A police officer in Boston told a national newspaper that the arrival of ‘slim Eastern European girls’ to the town has helped us stop being the ‘fattest town’.
Sgt Gary Joynes spoke to the Independent for the latest in the newspaper’s series of features looking at the impact of immigration.
Sgt Joynes told the paper that the town was now notorious for immigration, which he joked had taken away from the spotlight being on obesity.
He is quoted as saying: “We were the fattest town in England but the Eastern European ladies don’t tend to be a large build, so that’s brought it right down.”
In 2006 Boston was ranked number one in the country for the proportion of obese adults by Public Health England.
The most recent figures put Boston 41st out of 326.
In total 69.9 per cent of the borough’s over-16s are classed as overweight or obese - that is, with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above.
The neighbourhood officer also spoke about the issue of people using Boston’s streets as a toilet.
He showed the Independent reporter an un-named side street and is reported to say: “The biggest issue that gets people most is people peeing and defecating in the street. This alley is notorious for it. I think it’s a complication of homelessness and a lack of toilet facilities.”
The article begins by stating: “If there is a single road that sums up how dramatically Britain has changed over the last decade, it is probably West Street in the Lincolnshire market town of Boston.
“Once home to sleepy shoe shops and hair salons, the street now boasts a bustling Lithuanian supermarket, a Polish restaurant, a Lithuanian cake shop, a Polish pub and several European-labelled stores.”
The piece also explores the issue of homelessness and speaks to migrants who have made their long-term home in Boston.
Vernon Read, Staples company’s director, also tells the paper that the labour from Eastern Europe is ‘essential’ for his business.
What do you think? Are the police officer’s comments fair? Do you think Boston is unfairly portrayed in the national media?