WISBECH: New law used to close alleyway which was scene of robbery at knife point

PUBLISHED: 19:04 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 02 June 2010

closure of aa alley in Southwell Road wisbech

closure of aa alley in Southwell Road wisbech

By Elaine King MAGISTRATES today used new legislation to close down an alleyway on a Wisbech housing estate that was the scene of a robbery at knife point, and has been the site of anti social behaviour. The alleyway between Southwell Road at the Venchy

closure of aa alley in Southwell Road wisbech

By Elaine King

MAGISTRATES today used new legislation to close down an alleyway on a Wisbech housing estate that was the scene of a robbery at knife point, and has been the site of anti social behaviour.

The alleyway between Southwell Road at the "Venchy" park has been shut for the next three months in a bid to stop the behaviour that has blighted the area for many months.

Fenland magistrates were told that the alleyway gave access to the park that was the site of fires, drug use, litter and graffiti

Police went to Fenland magistrates on Wednesday to get the closure order, despite some residents opposing the plan.

A total of 181 offences have been committed in the area since December 2007, Fenland magistrates were told.

That included 61 offences of criminal damage, 54 offences of violent crime and other offences, 21 burglaries and three drugs offences.

On February 16 a man and his son faced a robber with a six-inch kitchen knife in the alleyway, the father handed over £40 and gave up his bicycle to his attacker.

This was the first time that the closure legislation has been used in Cambridgeshire, the court was told. Police alleged the alleyway was associated with persistent and significant disorder, it had been site of anti-social behaviour, and closure was necessary to prevent disorder or nuisance.

A petition against the closure was handed over to magistrates by resident Mark Coleman, who lives just four doors away from the alleyway. He said families use the alleyway for taking children to school, and its closure would lead to longer journeys.

But one resident who spoke out in favour of the closure said she was "over the moon" to hear the walkway would be closed.

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