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Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Weston

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They may not be as famous as Beverly Hills cops, or New York’s finest, but Weston’s police have just shown they’re doing a great job catching local criminals and drug dealers. Thanks to surveillance and infiltration techniques worthy of Miami Vice, twenty-two of the town’s “most wanted” are behind bars and Weston is a little bit safer. Outstanding!

But a lot of our local bobbies’ good work has nothing to do with the kind of detecting done by TV cops. Stamping out the drug-related crime that used to blight Weston is important, of course, but we mustn’t forget the damage caused by anti-social behaviour from the small minority of people whose idea of a good time is getting blind drunk and throwing a few punches (no jokes about MPs in the House of Commons bars, please!). Stopping them, and keeping the rest of us safe while we have a few quiet drinks with our mates after work, can be hard to pull off.

Which was why, a few weeks ago, I went out with our local police on a Saturday night to see how they’re striking the balance. It was a typical late night; the clubs and bars were buzzing, everyone seemed good-natured and happy, and there were the usual collection of weird or outrageous stag and hen night costumes to keep everyone amused.

The police made themselves visible all night, mostly to reassure law-abiding partygoers that everything was safe rather than to discourage troublemakers. By midnight the only problems we’d found were a bloke who’d had far too much and got lost on the 200 yard walk home (yes really), and some girls who recognised me and took pictures to go on facebook. I wish I could say that last one happens all the time but, sadly………

Then, suddenly, a call came over the radio and everyone rushed round the corner. There was a fight outside a club and, in the end, it took four sizable police officers to subdue a couple of burly blokes who’d let it all get a bit too much for them. The last I saw of them was their backs as they were carted off for processing at the police station. It’s only a tiny minority, as I said, but thank goodness the police were there in force to deal with it quickly.

And everybody else? The police were so efficient no-one really noticed the ruckus, and everyone carried on partying into the night……


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