Police call for closure of car park in Wellingborough

Police have recommended that the temporary car park behind the Drill Hall in Wellingborough is closed
Police have recommended that the temporary car park behind the Drill Hall in Wellingborough is closed

Police are calling for the closure of a car park blighted by anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Drug taking, aggressive driving and people having sex in public are just some of the reasons cited for the proposed closure of the car park to the rear of Wellingborough’s Drill Hall.

Northants Police has recommended to Wellingborough Council that this section of the car park is closed to the public as soon as possible to address the problems.

A report due to be discussed by the council’s resources committee tomorrow (Wednesday) says: “Police representatives have recently met Wellingborough Norse, community safety and environmental health officers at the rear of the Drill Hall as there are a number of crimes reported, with evidence of persistent drug use, stolen goods, car vandalism and littering, aggressive driving, public sex and probable drug deals within this area.

“Wellingborough Norse have cut back some of the vegetation to offer extra natural surveillance; extra policing and Wellingborough Norse patrols have been provided, but these are not solving the problem.”

A letter from Paul Golley, prevention team leader from Northants Police, said: “Unfortunately the steady stream of reported crime/incidents leads us to believe this unofficial car park is a perfect setting for crime and anti-social behaviour to flourish, with a concerning indication that further incidents could occur.”

He lists numerous examples of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, including at least 20 nitrous oxide gas bottles identified within grass/shrubbery, evidence of heroin and other drug use and human defaecation.

If councillors agree to close the car park, the report says the reduction in spaces can be accommodated in the short term on the current High Street car park and then in the multi-storey car park or other car parking within the town centre.

However, the proposed closure comes at a time when concerns have already been raised about loss of parking in the town centre.

Up to 200 people attended a recent meeting about development of the Jackson’s Lane car park which will see hundreds of parking spaces lost from the town centre.

To read more about the meeting and people’s concerns, click here

These concerns are mentioned in the report for tomorrow’s meeting, which says: “There is a risk that if the temporary car park is closed residents’ concerns about the loss of car parking in this area will be increased.

“However closing this car park would improve the safety for the public.”

Members will be asked to recommend that the temporary car park is closed as soon as possible, as recommended by Northants Police, to address anti-social behaviour and criminal behaviour.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Wednesday (June 13) at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.