Students help with police survey
A survey especially designed for Boston is giving residents the chance to help police and Boston Borough Council consider improvements for the future.
Level 2 Uniformed Public Service students from Boston College assisted the project, talking to town centre visitors on a busy market day and getting them to fill out the survey.
It comes at the same time as Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner's annual county-wide survey about crime and related issues.
But Sgt Matt Dickinson, of Boston Police, said the survey the students helped with was compiled specifically with Boston in mind and is two-pronged, dealing with crime, but also ways in which making the town centre more inviting could help drive anti-social behaviour out.
He explained that the responses to the survey will inform actions by the police and the council to deal with specific issues of crime in Boston and ways in which to make the town centre more inviting and appealing. They will also direct bids to the Government for additional funding. Actions will be revisited after six months to assess any improvements.
Ashleigh Carey, Amreen Oliver and Joseph Butler formed one group of students, assisted by PCSO Rachel Braim, who were conducting the survey. Mr Paul Tracey, of Kirton, told them he would like to see more investment in the police and PCSOs and would like to better integration of the different nationalities.
Sgt Dickinson said analysis of the findings showed that people felt less safe in Boston at night. People were asked about their perception of crime and disorder in town and the result was mixed. Some said it was bad, some said it was not noticeable. There was reference to seeing drunks and low-level anti-social behaviour. They suggested it could be best tackled with more patrols. The next highest suggestion was more street lighting.
There was a relatively even split between those satisfied with facilities in the town centre and those who were not.
Most pressing issues included drinking, homelessness, perception of Boston, drug use and shoplifting.
Respondents were asked if restaurants were set up outside in the Market Place in the evening would they use them. A good number said yes and 45 per cent wanted shops to stay open later.
There were also calls for more and "better" shops, clothes shops and children's shops.
People also wanted to see support for homeless people to get them off the street, better facilities, including more toilets, and also the prevention of the bus driving through the town centre.
To complete the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner's survey go to https://lincolnshirecrimeandpolicingsurvey2018.questionpro.com