Problem alley Hatter Lane gated to keep trouble at bay

Hatters Lane
Hatters Lane

A trouble-hit Boston alley has been locked down in a bid to prevent problems of drinking, drug taking and other anti-social behaviour.

Hatter Lane, off the High Street, has been fitted with keypad control gates at either end to prevent further issues.

New powers introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act gave Boston Borough Council, for the first time, the ability to ‘gate’ the alley – something which previously only the county council had authority to do.

Gating was requested by local businesses and residents, Lincolnshire Police, and councillors.

The cost has been met by those affected. A donation of £1,000 was made by county and borough councillor Sue Ransome from her county council Big Society Fund.

Businessman Scott Palmer, of Boston Sausage, on the corner of High Street and Hatter Lane, welcomed the gating.

He said it had been a constant battle for many years with constant defecation, urinating, drug misuse and littering. He even installed CCTV for the safety of his staff coming to work, who, he said, felt continually threatened when walking down Hatter Lane, and also to try and safeguard his premises against damage.

He said: “It has taken a long time to get to this point, about four years actually, but I’m pleased to say that it has finally arrived. It is a shame that it has had to come to this but it is the only course of action that will stop the urinating, defecation and constant anti-social behaviour.”

Mr Palmer thanked Coun Ransome for her donation and also the council’s principal community sfatey officer Peter Hunn for pushing the project forward.

The council had made attempts down the years to dissuade drinkers by using notices and posters, including the psychological effect of a large pair of staring eyes, CCTV, removal of all wheelie bins followed by a deep clean and issue of black bags for a daily refuse collection.

Coun Stephen Woodliffe, portfolio holder for community safety, added: “The anti-social activities that have been carried out have been distressing for people who live and work in properties along the lane for long enough and gating was the only action not tried that was left available to us. This is sensible and effective use of our new powers and we will continue to use all means at our disposal to control anti-social behaviour.”

Coun Sue Ransome said: “I made the decision to donate £1,000 towards the cost when Scott asked me as the county councillor for the area for my help, I was glad to assist.

“Finding out that there was no Boston Borough Council money available to help with the gating I decided to see if the Big Society Fund would be able to assist, I was very pleased to find that I could donate a portion of this to them.”