the place to be
Wednesday October 17th 2018

Neighbourhood Watch Autumn update

There is little point in listing the crimes happening in the last two months – much the number and type as usual – but it’s heartening that vigilance and action by you residents have resulted in some being avoided and in other cases the trouble-makers being apprehended. For example a resident in Big Common Lane reported three figures wearing balaclavas and some suspicious sounds at night. Police arrived quickly to find that a van had been tampered with and caught the three. In Castle Street someone called the police when a brick was thrown through a house window nearby. As a result police arrived with the dog unit and the helicopter was soon on the scene, causing the intruders to leave without the chance to steal anything. Well done those with neighbourly eyes and ears and who didn’t just shut them to what was happening. If we were all as alert and responsible criminals would be less confident of getting away with it.

Another success has been the cessation of the infuriating motorbike noise in the fields behind Coneybury. This has prevented residents from sitting in their back gardens for several hours every day while the weather was good. With help from the Parish Council, info. from residents and cooperation from the agent of the owner of the fields, the police, particularly PC Vicky Seymour, were able to take decisive action. visited those suspected of being responsible for the noise nuisance and issued warnings that there was NO permission for this activity. I, and those whose summer was ruined by the constant noise and fumes, heartily thank all who got this stopped. It shows that, if people get together and take determined action, things can change.

“County Lines” have been in the news. Drug gangs in the big cities like London have run out of local customers and are recruiting, often very young and ruthlessly exploited, carriers in villages like ours to receive and sell on their wares. If you see signs of this – small packages changing hands, cars turning up frequently and leaving quickly after being met by the same person, a youngster suddenly having a lot of money without any apparent reason – please notify the police. The very last thing we want in this village is drug-dealing and its horrible effects.

Lastly, please have some sympathy for the police. You’ll have heard about the financial cuts, the closing of police stations and the extreme pressure officers are under. That applies to PC Vicky and our other local officers too. They do their best in almost impossible circumstances, morale is low and they need the support of the public. So, rather than complaining that you never see an officer pounding the pavement, please contact them when needed but for issues like parking, fly-tipping, environmental problems or getting your finger stuck in the teapot spout, think what other agencies might be more appropriate.

SPEEDWATCH

We’ve continued sessions as usual and another would-be recruit came to one of them recently to see what it’s all about. As soon as the police tell us there’s another training session he will be on it – and so could you; just let me have your name and contact details!

Janine Marks has been working to get the speed limit reduced along the A25 between our village and Godstone and the residents of the new houses in Knights Way are also keen on this. I hope you saw and signed the petition Janine put out. We Speedwatchers have long asked for a site in this stretch of road and been denied it.

6th-20th August was International Speed Awareness Week with police holding 24-hour vigils in speed hotspots throughout UK. A driver was booked in Bletchingley for erratic driving and speeding, and was then found to be under the influence of drugs. I have to admit that I had an uneasy couple of weeks after I’d driven through South Godstone on the A22 during that period (though definitely not under the influence of anything but chatting to passengers I wasn’t perhaps being as alert as I might have been) then wondering if I’d noticed the cameras and kept to 30mph. So far, no fine but it’s easy to be a bit careless and on automatic pilot on familiar roads and I have been extra aware of the camera by Grange Meadow – and so should you. Drivers whizz down to Godstone, passing on the hatching and I’ve even seen one overtaking on the wrong side of the traffic island. Stay safe!

Di Turner – 01883 743598 diturner1941@hotmail.com