Chapel Lane, drugs and school sites

Neighbourhood police sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves.
Neighbourhood police sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves.

Ongoing disorder in Chapel Lane is a continuing issue for police and a solution may not be as easy to find as previously hoped.

The area in question is the covered walkway next to Pizza Royal, which provides access through to Chapel Lane.

Sgt Sharon Wilmore-Greaves told members at last week’s meeting of Alnwick Town Council that it continues to be a site of disorder, with drug-taking, urinating and other issues, particularly from 11pm to 3am on weekends, leading to complaints from residents.

Sgt Wilmore-Greaves had hoped to be able to install a gate, but has now been informed that this may not be possible as the route is a right of way and legislation introduced in 2014, would prohibit any blocking of the entrance.

A solicitor from Northumberland County Council is still looking into it, but plan B would be to use the Public Space Protection Order being introduced in Alnwick, which allows for the issuing of £100 on-the-spot fines for the likes of urinating in public and other disorder.

Sgt Wilmore-Greaves had expected the now-vacant Duke’s and Lindisfarne school sites to be problem sites over the summer, but thanks to planning with the county council, there had been no incidents at all.

Coun Lisa Aynsley raised concerns about a perceived rise in drugs and drug-taking in Alnwick and Sgt Wilmore-Greaves said that a key issue was the lack of reliable intelligence on the dealers.