Concerns over anti-social behaviour in Holbeach Cemetery

Holbeach Parish Council has said its ‘monitoring’ behaviour in its parks and cemetery amid worries over anti-social behaviour and after recent incidents, including an attempted mugging.

The decision to stop locking Carter’s Park, Netherfields, Holbeach Cemetery and Hallgate Cemetery was made by councillors at the February meeting of Holbeach Parish Council.

There have been several incidents of crime reported to the police since.

Four locks were cut as a groundsman’s shed was broken into at the Park Road cemetery overnight on April 30 but Lincolnshire Police say nothing was taken.

On June 8 police attended after a break in at the chapel store in the cemetery.

The attempted mugging took place in the cemetery at around 9.50pm on May 22.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said of the incident: “A man described as 35-years-old with black hair wearing a greyish tracksuit with a blue and red pattern approached the victim and grabbed his jacket shouting for him to hand over his wallet.

“The victim pushed the man away and was able to run off, he was not injured and did not hand over any property.”

In response Holbeach parish councillor Paul Gunn, said: “I am aware of the incident on May 22, which happened approximately a quarter of an hour before the previously intended time to lock the cemetery.

“This trial was on the back of the minor level of incidents in the previous years, multi-agency opinions at that time, as well as acknowledging the costs of locking up services to the benefit it provides. I have reviewed this incident that has been brought to my attention and have placed it on the agenda to discuss at the next online council meeting.

“The safety of parishioners and staff alike is of paramount importance to myself as well as getting the best value for the council tax that locals pay.

“I have worked extensively with multi-agency partners around this for a rounded opinion and approach to ensure the best balanced outcome.

“This situation has and will continue to be monitored.”

The incidents were brought to the attention of The Voice by a concerned local resident who wished to remain anonymous.

They said: “The ongoing concerns about public safety and antisocial behaviour in Holbeach were elevated when the council decided to leave its public spaces unlocked at night.

“I personally witness acts of antisocial behaviour regularly and the cemetery is now also a drug dealing hot spot.

“The first step to tackling these problems is surely to acknowledge them and admit the town has problems like any other.”

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