‘Serious’ concerns over anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in Bolnore Village

Residents of Bolnore Village have expressed concerns about anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.

A notice by Bolnore Village Community Interest Company Ltd on behalf of residents has been put up in the village.

Bolnore Village Recreation Ground. Picture: Steve Robards

Bolnore Village Recreation Ground. Picture: Steve Robards

It reads: “You may be aware that over the past few months there has been an increase in anti-social behavour and drug dealing within the village.

“These incidents are serious, are not simply ‘boisterous teenagers’ and are not ‘kids being kids’and unless they are stopped will lead to the village becoming an unsavoury place to live.

“This is not what we want as an outcome. Neither are they just one person’s or one organisation’s responsibility to fix. We must address this collectively.

“There have been a number of serious incidents concerning property damage and aggressive behaviour towards residents and this cannot continue if we are to enjoy life in Bolnore Village.

“Drug dealing takes place on an almost daily basis within the centre of the village.

“Many of these incidents have already been reported to the police and one resident has worked hard to ensure that these reports are taken seriously.

“As a result we now benefit from a regular police patrol through the village.”

The notice says parents of small children should be aware that a number of the MSDC play areas in the village have been rendered unsafe as vandals have spread broken glass into the soft landing areas of slides.

It says if anyone spots this type of issue it should be reported immediately to MSDC on 01444 458166 who will direct their call to the appropriate department.

It adds: “At a recent meeting a number of steps were outlined that would help address the issue and these will be both overt and cohort.

“To get things started we have set up a new Facebook group which can be used to alert neighbours of incidents. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/470181303834575/admin_activities.

“It is important however that should anyone witness such incidents they are to be reported to the police immediately by calling 999 or 101.

“The more reports that are received the more likely it is that action by the police will be taken.

“Residents should not, however, place themselves knowingly in harm’s way.

“People help us to help the village. We have the support of Haywards Heath Town Council and the police and with the additional steps we plan to take, we should be able to bring the village back to be a safe place to live.”

In response to the concerns, Inspector Pete Dommett said: “Bolnore Village is a growing residential area of Mid-Sussex as such it has experienced some anti-social behaviour.

“This is associated with some younger residents and some from the wider local area.

“We are responding to the concerns expressed on the notice and, working with local councillors, we are providing an increased policing presence during peak times as part of our ongoing partnership approach. We are aware of the damage to the play equipment but have not yet been able to discover who was responsible.

“We understand that repairs are under way and may have been completed by now.”

“We are aware of some drug misuses but we do not have currently have information suggesting there is prevalent drug misuse or organised dealing in the area, but all incidents of crime should be reported, and we would ask any residents who witness or suffer a crime to come forward and report it.

“Crimes can be reported via 101 or online at www.sussex.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us or via 999 if they are actually taking place, and information also can be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”