The Night The “Big Guns” Came To Rawreth




So, the West Area Committee came to Rawreth Village Hall on Thursday night.

There were about 50 members of the public , plus about 16 councillors, plus officers from Rochford DC and Essex CC, plus personnel from Anglain Water, Firstbus, Regal Buses and Acting Chief Inspector Andy Parkman from Essex Police.

Here’s a flavour of the meeeting:

Rawreth Playing Fields/ Recreation GroundsRawreth Parish Council raised the issue of the playing fields along Rawreth Lane. They are an important location for local football teams, but the parking isn’t really adequate – cars spill on to the road, as can be seen in Rawreth PC’s photo below:

Vehicles Parked on Rawreth Lane

Here is a picture of the existing car parking:

Existing Car Park

Basically, Rawreth Parish Council would like some money spent to extend the car parking on site. The response from the District Council officers wasn’t particularly positive – their estimate was a cost of about ?50,000 and this sum won’t be available in the council budget this year. However Rawreth Parish Councillors Lyn Hopkins and Alistir Matthews said that it didn’t necessarily need a 100% hard surface, just something that could take cars a few times a week and might be a lot cheaper.

To give it a chance of getting some funding from Rochford DC, Chris Black and Ron Oatham asked that the matter be referrred to the council cabinet – and this was agreed. So let’s hope the Cabinet will realise the importance of this sort of facility. (those people concerned about youth nuisance problems might appreciate the Australian motto “Kids who do sport don’t end up in court”, but obviously there are a whole load of reasons for encouraging sports activities)

The next item was about the West Rayleigh Sewage Works which has made life quite wretched for some residents in the last few months. Anglian Water apologised, saying that the problems were caused by delays in completion a new ?36 million works in Tilbury. An officer from Rochford Dc said they had now served an odour abatement notice on the site. When Chris Black asked what this meant he was told the odour has to stop by 1700 hrs on February 29th. IF IT DOESN’T STOP, OR IT COMES BACK WE HOPE PEOPLE WILL CONTACT US STRAIGHTAWAY

One lady sitting at the back with her children asked if the smells would ever come back – Anglian Water’s response was that they don’t intend to cause any more smells here, but if things went wrong unexpectedly at other sites, and ‘cake’ had to be brought back here again…

Crime Figures and Public Disorder Figures. Essex Police were able to give a couple of pages full of local statistics.

Burglaries- 21 reported burglaries in Rayleigh and Rawreth for the last 6 months of 2007. Not a bad figure considering the number of houses we have. Similarly, 21 reported cases of theft of motor vehicles. As Cllr David Merrick pointed out , the figures for woundings seemed alarmingly high , at 50 in 6 months. The police advised us that ‘woundings’ included various tyoes of assaults, including those with fists. (it did seem a little odd that the police – who presumably need to know what these offences are , couldn’t explain it fully to us on Thursday night) We were given the info broken down into each council ward:

  • Downhall and Rawreth – 2 burglaries, 6 car thefts, 5 woundings
  • Grange – 4 burglaries, 1 car theft, 4 woundings
  • Sweyne Park – no burglaries, 1 car theft, 7 woundings
  • Wheatley – 5 burglaries , 6 car thefts, 18 woundings
  • Whitehouse – 1 burglary, 3 car thefts, 4 woundings
  • Lodge – 2 burglaries, 1 car theft, 3 woundings
  • Trinity – 3 burglaries 2 car thefts, 6 woundings
  • Central – 4 burglaries , 2 car thefts, 4 woundings
  • We were alos given figures regarding Antisocial Behaviour. This covers a variety of thinsg, such as noise, street drinking, rowdyiness, trespass, abandoned vehicles, malicious calls…. There’s too much data to quote here. The data only includes matters known to the police, so if they become more active one month, the figures become worse! However the police figures are 530 cases for the last 6 months of 2007.
    We were given the figures month-by-month for 2006 and 2007, so we could see if the figures were getting worse or better. In the spring and summer, figures for 2007 were lower than in the previous year. However in November and December they were noticeably higher than in the previous year. Is that a genuine worsening of things, or are the police merely taking more notice?

    The ward with the most reported cases of anti-social behaviour was Wheatley. This shouldn’t be surprising, because it includes the High Street. However the point seemed to be lost on one of the ward councillors from there who actually asked the police whether the problem was in residential streets or in the town centre. There were a few eyebrows raised at the naivety of the question….

    If anyone wants more detailed info, ask Chris.

    The next post tomorrow will cover the other big item discussed – bus routes!

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  • Although Wheatley has the highest number of reported anti-social behaviour, has this figure grown year on year? What area has the largest growth of antisocial behaviour year on year, and can it be pinpointed to a specific time when this growth surged?

  • Corey, the year-on-year data is for the West Area as a whole, and I don’t think provides any real insights. Looking at the ward-by-ward data for the last six months of 2007, there are no real insights there either.

    I’ve looked at at the rowdy/nuisance behaviour figures for Downhall and Rawreth. They are between 9 and 13 a month, except for a spike in October of 17, which gave the ward the worst figures for the month except for Wheatley. Normally we come 3rd or 4th, with a variety of other wards coming second.

    You might be able to think of something that hapepned here in October , but I’m not sure if these figures have any statistical significance.

  • Thanks for this, I was thinking of something significant that happened in October, and was wondering if that event had a bearing on the figures, which is why I asked them!!

    Your looking into this is appreciated.

  • However, I must say the little ones that knock on my door have a parent with them and I have never had any problems.

    If I get any older teenagers knock later, I tell them they are a bit old for sweets, but let them have something if I have anything left or I will only eat them myself!

  • Not the Trick or Treaters, and like Ian, I only had small children with a parent.

    The event in October that has certainly lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour on Priory Chase/Temple Way was the opening of ASDA!!!!

    To give just a small example of the problems we now have – before I mowed my front lawn on Sunday, had to spend some time picking up the shards of broken beer bottles!

  • Trick or treating certainly has a lot to do with it in recent years. I was walking home from Rayleigh station on 31st October 2006 and have to walk through the town end of Bardfield Way. Thinking I had made it without any problems, what should appear but a group of youngsters with a bucket full of grease, leftover chinese food and just about anything they could find. the lad who had the bucket threw it over my head and then legged it, while his chums laughed on the over side of the road, comforted in the knowledge that if I put one finger on them I would be the one locked up. The damage was a ruined suit, shirt, tie, coat and a damaged ego! as well. When i phoned the police to report it, the station sarge said that has been happening all night and if I wanted to come up to the station and make a statement that would be ok but he didn’t really see much point in it because all their officers were out trying to stop this type of behaviour. It has also been reported that in Websters Way buses have been attacked with anything the kids can get their hands on. This is why I get fed up with parents who are too weak or cannot be bothered to control their little darlings.

  • Mike – given the track record of Rayleigh Police did you really expect any action from them, out trying to stop it – well not very effectively by the looks of it. Maybe they were too busy thinking about their back pay and meeting ( with 20,00 others ) in London. What an absolute shower.

  • And another thing – stats & figures from the police are fine but I notice a complete lack of forward plans to deal with crime. ( unless they are top secret – so secret in fact that the police themselves don’t know what they are…)

  • The police confirmed to us that they have absolutely no interest in public safety or keeping law and order.

    For most of us on the Priory Chase development last night was not a night for sleep thanks to the alarm at the Leisure Centre going off just past midnight (I have learnt that this was due to a power cut at ASDA, it seems ASDA have affected the power and water to the Leisure Centre) and went off continuously until 7:10 this morning. When we phoned the police at about 12:20, we were told that they had no interest in coming out to see what was going on, and that they would not be sending anyone.

    Since going into complain at the Leisure Centre, I learnt that the police actually hold 3 telephone numbers for staff who could have come and if not been able to turn the alarm off could have got an emergency engineer.

    So what do we do if an alarm goes off – I guess it is down to the public to police our own streets because it is clearly obvious that Rayleigh Police have absolutely no interest in doing anything other than standing on the road with a speed gun in their hand raising funds. Perhaps it’s high time the Police actually come to realise they are public servants and are here to protect and serve!

  • My guess is that police roster’s for Sunday are minimal as a large percentage of manpower will have been used up on Saturday night patrolling the pubs and nightclubs in the larger towns.
    Large sums of money will have been spent providing alarm systems at such premises but an alarm is pointless if no one responds.
    Private companies exist to handle activated alarms and they call out keyholders, but again this costs money.The police seem to take the view that when such a facility exists people with alarms should take up a contract with a private provider and not expect a ‘Blue Light’ response.
    So much for reducing crime statistics!!!

  • They probably don’t call the key-holders, because that would mean a member of the public entering a building that could possibly have a dangerous offender inside. This would then raise the risk of a) The key-holder gets injured/killed by said offender, or b) The key-holder tackles the offender, offender gets hurt, police have to arrest key-holder.

  • Police could always meet key holder at premises and after key holder unlocks door, police enter arrest intruder, key holder turns off alarm!

    But guess police would rather public have over 7 hours of alarms ringing and get no sleep than have to leave their coffee and donuts at the station.

    Please note that we have had this level of interrupted sleep for two nights on a trot now.

    Roll on Connells coming over to value my property!

  • Corey, this may be of interest to you.

    Legislation on Audible Intruder Alarms (Short extracts from Statutory Instrument)

    i) The ‘Control of Noise (Code of Practice on Noise from Audible Intruder Alarms) Order1981’ (Statutory Instrument 1981 No. 1892) gives guidance on methods for reducing the incidents of nuisance caused by the ringing of alarms. However, certain of the recommendations contained in the Code of Practice on the control of noise from audible intruder alarms are now mandatory under either:

    a. Section 23 ( Applies to London so not typed)

    b. Sections 79 and 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

    ii) The Acts govern the technical specification of the alarm (namely a 20 minute cut-off); the procedure for timetabling and applying the requirements within the Borough; and the procedure for notifying in writing the local authority of the installation (within 48 hours) and the police of nominated keyholders. In addition, the Acts provide that access to de-activate an alarm may be gained by requesting a warrant from a magistrate if it can be demonstrated that the sounding of the alarm is causing annoyance to persons living or working near the premises, and that the alarm has been ringing for more than 1 hour.

  • Greenbelt, Many thanks for this, really is appreciated. However, so fed up living here now, that we were initially planning on putting the house on the market in about 12-18 months time, but have brought the date forward and now our house should be on the market by the end of the week!!

  • Good luck with the sale Corey – we are just awaiting the results of our valuation too. We are not selling though – never been happier here!!

    I would add however, that we do, presently, have another two year old property on the market and that has had no interest whatsoever.


  • Hi CCR,

    That’s one thing that scares me – an almost identical house opposite has been on the market for about 9 months now with no interest. I am just hoping that having additional offroad parking, and having selected plenty of upgrades (that the house opposite was unable to do) will be enough to spark some interest and hopefully a sale. Only time will tell I guess.

  • Corey, I guess you may know that if the sale of your house is ‘Blighted’ i.e. devalued due to the actions of others, you can possibly sue the Council Planners or the Government, as they gave the final approval to the building of Asda.
    In cases like this, compensation to the value of the difference between what you sell for now and what you may have got if Asda had not been built could be awarded. If I were in your situation I would seek legal advice.


  • Thanks for this Greenbelt, and is something that I wasn’t aware off. My only concern though is cost – we are currently paying very hefty legal costs to get information concerning our house from the builders, despite their promise for almost two years of supplying and failing to do so. I am not too sure our wallets can stretch to further legal costs, especially as it is always a pay up front and claim the cost back later. I think we’re going to put this one down as an experience learned on two fronts – never trust a word a developer says to you and never buy near an ASDA store or proposed store!

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