More than 100 desperate residents have signed a petition urging Central Beds Council to install CCTV in Leighton’s Sandhills estate due to ongoing crime problems.
After suffering from months of anti-social behaviour, trespassing and theft, locals are demanding cameras are put in place to catch offenders in the act, or deter them in the first place.
The petition closed on April 21 with 120 signatures., and organiser Sumeet Grover told the LBO: “After my brand new motorcycle was stolen in February, I learned from other neighbours that they were also recent victims of significant as well as petty thefts and on-going anti-social behaviour.
“A few gentlemen, who work as independent traders had their vans, which contained their tools, broken into; residents, including myself had their doorbells stolen; a child’s bicycle was stolen; families with young babies had eggs thrown on their front doors; a gang of young people often trespassed into a first-time homeowner’s garden; stones were thrown at people’s houses; residents had their rubbish bins and dried grass behind their gardens set on fire. The list goes on.
“It would appear that criminals find the liberty to go around Sandhills estate and continue what they are doing.
“The fact that there is no CCTV means that when residents dial 101, which they have been encouraged by the police to do so, they have no photographic evidence to hand over to the police.
“Many residents have recurrently spotted and personally photographed a group of, what appears to be boys and girls under-18, carrying out anti-social behaviour.
“The fact that these unlawful activities continue to happen, raises serious questions about what strategic measures should the police and the Central Beds Council take with the ongoing expansion of housing development in Leighton Buzzard.
“Should the housing expansion in Leighton Buzzard continue if new families move to this town only to find that there is no plan for public safety?”
Residents backing the petition have been contacting the LBO about some of the anti-social problems they have been experiencing.
One Sandhills resident said: “We have seen kids set fire to toilet paper, knocking on people’s doors and running away, climbing over fences and climbing garage roofs and throwing things from the roofs trying to hit windows and patio doors.”
Another resident she was having problems with a dog fouling on her property repeatedly.
She said: “Although our street has not yet been affected by the youths that are plaguing the Deverell Way area, we do have repeat CCTV footage of a dog owner allowing her pet, whilst on its lead, to foul our front lawn.
“Each time the owner then walks away without picking it up!”
Another resident added: “My front door bell button has been ripped off recently and the button device is stolen. It is very annoying.”
A spokesman for Central Beds Council said: “All petitions like these are considered by the council’s Executive. This one is on the agenda for the June 6 meeting.”
A Beds Police spokesman said: “This petition is a residents-led initiative, and we would reassure the Leighton Buzzard community that we are aware of illegal and anti-social behaviour in the town and are working hard to tackle it.
“Anyone with information about any crime is asked to report it by calling us on the non-emergency number 101. All information can be used as vital intelligence.”
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