Bedford Borough Councillor David Fletcher has spoken of the despair of the Midland Road community following an ‘explosion’ of street drinking, anti-social behaviour and crime.
Cllr Fletcher has spoken out after hearing the concerns of residents, including a mother who ‘burst into tears’ as she told him that her fear of aggressive street drinkers is preventing her children leaving the house.
Cllr Fletcher, a Conservative representative of Castle Ward, is now calling on the Council to clamp down on the ‘bottomless supply of cheap alcohol’ or risk ‘meltdown in Midland Road’. He said:
'It was heart breaking to meet a single mother who burst into tears as she is too frightened to let her young children out of the house because of the gang of street drinkers which now roams the area. The explosion of anti-social behaviour incidents presents a massive threat to families and businesses which are the social fabric of Midland Road.
‘The availability of cheap, high strength lager purchasable in single tins at all times of day and night in this part of town is fuelling the fire. There are many other factors in the breakdown in law and order - drug abuse, fly tipping and insanitary housing conditions - but we must stop the bottomless supply of cheap alcohol or we will face meltdown in Midland Road.
‘It is possible for the Council to review existing alcohol licences but residents fed up with breaches of laws and conditions are told to initiate reviews at their own expense; this is absurd. I urge the Council to act immediately in cases where licences are clearly putting public safety at risk. Time is running out.’