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Anti-Social Behaviour

Letter to July Hayling Herald:

Dear Editor,

Illegal overnight beach camping and parking, late night noisy, brightly lit parties, blatant speeding along Sea Front and other straight Hayling roads, badly disturb and distress residents. Some families have moved house in despair of no long term effective action by their own Council, and others are too frightened of reprisals to speak out. For those who have provided photographic, detailed evidence over years to our Council and Councillors, they witness valuable police time and taxes in repairs and cleaning up after the anti-social behaviour. So why does this continue?

Council staff explained that, despite the 19 PCN (Penalty notices) left on vehicles by overnight patrols up till mid-June – and notices cannot be repeated within a 24 hour period - overnighting vehicle owners say “it’s worth it”. Even more depressingly, one Councillor told complainants to keep phoning the police on 101, (whose actions she said would be ‘instant’ whereas Council court action would be ‘lengthy and costly’) and ‘hope’ that action will be taken against this anti-social behaviour, despite the fact that residents had been repeatedly phoning. Moreover despite police action, more camping and partying continued on other occasions. Therefore the residents requested the Council erect barriers, preventing vehicular access at night; a Councillor replied that this would “impede the enjoyment of the many residents and visitors who come in their camper vans to enjoy our seafront.” For those who think this is normal coastal behaviour spare a thought for working people living along Sea Front or similarly afflicted Hayling roads: speeding, noisy vehicles late night to early mornings, is unsafe and unhealthy for all concerned.

Further unwelcome south beach news are: dog faeces ‘buried’ in south beach but subsequently ‘found’ by playing children; chunks of broken bottles on Gunners Beach, thrown by nearby reclining beach visitors, nearly covered by incoming tide; endless plastic litter, some plastic bags even neatly left in protected vegetation despite half empty bins available a short walk away. The Council’s Client Relations Director assured me, after discussions with NORSE of: 45 extra 240ltr bins labelled “Keep Britain Tidy” (not for West Beach to Ferry Boat Inn because of ‘access’), 2 litter picking teams for ’12 hours a day, seven days a week’...until September then April- Sept. thereafter. Endlessly treating people like helpless, mindless children isn’t solving any of this anti-social behaviour. Effective enforcement requires presence and practical measures that inhibit it in the first place. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Kind regards,

Anne Skennerton

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