Calls for police reassurance in Kettering’s “drug haven”

Field Street and Rockingham Close.
Field Street and Rockingham Close.

Residents in an area of Kettering plagued by drugs have called for more reassurance from police.

Fifty people living in Dryden Street, Field Street and Rockingham Close have signed a petition over drug activity and anti-social behaviour in the area.

They say they are scared and have criticised police for what they say is prioritising results over community involvement.

One man who signed the petition, who did not want to be named, said: “Vulnerable people live here and they have come up to me and said they are scared.

“They say they don’t see any police presence apart from when they’re kicking in doors on raids.

“Police need to reassure the community and get involved with them.

“People need to feel like the police care about them and at the minute it feels like all they care about is results.”

The man who signed the petition said that people are constantly taking drugs in public and making it an intimidating place to live.

He said that a woman stepped on a needle outside her flat earlier this year and people regularly knock on doors and windows in the early hours to ask for things.

He said: “The area’s a drug haven for some people.

“They shoot up in the street, in corridors, outside your front door, they don’t care where it is.

“But it’s intimidating for everyone else.

“The minute you step out of your house you’re offered stolen goods or asked for something.”

Last year an elderly woman was robbed on her own doorstep in Dryden Street.

A man also had his leg amputated after being shot in Field Street, which saw six people jailed for a total of 36 years.

But police say they are taking a proactive approach to tackling drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Last year they closed a flat in Dryden Street after numerous complaints from those nearby.

The petition has been delivered to police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold and chief constable Nick Adderley.

Mr Mold said: “I’m always concerned to hear from residents who do not believe that they receive a good service and will look into their complaints where I can.

“When I received this petition, I asked the local policing teams to respond to the concerns that were highlighted.

“As a result, they will contact the gentleman involved and are organising a number of local surgeries so that they can discuss the issues that have been raised direct with residents.”

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Scott Little, said: “We are absolutely committed to tackling drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in Kettering and over the past two months we have made nearly 50 arrests and executed a number of days of action in the town as part of Operation Viper – the force’s response to serious and organised crime.

“I completely understand the concerns held by many of our residents and I want to assure them that we are working hard to address the issues detailed in their petition.

“We will be visiting those who have signed the petition in order to speak to them on a one-to-one basis as well as planning to hold a number of surgeries in the area for other residents to come and speak to us about any concerns they might have.

“Tackling drug dealing and anti-social behaviour is a priority for us and I expect to see much more success over the coming months in Kettering with Operation Viper taking more drug dealers and those responsible for crime in the area off our streets.”

But the man who signed the petition says residents are in constant fear about what might happen next.

He said: “When you leave your house for work there’s always someone watching you and then you don’t know whether you’re going to come back to see your house burgled.

“We are living on tenterhooks waiting for the next thing to happen.”