In light of recent reports from local businesses concerning groups of people engaging in antisocial behaviour and a small number of thefts in the area, Hailsham Town Council would like to make people aware of the consequences of letting crime go unreported.
Unfortunately, whilst the crime rate in Hailsham remains relatively low in comparison with other areas, there has been an increase in antisocial behaviour in recent months, some incidents of which the police have been called. Furthermore, the Town Council has been made aware that only a relatively small number of antisocial behaviour incidents have been reported, which leaves the police little leverage to increase patrols in the area accordingly.
Examples of types of antisocial behaviour include inconsiderate/threatening behaviour or intimidation, nuisance noise (excluding civil matters), excessive littering or drug paraphernalia, street drinking and drug use, nuisance noise and inappropriate use of vehicles, as well as vandalism and criminal damage.
The Town Council encourages local businesses and residents to report any acts of antisocial behaviour to the police as soon as possible by calling the non-emergency 101 phone line, or by visiting the Sussex Police website: https://www.sussex.police.uk/ro/report/asb/asb/report-antisocial-behaviour/.
By providing information and reports, residents can play a significant part in the future planning of local policing, plus, all reports will go some way towards helping the police bring any offenders to justice.
The recent spate of antisocial behaviour in the town centre follows two separate incidents of vandalism of Town Council property – the spreading of paint over children’s play equipment at the Western Road Recreation Ground and the defacing of walls, fixtures and fittings in the North Street public toilet facility, both of which resulted in an appeal for information by the Town Council.
Add to that, concerns expressed by residents about an increase in antisocial behaviour incidents and injury to local wildlife at the Common Pond in Bellbanks Road, from which the Town Council has been working with the local police and urges the public not to misuse the local beauty spot.
Sussex Police has been made aware that the location has been a hotspot for antisocial behaviour and officers continue to patrol the area as often as they can.
Regarding the issue of antisocial behaviour and occasional thefts in the town centre, police officers have been liaising with local businesses to offer reassurance, as well as to follow up on lines of enquiry and provide high visibility patrols as a deterrent to those causing issues in the town.
“Antisocial behaviour can be a real issue for the local community and not reporting it is potentially making matters worse,” said Town Mayor Councillor Paul Holbrook. “Quite often the issue is raised in discussions about the effect that the non-reporting of such incidents is having on the area.”
“Hailsham has seen a noticeable increase in problems of antisocial behaviour recently. Unless people report these incidents at the time, the local police may assume there is not a problem and resources will not necessarily be allocated accordingly.”
Councillor Holbrook added, “The Town Council regularly engages in meetings with the local police to discuss these concerns, but we strongly encourage people to pass any information on to the police who will log this ‘intelligence’. Quite often, action cannot be taken on one complaint or one incident of antisocial behaviour – it requires a build-up of information and that’s why it’s crucial that all incidents are reported as early as possible and through the appropriate channels.”
Sergeant Gez Neilan, of the Wealden Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Antisocial behaviour can have a serious detrimental impact on local residents, businesses and visitors to an area, both financially and emotionally. We take reports of this nature seriously and will always look at what police activity or powers we can use to address this behaviour.”
“Just recently, the Wealden Community Police Team have secured a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) against one individual who was committing criminal acts in Hailsham town centre. He is now banned from the town centre until late 2023.”
“We have identified and dealt with a significant number of other young people who have caused crime and antisocial behaviour in the town centre over the past year. This has included arrests, charges, court convictions, cautions and community resolution as well as a significant number of police visits to parents regarding the behaviour of their children.”
“We have spent a significant amount of time patrolling the town centre both to deter ASB but also to identify those responsible. We are aware there are still acts of antisocial behaviour ongoing by other youths and we are currently targeting them via a number of means to reduce this antisocial behaviour.”
“We will continue to work with the local communities to reduce this unacceptable behaviour. We have also been working closely with the town centre businesses and have regular contact with them and have also help set up the new DISC system in which businesses can speak to each other quickly and report matters of concern to us. DISC is essentially a modern online ‘shop watch’ scheme which is an effective tool in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour.”
“We echo the message of the town council in encouraging people to report any incidents to us, so we can respond effectively. Every report, no matter how small, helps us paint a picture of what is happening in the local area and enables us to adapt our response accordingly.”
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org