Crime down, but we need you help in Serpentine

Serpentine Court on the Lakes Estate, Bletchley.
Serpentine Court on the Lakes Estate, Bletchley.

THE police officer in charge of Serpentine Court has moved to reassure residents that the area is being looked into.

Last week the Citizen revealed how Thames Valley Police and Milton Keynes Council had sent a letter to all residents on the Lakes Estate based road asking them to come forward if they knew anything about recent anti-social behaviour there.

And on Thursday Bletchley Inspector Iain McIlwain contacted the Citizen to reaffirm that point.

Mr McIlwain was also quick to point out that crime in the area is down by 20 per cent on last year.

The Citizen has recently received a number of calls from residents in Serpentine Court concerned with an increase in incidents of threatening and violent behaviour.

Many are worried that one council tenant, Danny Pearce, remains in his flat despite being found guilty almost two months ago of producing cannabis at the property.

The police and council letter urged residents to come forward and speak to them if they are experiencing problems.

And Mr McIlwain said: “Reported crime in the area is down. It is not a reflection of everything that is going on, but I can only go by what is reported to us.

“If people have concerns then we would be very grateful if they contacted us.

“We know there are issues, particularly around one tenant. I have been a police officer for nearly 25 years now and been involved in evictions myself.

“I have seen situations where a family gets evicted, but because of the council’s obligations under the Children’s Act they get rehoused the next day.

“To live with this must be very difficult and frustrating.

“But there is a lot of work going on in the background. It can be very frustrating for us too.

“I can understand why the process takes so long (evictions can sometimes take a year or longer to complete), but it is hard for everyone involved. Moving someone on doesn’t resolve the problem, it just moves it elsewhere. It is about stopping the behaviour that causes the problem in the first place.

“From my point of view it is about gathering evidence. People are justifiably worried and upset, but we need them to speak to us.”

Mr McIlwain added that the police and council have regular meetings about anti-social behaviour and how it can be resolved, including offering new accommodation to tenants who suffer as a result.

Last month this newspaper ran a story about a tenant who has Asperger’s who told us about the ‘complete and utter nightmare’ he faces on Serpentine Court.

And while Mr McIlwain said he had sympathy for the tenant, he stressed that the council had offered him a new home in nearby Mellish Court.

He said: “There is very limited accommodation available for people with his condition.

“He was offered alternative accommodation after he approached the police and the council, but he decided to turn it down.”