Council cuts put us all at risk - not just in Bexhill

Rother District Council
Rother District Council

From: Stephen Jackson, Albert Road, Bexhill

I went to the latest Scrutiny committee meeting (march 18). The item which attracted most attention was the report of the Safer Rother Partnership.

Let’s not deceive ourselves. We have a drugs’ problem and it’s not confined to Bexhill. I felt Inspector Hartley, representing Sussex Police, was a shade too upbeat about the situation, but otherwise was spot on. In this regard the naivety of some councillors was a wonder to behold.

One councillor – who shall be nameless – was ‘shocked’ to learn that there was cocaine in Ticehurst!

As I wrote on my agenda paper: ‘Where were you born!?’. Difficult to have confidence in people who have no idea what is going on.

There is no disguising that at the root of all this is a lack of resources. The word ‘cuts’ was used more than once.

The report showed that there was a slight overall fall in reported crime. The unknown is how much is not reported. The British Crime Survey shows that the crime rate is much higher. Worryingly, the report recorded an increase in violent crime which includes domestic violence.

Two additional items were raised by councillors: scams and Neighbourhood Watch.

The thing about scams is just how open they are. The most persistent seems to be the BT Internet scam. I had three (!) calls in one day – and as I am typing up this letter, I’ve just received another!

I have been logging calls and all bar one have been from different numbers.

Another is the HMRC scam and a third is the TalkTalk scam. They are all after your money, either directly or through bank details, credit cards, etc. Don’t be fooled.

I can’t help feeling there must be a way to block these scams at source.

Just one more thing. Items on the agenda usually end with a risk assessment. This one reads: “There are risks that are associated with the potential impact of reduced resources within partner agencies. It is important that the current efficient partnership working practices continue to be delivered by all agencies working to address crime and ASB (anti-social behaviour).

My less diplomatic take is that cuts put us at risk. Whether it be with crime-related issues, rotten pavements and roads, or third-rate housing, etc, we are at risk. Something worth remembering when local and national elections come round.