Whilst I appreciate that we in this area are lucky enough to live in a lovely part of England, there are similar problems in country towns as there are in the inner city areas.
This was brought to my notice by a letter in the Observer (January 19) from an older couple who live in the Old Kent Road, London.
They, having visited Rye, felt somewhat threatened by the unsocial behaviour of large groups of youths misbehaving in the vicinity of the railway station, and suggested that ‘the local police or wardens walk around early to late evening to have a word with these youngsters’.
Oh, what a different world this couple must live in.
I have no idea whether the Old Kent Road is a law abiding area or not, but when people from south east London visit Rye and feel that they have cause for complaint then there is something clearly wrong.
They obviously expected that there would be some law enforcement in Rye, but sadly they are mistaken.
Usually there is no visible police presence most times of the day, and even less at night.
If our Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, spent less time chasing headline-grabbing initiatives, worthy though some of them may be, and more time providing the policing that would deal with the problems that ordinary folk have to suffer, we would all better be better off for it.
When Rye is described by a visitor as a ‘rough little place’ it indicates how far down the ladder of acceptability our local policing has dropped.
Perhaps with her latest rise of our contributions to the police budget via our council tax, we might expect to see an improvement in police presence, but I very much doubt it.
Note to Mrs Bourne – you have proudly announced that you have managed to find an extra £100,000 to tackle stalking, can you find a similar amount to provide proper policing for the residents of Rye, an initiative that would benefit a far greater number of people, and allow visitors to be able to appreciate the good points of the town without feeling threatened.