dorset Police cutting front line officers as violent crime rises by 95% in three years.

Astonishing isn’t it, that anyone in any government thinks you can massively reduce policing numbers and there will no consequences.

If you want to run a railway company you need rail tracks.

If you want law and order we have to have police officers.

As it is in Ashley Road we have come full circle. Someone in the system, after all these years, has finally assigned a community officer, along with more police action.

And, wonder of wonders, the issues are being dealt with. Just in time for the Police and Crime Commissioner election.

Cynics of the world unite!


Alexandra Road, Parkstone