Summit looks to ‘do more to clean up Boston’s streets’ - but leaders say ‘perception is far adrift from reality’

Marc Jones EMN-160614-095230001
Marc Jones EMN-160614-095230001

A commitment ‘to do more to clean up Boston’s streets and add to the feeling of safety’ has been made during a summit of authority figures in the area.

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones and Boston MP Matt Warman met with senior officials from Lincolnshire Police, Boston Borough Council, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Lincolnshire County Council at Mr Warman’s office on John Adams Way to discuss plans ‘to strengthen the community and address negative perceptions of the town’.

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman

Those attending were reportedly told that challenges ‘should be addressed in the context of an overall crime rate that is falling’ – down eight percent on last year, 131 fewer victims of crime – and ‘a town centre with shop occupancy higher than other towns in part due to the diversity of the Boston community’.

Mr Warman said: “Like any town there are issues that need to be tackled and we absolutely understand that – this meeting looked at how we identify what concrete action can be taken, and also how we also make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s a great deal to celebrate in Boston.

“The gathering was really about setting out how we can work together better to make our community even stronger and it’s very much the first step for a brighter future.”

Discussions included plans to reinforce community safety, improve the quality of rented accommodation, create new projects to attract Government and lottery funding to bring inward investment and enhance the image of Boston.

Coun Peter Bedford

Coun Peter Bedford

According to reports there was ‘recognition of the work carried out by partners already to tackle street drinking’ but also a commitment to ‘do more to clean up Boston’s streets and add to the feeling of safety’.

PCC Marc Jones said he was confident the force ‘was making positive strides to tackle issues concerning many residents’ but said that, ‘contrary to the perception, crime in the area was falling’.

He said: ““We have to continue our good work in tackling crime but, all too often, the perception is far adrift from the reality and we must address that issue too.

“My office will ensure we continue to listen to the priorities of the residents and help deliver policing that makes a difference and we hope that this will play a part in a growing confidence about the future of the town.”

The discussion also centered on ensuring all the organisations knit together resources, spending and projects to ensure the best outcome for the borough and its residents.

The partnership is now developing plans for a series of projects to improve the town and its sense of community and is due to reconvene later this summer.

Lincolnshire Police’s Area Commander for East Lincolnshire Chief Supt Shaun West said he was encouraged by the meeting.

“We are very pleased to be part of this commitment and the prospect of attracting Government and lottery funding to help shape Boston in partnership with our residents,” he said.

“Meanwhile, we will continue to deliver fair and impartial policing on behalf of our residents for issues that matter to them.”

Leader of Boston Borough Council Coun Peter Bedford, said: “It was a very positive meeting. It was agreed maximum enforcement is required in some areas and we are looking at ways we can do even more, particularly on littering as anti-social behaviour, which most people find unacceptable.”