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'Town's drug crime is now out of hand'
6:00am Monday 17th February 2014 in Local
A ZERO tolerance approach is needed to tackle drug-related crime in Bewdley , which is now “getting out of hand”, according to a town councillor.
Derek Killingworth is calling for action following a number of recent incidents in the town, in-cluding an alleged burglary at a commercial premises – for which a man has been arrested and charged - and a street assault.
Police said they believed some of the offences committed in the town over recent weeks were drug related, adding they were taking “positive action”.
Mr Killingworth said the problem had now started to get out of control, just days after he told The Shuttle drug addicts and alcoholics were menacing people in the town by begging to fund their habits.
The Independent Community and Health Concern member said people were living in fear of be-ing approached in Bewdley, adding the town was “under attack”.
“I think the time has come for a zero tolerance approach to these people ,”he explained.
“It’ s get-ting out of hand now. It’ s rife and they have really got to stop. Something has got to be done.
“I’m quite sure the majority of people who live in Bewdley would agree .
"They shouldn’t be forced to live in fear just because of a minority of people who are breaking the law.”
He added the problem had gradually escalated over the past two months and wanted to see more police on the streets in the d y.
“We’ve got a whole town literally under attack and something has got to be done ,” said Mr Kill-ingwor th.
“It’s getting to the stage where people can’t walk down the streets without getting ap-proached.”
Police said they had identified a man who had been asking people for money and were considering options for dealing with him.
Wyre Forest District Inspector Paul Crowley said: “We understand people’s concerns and we are taking positive action.
A number of people have been arrested and charged with thefts from shops in the town and we believe some of those are drug related.
"We will continue to act robustly and prosecute when we have the evidence to do so .”
PC Steve Thomas attended a meeting about crime in the town with about 50 traders .
A meeting between officers and Bewdley Town Council is also planned.