Closure looms for crime path

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Neighbours have called for a footpath to be closed because they are being plagued by antisocial behaviour.

People in Belam Way and St Neots Road in Sandy are petitioning for the path that connects the two roads to be shut off. They say that the anti-social behaviour it attracts is blighting their lives.

Several residents attended the Sandy Town Council meeting on Monday and Peter Norman spoke on their behalf.

He said: “We had an arson attack and drug dealing is taking place on a daily basis. We have intimidating gangs of youths.

“There is no need for the path. Part of it has been closed off already. We are proposing the other half gets closed off and there’s no reason why that couldn’t take place.”

The neighbours have sent a petition to Central Beds Council.

Bedfordshire Police confirmed that there was an arson attack on a garden hedge on September 6 and since then there have been several reports of gangs of youths hanging around.

Neighbours suspect that drugs are involved but this has not been proven.

Deputy mayor Councillor Colin Osborne said: “I think if we go back 40 or 50 years this was used a quite a bit but since then we’ve had Engayne Avenue put in and a proper footpath from Engayne Avenue to Belam Way.

“I’m sure if I was there at night I wouldn’t want to use this path and I personally think it serves no great purpose.”

Part of the path is owned by the adjoining houses.

It is unclear who owns the remainder. Aldywick Housing Group was originally suggested and the company is looking through records to see if it owns the land.

Central Beds Council is also searching through old records to see if it is council owned.

Town councillors agreed to support the closure.