I REMAIN unconvinced that the new police website highlighting crime ‘hotspots’ across the country is a good idea.
The government may be peddling it as part of a new-found transparency and the ‘big society’ idea that I’m already sick of hearing about, but in reality what does it really achieve?
Do we really need to know how much ‘crime’ is happening on our doorstep and is there not a valid argument in this case that ignorance is bliss and there’s actually nothing wrong with that?
A quick glance at the police website this week revealed that 325 crimes were committed in Bridlington in December (for some reason the site is still two months behind the rest of the world!).
If you average that out over the whole month it equates to roughly 81 crimes committed in the town every week, which seems rather a lot to me, considering Bridlington’s relatively small size.
The problem I have with the site is that crime is not easily measured by statistics.
They never paint the full picture and can be easily manipulated or misinterpreted.
For example; if you go out to your car on a morning and find the wing mirror hanging off it, do you report it to the police?
Or do you just shrug your shoulders and curse whoever knocked it off before ringing the garage and getting the chequebook out?
If you’re woken in the early hours of the morning by a group of drunken revellers shouting at each other and causing a scene, do you dial 999 or put your earplugs in and simply wait for them to get bored and go home?
If you reported these instances, they would both go down on the crime map, probably under anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime.
Exactly the same things could have happened a few streets down, but if nobody reported them, they won’t appear on the map.
So one street looks squeaky clean and crime-free, whilst the other has a couple of red marks against its name even though they both had equal amount of ‘crimes’ committed on them.
How does this give anyone an accurate or useful picture of what is going on in their area?
And as for the ‘other crime’ category, which made up the largest proportion of December crimes in Brid (146), it’s such a grey area and I’m not sure we need to know about a neighbour’s fence panel being broken in the night.
Does somebody being reported for smoking in an enclosed bus stop fall under the ‘other crime’ category? Who knows.
And more to the point, who actually cares?
No trust in the health trust
SCARBOROUGH NHS Trust – I see again we are going to get another Chief Executive, which will be number seven in as many years. Says a lot about their trust.
Further I do not believe it is in the interest of Bridlington people and those of Scarborough to join forces with York NHS Trust.
We should have our own trust and run by people who care.
Clearly those who ran and have run our hospitals in the last decade have destroyed our hospital and have only left bricks and mortar and our hospitals services have gone.
What we have now is the board and the trust directors in a position of unaccountability to the public they claim they serve, and it appears they have total lack of care to the public needs and further.
Imagine travelling 40 miles to say York – an 80 miles round trip to get medical care because in time that’s where we all will end up.
The Scarborough Trust cannot meet our healthcare needs and the records prove it.
The only thing they have done is to slash our services and cut them to the bare bone, and now there is nothing left they wish to dump us all on York NHS.
Regarding Mr Sunley, the current Chief Executive who is leaving.
I have to say it’s not before time and in this respect the public should be grateful that he is going.
However we await a new Chief Executive whom no doubt will continue to axe our hospitals as all his other Chief Executives have done.
I call again on the board of Scarborough, its chairman and its directors to step down as clearly they have no clue about what the people of this town need and require.
G Baverstock, via email,
Kent Square, Bridlington.
I AM emailing to you to complain about the amount of rubbish that is littering all the hedgerows along Bowlam Lane from Bempton on to Bempton Lane.
It’s a disgrace the amount of litter that’s being thrown out of cars.
To say we have one or two councillors in our area who pass by this area daily and is just ignored.
I presumed we pay our Council Tax to cover cleaning these hedgerows.
Also Bempton Lane is no better. Come on council, clean up this area.
Warren Spear, via email,
Ringley Meadows, Bempton.
Name and shame
RE STREET crime hotspots in last week’s Free Press. Fantastic! Lets name and shame the streets in Bridlington that are the worst.
What about naming and shaming the people who make these streets as they are.
No because that is not allowed. But the inocent are left to suffer.
My street was named in your report and at the moment we have our house up for sale.
What chance have we got. None. Because of our neighbours, and the landlord of the property who is not willing to co-operate, after writing to him on several occasions, because he lives over 70 miles away.
We are the ones suffering and have been for nearly two years now.
We cannot fault the help of our local PCSO. She has been a saviour, but unfortunately the whole system has let us down.
Every time I now log in a complaint the higher up the bad list our street goes. Will that not detract people reporting?
I agree totally with Mr Richard Hines in his comment in last week’s Free Press and would like to meet him.
This whole situation needs to be addressed properly and let the good people of Bridlington relax and enjoy there environment.
One more thing I would like to add is that my problem is noise and rowdy behaviour on the street, but it could become a more serious thing if it’s left to fester and not sorted out by the right people.
Steven Carter, via email,
Ferndale Terrace, Bridlington.
I HOPE that the people who wrote in about the David Hockney article that said that Bridlington was old-fashioned also wrote to the Sunday Times, where the article appeared, to praise Bridlington nationally.
It was the interviewer (Bryan Appleyard) who made the comments about a decayed and shabby resort, an amusement arcade and the ‘reluctant’ North Sea.
The artist was reported as saying that Bridlington is in a time warp – and it is indeed a traditional seaside resort in many ways.
I am sure that he appreciates the beauty of our town and who can blame him for wanting to keep a low profile?
Margaret Lines, via email,
Belvedere Grove, Bridlington.
Back in time
THANK you Mr Gresham (letter of the week February 10). I was absolutely transported back in time by your ever so perfect 1955 essay of Bridlington.
Yes my parents and I love it, but it will never be the same again.
How about pre-war with Herman Darewski at the Spa. Couples in evening dress walking down South Marine Drive, where the colourful lights in the windows of some rather fabulous hotels held ones gaze.
Then on Princess Mary Promenade a small band stand with deck chairs placed around it while the band played and young ladies in red and white came with trays of ice cream cornets, sixpence I believe.
Then came the war when we still came and viewed the sea over the barbed wire seated in a shelter.
After the war it took a while to return to normal, however as 1955 shows it did revive: the pleasure boat crews down Bridge Street calling “anymore for sailing”, or was that before 1939?
On South Marine Drive we suffered 12 months of upheaval 2009-2010, but maybe the results would be worth the mess?
Not to me, I think most of the “new look” is awful. Ms Jane Smith (Letters, February 3) has sampled a bench on the ramp only to gaze at a pink wall.
In my lunch hour on a lovely day I have walked from Quay Road to the South Cliff and eaten my sandwiches sitting in one of the alcove seats looking out to sea, reluctant to go back to the office.
Cheers to Colonel Bryce. The first time I saw the stone seats I instantly thought of the Berlin Holocaust memorial.
So one sits on the dog fouled block to gaze at yet another concrete wall.
I am sorry I would love to be throwing bouquets instead of bricks.
I look at the galvanised railing and wonder whether I am inside or outside a security zone.
Miss J P Tindall,
Shaftesbury Road, Bridlington.
I TOTALLY agree with Councillor Michael Charlesworth on the issue of Bridlington Council having limited powers, like all the other parish councils in this area.
That is because the dictatorial East Riding of Yorkshire Council also runs a system which deprives the voters of little say in the running of our affairs.
That is because it has a ‘Cabinet’ mainly made up of members of the controlling group which denies little feed in from the minority groups, except through officer-run surveys.
So what is the point, when in a little paragraph we are told the Bridlington Tory members were holding a surgery – to what end.
They all receive substantive remuneration from the ratepayers, unlike the remaining councillors, and will do nothing unless their highly paid Beverley leader agrees.
What is needed is a scalpel taken to the present system run by ERYC.
Let’s get back to the old democracy of the former East Yorkshire Borough Council, when debates were open to the general public, all elected councillors permitted to have a say and the press in attendance.
Then we would not need a big Bridlington Council, just a smaller parish council, just like our neighbouring towns and villages.
No need for spin from numerous salaried press officers but facts at less cost as viewed by the electorate.
Then the present Bridlington Town Council members should show their true colours and put their names forward for the coming ERYC elections.
They may even shift the present regime.
Terry Duncan, via email,
Greame Road, Bridlington.
I WRITE in response to a letter from Alan Newell (January 27), referring to my previous letter on petrol pump prices.
Firstly, apologies for delay in responding – I have just returned from a holiday in Cyprus, where, incidentally, the price of a litre of unleaded was around the £1 mark!
I tried to elicit a response from Tesco Head Office, around March last year (Mathew Davies, customer services manager), on this issue and particularly the question as to why we in Bridlington pay around 3p to 4p per litre more than say in West Yorkshire.
I just filled up there on my way back from Manchester Airport and so the difference is still current.
Whilst they acknowledge a difference in pricing, they say that over a period of time pricing will level out – presumably they are talking in decades as there is no evidence of this in Bridlington!
They say in effect that they charge “what the market will stand” – in other words people of Bridlington, Tesco, consciously charge you 3p to 4p per litre more because they know you will pay it!
If there was ever a case for boycotting a business then I don’t know any better.
If people stopped using Tesco in Bridlington (including their station on Scarborough Road) I would suggest that their price would start to fall, which in turn would cause Morrisons to follow suite. Up to you!
One final comment to Alan Newell – do I detect a vested interest?
By the way, having previously been in the retail trade, store managers do have autonomy to vary pricing!
Ian Akeroyd, via email,
Maple Close, Bridlington.
I’M sorry to say this but Matthew Wilde’s photo of the Bridlington Spa Gardens makes me instantly think of the Great Gale of 1871.
Imagine what the scenes would have been like the day after the storm.
The sea probably calm, people in shock, dead bodies scattered across the shore, then gathered up and placed in coffins probably in the same area as the gardens. There until families or undertakers came to collect them.
Mr Lister and his architect would be better off being used to sort out the war memorial, better than what East Yorkshire Council have done so far.
Jubilee Avenue, Bridlington.
I WAS enjoying a quiet drink on a pleasant day outside a hostelry near the Spa, when I met some American people who were over here visiting relatives in Yorkshire.
They told me that when they get back to the states they are going to urge their Lord Mayor to get in touch with our council with a view to “twinning” their small town with Bridlington.
Because the view from their hotel window reminded them so much of home.
I was shocked, miffed and totally embarrassed when they told me they came from Tombstone!
Richmond Street, Bridlington.
THANKS to a man, who said his name was Edmund, who came to my assistance on Queen Street, Bridlington at 5.25pm on Friday, February 18, and also to passers by – a young man and a lady who also helped, along with my wife, – when I had a very bad fall and damaged my hip (which now requires a hip replacement).
My thanks also to the ambulance crew who took me to Scarborough Hospital, to doctors, A&E staff and ward staff on Holly Ward for their kind care and attention that I recieved while in there.
Richard Conway, via email,
Avocet Way, Bridlington.
I DO hope that the Alternative Vote (AV) is not extended to local government.
Already, the system which has crept in to local authorities deprives the ratepayer/taxpayer of little or any representation through the person voted in.
That is because the former Labour Government encouraged the setting up of ‘cabinets’ within every council.
That select minority today rule while the majority of elected councillors have little say in local affairs, as the cabinets have final say on the expenditure, the same that has resulted in so many local authorities having to slash staff and costs.
Maybe Mr Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, can step in again and remove this anomaly, and return local government into the hands of the voters through their elected councillors.
And not left solely in the hands of an upper tier, as in Beverley, where many of whom receive thousands of pounds in ‘responsibilty’ payments at ratepayers expense.
On the high costs, here in Bridlington, why is that East Riding Council, only a month after spending three days resurfacing large areas of St Annes Road, one of the main routes from the north side to the town centre, is again potholed.
No, that is not my view, because it is also that of the council, for someone from ERYC this past Friday, has been out again spraying large yellow squares around the same road works its staff scarified and retarred last month, marking the area for, yes, resurfacing. It was not any frost or snow this time. Maybe it was either the quality of work, or the tar, or just..?
Terry Duncan, via email,
Greame Road, Bridlington.Suez Crisis
I AM preparing a small book of photographs involving the Suez Crisis during November 1956.
If others would like to have their photos included to ensure that these images – ships, blockships, aircraft, general views, troops, paratroop drops, etc – are not lost to posterity, would they care to loan them to me briefly for scanning and enhancing, together with appropriate information?
I am the compiler of the book – The Royal Engineers and the National Service Years.
My email address is email@example.com and I am at 8 Kinross Crescent, Marton, Blackpool, FY4 4PE.
E A Pegg, via email,
I AM the recruitment officer for the 8th Destroyer Association – a well respected naval organisation which has members around the country.
We are hoping that many ex-officers and ratings who served in “C” class Destroyers in the China station between 1945 and 1963 would like to join our association.
We are also asking any Royal Naval ex-personnel who served in any “C” class Destroyers in other parts of the world after this period to join us as well as we would love to hear from you – and you could meet many former shipmates.
We meet in Scarborough at the beginning of September every year for our reunion and we also produce and send two booklets to members which are well received.
Subscriptions are ten pounds per year and if you would like to receive an application form please contact me at 2 Rydal Avenue, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE30 3UG or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to your request.
Robert Smith, via email,
Tyne and Wear.
JUST a short note to thank you for printing my appeal for information on servicemen from Bridlington who died in the First World War on your letters page in September last year.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the relatives of those servicemen who contacted me, and allowed me to copy photos and also supplied me with information on their relatives.
My research is now at an end and my book will be published later this year.
Chris Bonnett, via email,
Jubilee Avenue, Bridlington.
I DO not believe that Council Tax funding should go to funding high levels of management structures and administration costs.
Where this funding is needed is our public services, such as elderly and disabled person’s welfare – ie more not less people employed to this type of service, more employees within the council services.
Services such as housing and roads maintenance should be carried out in-house, like in the past. Much cheaper in the long run.
Education improvements; employing more teachers to teach in schools, all school maintenances and services should be done in-house too, as in years gone by.
There should be more co-ordination between education, social services and the police to protect children, this too would be good council tax investment.
I am hoping that the East Riding of Yorkshire Council is not banking a huge amount of money in off-shore banks in foreign parts, then cutting services.
What is also needed is to cut the chief executives’ annual salaries, and have less of them, a minimum and maximum tier system introduced and controlled by the community. And councillors should have more say in East Yorkshire.
I put my points to the communities.
J B Carder,
Summerfield Road, Bridlington.