Wisbech sergeant says he'd rather close crack houses than issue parking fines on market place
Story by: ADAM LAZZARI WISBECH police sergeant Dave Bax has responded to criticism over the handling of parking in Wisbech Market Place by saying he would rather close down crack houses than fine law-abiding citizens . We reported last week that police h
Story by: ADAM LAZZARI
WISBECH police sergeant Dave Bax has responded to criticism over the handling of parking in Wisbech Market Place by saying he would "rather close down crack houses than fine law-abiding citizens".
We reported last week that police had issued 219 fixed penalty tickets in a clampdown on illegal parking in Wisbech last month, while anyone parked illegally in the Market Place got away scot free.
Police do not have powers to issue fines in the Market Place as this falls under the remit of Fenland District Council.
Sgt Dave Bax said: "I would rather not issue a fine to decent law-abiding citizens who have much better things to do with their money, and spend my time challenging criminals who steal from shops, take and deal drugs.
"I would rather close down crack houses, other houses whose residents cause alarm and distress to others in neighbourhoods and tackle drink related anti-social behaviour.
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"Most of the people who park illegally in the Market Place are not criminals. They are not assaulting people or stealing from them. They are people who park where they shouldn't park and run the risk of being fined."
A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: "We are currently consulting people about the whole future of Wisbech Market Place, including the question of parking, which we recognise is a real problem.
"It is one of the many issues that we will be taking another close look at once the consultation is completed.
"At the same time, we are reviewing all our parking powers as a local authority and examining how we might make our enforcement provisions more robust."
Fenland District Council has put forward two proposals for parking on Wisbech Market Place. Full details can be seen at the Wisbech Fenland @ Your Service shop, at a series of exhibitions the council is holding across the area, on the website by clicking here or by calling the council on 01354 654321.
The consultation period ends on November 30.
Sgt Bax said: "The council has worked hard and should be commended for taking forward a well planned consultation to solve this problem.