Concerns over youth crime and disorder in Church Langley

Crime / Sun 16th May 2021 at 08:35am

THE CHAIR of South East Harlow Sports and Youth Association (SEHSYA) has written to local politicians expressing grave concerns regarding young people and crime in Church Langley.

Edward Vine wrote to Robert Halfon MP and Church Langley councillors Nicola Purse and Simon Carter.

Mr Vine said: “I was very concerned at meeting to hear a report from one of our SEHSYA Trustees that knife welding groups have been witnessed shaping up to each other one the Church Langley Field in the last week.

At one time we did get regular visits from the PCOs who were our guests and able to use our facilities for breaks, but we don’t seem to have these any more. This did help and at least kept incidents down and reduced vandalism although seemingly it did less to reduce drug dealing if the evidence of the heaps of discarded NO2 cylinders and the almost permanent whiff of what is reported as cannabis use in the air were anything to go by.

Half term was marked by ambulances taking intoxicated teenagers from the woods and field off to hospital.
Is there anything you can do to help increase police patrols before someone gets seriously hurt?

There’s also reports of an individual threatening children and in the shop carrying a knife in Churchgate Street, the school circulated a warning and apparently the police were called.

These are worrying developments especially on top the increasing incidents in the town centre.

Putting more police in with more powers as was done last week can only be a very short term plaster, the effect as we have seen with drug dealing is to displace the activities elsewhere around the town including Church Langley.

More PCSOs would help here but a better solution would be to develop youth music, arts, services, clubs, cadets, scouts and sports.

The Council is now in the ideal position to help all of the organisations that could potentially deliver these services and by developing a policy and taking action, that includes securing funding and the backing of the County Council and Government.

Crime costs more to the public purse than these measures that divert and engage youngsters on to other more positive activities.

Harlow has missed opportunities for instance, The Arts Council GB have identified Harlow as a priority area for developing The Arts where it is prepared to invest over the next few years to springboard development over the whole town, it’s a substantial fund yet despite it being well known at the Council now and since before 2019, Harlow unlike other towns on The Arts Council priority list, hasn’t put in an application.

It seems odd that if there’s a benevolent funding agency willing to make and much needed significant investment here as a priority, that we haven’t said “yes please”.

The application window closes next month, late June.

“Might urgent action be taken or at least a focus on preparing for the next funding round?’

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