Rat run used by Northampton drug dealers is fenced off for good

PCSO James Wetherall and councillor Les Marriott have been the driving force behind getting the fence installed.
PCSO James Wetherall and councillor Les Marriott have been the driving force behind getting the fence installed.

A troublesome rat run, which has played host to drug dealers and abandoned vehicles, has been shut off this week thanks to authorities, giving residents peace of mind.

PCSO James Wetherall for Northamptonshire Police has been leading the way to keep residents in his patch feeling safe, with the help from Northampton Borough Council's councillor Les Marriott (Lab, Semilong).

Pictures: JPIMedia.

Pictures: JPIMedia.

On Tuesday the community saw a long-awaited iron fence installed between Alliston Gardens and Hester Steet, in Semilong, which has blocked off the end of an alley being used as a short-cut, a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles, and a hideaway for drug dealers.

The fence, paid for through the borough council's Northampton Community Safety Partnership Fund, was put up on Tuesday and already resident Matthew Tack said he's sleeping better at night. The fence is now in place of a former brick wall.

"When the wall got knocked down two years ago after we moved in then we really noticed [anti social behaviour increasing]," Matthew said. "People were hanging around and cutting through. The fence makes me sleep better at night.

"I know people here, it's a working class area, it has its problems like many places do. I think there's a strong sense of community around here but it's a minority who can make themselves feel present when they want to.

"There's been a lot of drug dealing, there was an empty abandoned car here last summer that got cleared away quite quickly. I have had dealings with the police, the council and other departments and for the most part they do the best they can.

"My peace of mind has gone up a hundred fold. You can't beat seeing a police officer walking around the streets. I really appreciate the police and councillor's efforts to get it done."