Call for new focus on crime

A CHALVEY leader is calling for a renewed focus on problem issues like prostitution, drug taking and anti-social behaviour.

Mohammed Ahmed, chairman of the Action 4 Chalvey group, feels the Chalvey Action Plan between Slough Borough Council and the police is taking a back seat compared to other issues in Slough.

He said: "There are a lot of drug problems in Chalvey which are bringing undesirables into the area. Another issue is some of the Romas congregating on the streets, chucking rubbish and acting anti-socially. The focus has gone off the main issues and it is all about regeneration of Thames Valley Community Centre - but that is not going to solve all the problems."

Mr Ahmed, 34, has lived in Slough all his life and wants it to live up to the council's 'Proud to be Slough' campaign.

He said: "There is a lot that needs to be done. The only way to make us proud is by focusing on our area as well. Chalvey is one of the most deprived areas in the South East and it is neglected in Slough. We have written to council chief executive Ruth Bagley to find out why they have stopped focusing on these issues and what they intend to do in future."

Just this week, Slough police commander Superintendent Richard Humphrey reiterated his determination to tackle prostitution problems in Chalvey. He said: "I currently have a drive to reduce or remove street prostitution in the next two years. Dealing with the kerb crawlers is only one part of a wider strategy. It is also understanding the nature of prostitutes, some of whom are local women who have significant drug or alcohol dependency issues.

"We are running covert operations this year and the CCTV coverage around the affected areas is being increased. It will operate 24/7 and the reviewing of it will increase. We are trying to build up a picture of exactly what level the problem is. We are absolutely committed to doing the right thing both for the community that have to live around it as well as the victims of the sex trade."

* Dozens of men charged with kerb crawling, who were caught in a crackdown operation in February, are to appear at Maidenhead Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, June 22.