Officials say boozy behaviour, school places and overcrowding have been tackled after immigration inquiry

Chief Insp Paul Timmins
Chief Insp Paul Timmins

Booze-fuelled bad behaviour, a shortage of school places and overcrowded homes have been tackled in Boston according to officials.

Police and council chiefs explained to the public what they are doing to deal with issues raised from last year’s ‘immigration inquiry’.

Chief Insp Paul Timmins revealed he does not always have the powers he wants to tackle all issues in the town but said he had pulled in officers from elsewhere for a successful six-week blitz on town centre drinking.

Currently people who agree to give up their drink when police ask do not get ‘logged’ but Chief Insp Timmins said he was hoping to put new measures in place.

Speaking at last Thursday’s committee meeting, he said: “I have made a request through other forces to put pressure on our own force so we can at least have some system to record when we confiscate alcohol.”

He added police were looking to work with other agencies, such as Addaction to deal with alcohol use at the source.

He said drunken behaviour decreased as had anti-social behaviour and rejected claims the majority of crimes going through courts were by foreign nationals.

He also pointed to a scheme called ‘restorative justice’ for minor incidents where police were able to get offenders to apologise and/or pay for reparations without the courts and said this was very successful.

Boston Borough Council strategic director Phil Drury also revealed that the authority has put aside money to look at licensing houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) to boost safety and get a better idea of the town’s population.

Coun Patricia Bradwell and Debbie Barnes from Lincolnshire County Council said migration wasn’t the only reason for a big increase in demand for school places, pointing at an increase in birth rates.

Coun Bradwell said although school funding had been cut from the government, the council will keep £1,000 aside for each pupil with English as a second language for the next two years.

She added £8 million has been invested in creating 833 extra school places and said this had resulted in 92.9 per cent of children getting their first choice of primary school and 97 per cent getting their first choice of secondary.

She said: “We believe a number of years ago there were pressures, but we have addressed those now. We are monitoring things as they go but I think we have addressed the problems in Boston.”

FACTFILE: The meeting in numbers

Below are some of the key figures presented by Phil Drury and Chief Insp Timmins.

○ 30 migrants have been deported back to their place of origin in the last 12 months.

○ £140,000 has been set aside to consider licensing for HMOs.

○ During the six-week crackdown, 62 members of the public were dealt with through the Designated Public Place Order drink rules, all complied with the order.

○ Drunk behaviour figures have fallen in the last year from 16-20 incidents a month to single figures with eight in April and three so far in May.

○ 145 offenders have been dealt with through ‘restorative justice’ so far in 2013, compared to 87 in 2012.

○ Of 125 people charged with traffic offences in the past six months there were two Estonians, 22 Latvians, 27 Lithuanians, 19 Poles, 48 from the UK and seven others.