Antisocial behaviour in Bedford town centre 'not as bad as it seems'

There will be a ‘day of action’ on June 8

By John Guinn, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:49 pm

There is lots of police activity tacking antisocial behaviour in and around Bedford’s town centre, including next month’s Day of Action, a senior police officer said.

But the town’s ‘hotspots’ have only had seven recorded incidents of antisocial behaviour since April 1, a meeting this week was told.

At the Delivery and Beating Crime meeting (May 23) with senior police officers, Bedfordshire’s PCC, Festus Akinbusoye, asked, on behalf of a member of the public, what the force is doing about antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Bedford’s town centre.

Bedford Bus Station

Sharn Basra, assistant chief constable, said: “Bedford is one of those concentrated areas that gets a dedicated policing presence.

“The two most prolific areas for ASB are probably the bus station and McDonald’s.

“Even these have only seen seven reports of ASB between them since April 1, so it’s not as much as a problem as it may seem,” he said.

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He added that the force uses dedicated days of action to showcase its work and ensure that the public is aware of what’s going on

“There is one in Bedford town centre on the June 8, that’s where all partners come together to flood that area to have a look and support some of those individuals [involved].

“Because some of those individuals that are the subject of ASB reports may be vulnerable themselves, and I’m talking about street sleepers sleeping rough etc, and it’s how we can support them.

“So there’s lots of activity going on in and around the town centre, lots of work with our partners and in particular agencies, such as Bedford BID, to make sure that shopkeepers feel safe and are able to trade during this busy period.”