Witham: Dog walker's concerns of River Walk

Witham: Dog walker's concerns of River Walk

Witham: Dog walker's concerns of River Walk

First published in News

A dog walker who claims to have seen young children smoking cannabis and teenagers being sold alcohol on the River Walk is calling for action.

Brain Webb, 69, of Glebe Crescent, Witham, said he saw a child as young as nine smoking cannabis along the stretch of the River Walk between Chippingdell and Ebenezer Close.

He has walked his dog there everyday for almost 40 years but says he regularly collects up to 20 beer cans per week and has even seen human faeces.

He believes the area attracts a number of drunks and that other areas of the walk are also affected.

He said: “Over the last few years I have seen some very disturbing things, youngsters as young as nine or 10-years-old smoking drugs, adults sell alcohol from carrier bags to underage teenagers.

See this week's Times for the full story. 

Comments (2)

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12:24pm Thu 22 Nov 12

OMPITA [UK] says...

Not the same dog I trust!

Seriously though, why didn't you get picture that demonstrates the problem.

This gentleman took the trouble to raise his concerns with you. Surely you could have obtained a picture that more emphatically supported his case. Where is the litter? Where are the intimidating youngsters? Not so much as a beer can, lurking hoodie, or other unmentionable object anywhere to be seen!

Your readers are hardly going to get fired up by looking at what seems to be a quiet idyllic tranquil little scene.
Not the same dog I trust! Seriously though, why didn't you get picture that demonstrates the problem. This gentleman took the trouble to raise his concerns with you. Surely you could have obtained a picture that more emphatically supported his case. Where is the litter? Where are the intimidating youngsters? Not so much as a beer can, lurking hoodie, or other unmentionable object anywhere to be seen! Your readers are hardly going to get fired up by looking at what seems to be a quiet idyllic tranquil little scene. OMPITA [UK]
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Don Barnard says...

I see no evidence in this report to support the allegations River Walk attracts drunks, Children a young as 9 years old smoking cannabis and/`0r being sold Alcohol. However I will not commit the cardinal sin telling the Editor what to print.
Instead I would like to use it as a platform to telescope the discussion on the perceive problems associated with cannabis use/possession and to some extent cannabis cultivation.
I lived in Braintree for 30 years from the early 1990’ I was active both at locally and national in the campaign for reform of complex law controlling cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
I moved to Witham in 2004 and can recall walking my dog along River Walk on a summer’s day (2004/08) smelling young people discreetly smoking a joint with little or no notice being taken by the other park users.
Unlike Brian Webb I did not write to Tom Dick and Harry complaining, Instead I used the opportunity to offer advice on safe use like the harms of soap bar and adding tobacco to joint, recommending the invest in a vaporizer or water pipe, consequences they got nicked, I also informed them about concerns I had overheard from local people about them. The primary one being rubbish they left behind which they heeded (the rubbish disappeared)
This all changed in 2009 when Jacqui Smith reclassified cannabis to Class B ordering the police to make cannabis public enemy No 1
Local authorities and Greenfield Housing cut back the bushes and trees to allow the police, street Wardens to have a clear view of secluded areas where the heinous criminals were hiding.
Community police office driving cross the grass to ask group’s of young people if everything was alright. I recall one occasion among other things saying - Since you came looking for a problem if you tell me what you expected to find I will tell you if I have a problem with it.I never did get an answer.
The increased harassment spurred on by stories in local papers generated by a small number of ill-informed District Councilors and various groups seeking funding to sort out the problem created by (‘The fantasies of the afore mention District Councilors) meant the kids were forced to keep one step in front of the hunters by regularly moving to other far more dangerous environments
I like to believe my awareness approach was/would be far more effective in protecting young people’s health and than the shock and horror approach preferred by the ill-informed with vested interests
Back to Jacqui Smith
Everyone (of any repute) including her official advisors (ACMD) told Jacqui she had got it wrong but she went ahead and moved cannabis from Class C to Class B Which increasing the maximum sentence for cannabis possession from two years to 5 years.... Nothing more than that!
3 years on Ms Smith in an interview with Radio Times in a preview of a Radio 5 live documentary, ‘Stoned again’ among other things Said:
‘Knowing what I know now, I would resist the temptation to resort to the law to tackle the harm from cannabis.
'I don’t want tough messages being sent out by the law always translated into tough action against individuals.'
'Education, treatment and information, if we can get the message through, are perhaps a lot more effective.'

‘Stoned again’ examining the evidence and reasons for Ms Smiths' decision to reclassify cannabis will be broadcast on Radio 5 Live at 10 pm on Thursday 9 November

**** A live debate on The issues raised in the programme will be chaired by Tony Livesey at 11pm.
:
I see no evidence in this report to support the allegations River Walk attracts drunks, Children a young as 9 years old smoking cannabis and/`0r being sold Alcohol. However I will not commit the cardinal sin telling the Editor what to print. Instead I would like to use it as a platform to telescope the discussion on the perceive problems associated with cannabis use/possession and to some extent cannabis cultivation. I lived in Braintree for 30 years from the early 1990’ I was active both at locally and national in the campaign for reform of complex law controlling cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act. I moved to Witham in 2004 and can recall walking my dog along River Walk on a summer’s day (2004/08) smelling young people discreetly smoking a joint with little or no notice being taken by the other park users. Unlike Brian Webb I did not write to Tom Dick and Harry complaining, Instead I used the opportunity to offer advice on safe use like the harms of soap bar and adding tobacco to joint, recommending the invest in a vaporizer or water pipe, consequences [IF] they got nicked, I also informed them about concerns I had overheard from local people about them. The primary one being rubbish they left behind which they heeded (the rubbish disappeared) This all changed in 2009 when Jacqui Smith reclassified cannabis to Class B ordering the police to make cannabis public enemy No 1 Local authorities and Greenfield Housing cut back the bushes and trees to allow the police, street Wardens to have a clear view of secluded areas where the heinous criminals were hiding. Community police office driving cross the grass to ask group’s of young people if everything was alright. I recall one occasion among other things saying - Since you came looking for a problem if you tell me what you expected to find I will tell you if I have a problem with it.I never did get an answer. The increased harassment spurred on by stories in local papers generated by a small number of ill-informed District Councilors and various groups seeking funding to sort out the problem created by (‘The fantasies of the afore mention District Councilors) meant the kids were forced to keep one step in front of the hunters by regularly moving to other far more dangerous environments I like to believe my awareness approach was/would be far more effective in protecting young people’s health and than the shock and horror approach preferred by the ill-informed with vested interests Back to Jacqui Smith Everyone (of any repute) including her official advisors (ACMD) told Jacqui she had got it wrong but she went ahead and moved cannabis from Class C to Class B Which increasing the maximum sentence for cannabis possession from two years to 5 years.... Nothing more than that! 3 years on Ms Smith in an interview with Radio Times in a preview of a Radio 5 live documentary, ‘Stoned again’ among other things Said: ‘Knowing what I know now, I would resist the temptation to resort to the law to tackle the harm from cannabis. 'I don’t want tough messages being sent out by the law always translated into tough action against individuals.' 'Education, treatment and information, if we can get the message through, are perhaps a lot more effective.' ‘Stoned again’ examining the evidence and reasons for Ms Smiths' decision to reclassify cannabis will be broadcast on Radio 5 Live at 10 pm on Thursday 9 November **** A live debate on The issues raised in the programme will be chaired by Tony Livesey at 11pm. : Don Barnard
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