Another Silent Soldier has been broken. There has been controversy over whether this is down to vandalism or strong winds. Last night, winds did not get above six kmph. That not enough to ruffle your hair let alone to snap a Silent Soldier.
Recent press headlines screamed that some crime is rising nationally, especially violent crime. What is the situation in our neighbourhood and county? We are overall a low crime county. But we have hotspots. Ludlow is mid-ranking on the crime scale with the northern towns experiencing higher crime rates, especially in their central districts. Deeply rural towns like Church Stretton and Clun are so much quieter.
Reported crime is increasing at half the rate in Ludlow compared to Shropshire as a whole, and at just a quarter of the national rate. Any level crime is unwelcome and there are some troublesome hotspots around the county. But overall, Ludlow and Shropshire remain safe places to live.
The night before last, Busybodies Childcare Centre next to the police station in Lower Galdeford was broken into. Fortunately, nothing was stolen though a door was badly damaged. The police response, when the crime was reported this morning, was swift. An officer came from Kidderminster and scene of crime officers were also dispatched to the site.
It is always bad when a crime occurs. People feel violated and less confident. Along with businesses, they are also hit in the pocket. It is a shame then, that Ludlow has a higher rate of crime per head than the rest of Shropshire.
Last night, the power cables to the lights on the Christmas tree in the market square were cut. They will be repaired tonight (Friday) by Ludlow Town Council after the market is cleared of stallholders. The lights switch on is tomorrow. This is not the first time this has happened. Last year, 60 bulbs from the Christmas light display were smashed.
Vandalism on the market area is not new but it is a problem. Young people hang out around the stalls at night. A very small number of them engage in antisocial behaviour.
In recent weeks, Eastern Europeans have appeared on Ludlow’s streets. They are said to be Romanian and sit on Church Street and Tower Street. They beg with empty coffee cups.
These beggars are not homeless in a conventional sense. They are clean and have no baggage or sleeping bag. They arrive and depart Ludlow by car. But the people involved could still be vulnerable. What should we do?