The crime and anti-social hotspots in Leighton Buzzard revealed

Waterborne Walk Shopping Centre in Leighton Buzzard
Waterborne Walk Shopping Centre in Leighton Buzzard

Waitrose in Waterborne Walk has been highlighted in a police report for being the worst spot for anti-social behaviour in Leighton Buzzard during the past three months.

A Beds Police quarterly report presented to the town council’s police liaison committee shows there were 34 incidents between July 1 and September 31 – although the majority were on the roof of the shopping area rather than in the store itself.

That was worse than the other top 5 ‘high demand’ locations for policing, with Johnson Drive having 29 incidents, McDonald’s Billington Road 26, Leighton Buzzard High Street 23 and Tesco Vimy Road 21.

As for crime hot spots, Redwood Glade suffered 7 incidents in the last 3 months, with Billington Road 6, Leighton Buzzard High Street 6, Market Square 6, and Waterdell 6.

A spokesman for Waitrose said: “The vast majority of the incidents relate to people climbing on to the roof of the shopping centre, which our store offices overlook. We have a responsibility for people’s safety and to report these incidents to the police.”

Incidents of note listed in the report included:

July: Advice given to drivers ignoring the bus lane; stabbing incident involving homeless male in North Street; youths smoking drugs in Blenheim Crescent; street drinker/drug user moved out of town for sniffing lighter fluid; and shoplifter identified through CCTV for theft from Angelica’s.

August: Group of youths spoken to in the car park of The Vynes, nuisance youths at Tesco and Wellington Way; search of a male on a moped potentially in possession of a weapon; reports of drug dealing in King Street; small cannabis factory found on canal boat, youths on bikes moved out of town; street drinkers congregating on Pulford Rec.

September: Homeless male being aggressive in Market Square; youths on bikes moved out of High Street.

Back in July the police held an engagement meeting to outline all of the changes to policing in the area and also to identify what locals considered were their priorities.

On Thursday, Councillors, the MP, Street Watch, Pub Watch, Shop Watch, and Home Watch representatives from Leighton Buzzard and surrounding villages have been invited to Dunstable Police Station for an update on progress.

For the Leighton area the problems identified were shoplifting in the town centre, and low level anti-social behaviour with youths on pushbikes in the Sandhills, The Planets, Meadow Way, and Brooklands areas.