A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Wednesday 2 January 2013

Sleeping in Tombs

Photo not from Mill Road Cemetery
I saw this article on the front page of our local paper the 'Cambridge News' and was shocked to see how the Mill Road Cemetery in Cambridge had quite literally become a 'Sleeping Garden' not for the Dearly Departed, but the Drunk and Drugged.
Here is the full story:
Drunks and Addicts 'Sleeping in Tombs' by Chris Havergal
Drunks are pushing the lids off tombs at a Cambridge cemetery to sleep inside them.Horrified people living close to the graveyard have also reported seeing drug-addicts injecting themselves while sat in graves.
Police revealed the full impact of street drinking on the Petersfield neighbourhood in their bid to ban alcohol sales at a shop which they claim is a “soft touch” on liquor sales and a magnet for troublemakers – News and More in Norfolk Street.

Officers said problems started at the store and spread out into the surrounding area, including to Mill Road cemetery, which is plagued by drunkenness, littering, defecating and drug abuse, and can be accessed via an alleyway opposite the newsagent.

In a statement, Pc Alan Tregilgas said: “It is not unusual to find drunken persons sleeping in this area and in some cases tombstone lids have been pushed off so they can sleep inside them.
“One resident said she was shocked when she saw a male sitting on a grave with his trousers down injecting himself in his thigh in full view of everyone.”
In a first for the city’s force, officers have drawn up a dossier of evidence to support a request to revoke News and More’s licence, and this will be determined by councillors on Monday, January 7.

In the file, police and residents allege street drinkers frequent Norfolk Street itself from 8.30am, intimidating pupils at St Matthew’s Primary School by drinking, vomiting, urinating and begging, and by letting dogs run free.
Evidence about News and More include claims that:

* Staff opened the door of a fridge containing alcohol for two men who were too drunk to do so themselves and then sold liquor to the pair.

* A drunk man was asked for directions to the shop because he said 'it was the only place he would get served'.

* The store is seen as a 'Soft Touch' by people determined to get alcohol, whatever state they are in.

* A binge drinker died hours after being served alcohol there, having been refused liquor at another nearby newsagent because he looked sick.

Pc Peter Sinclair, the force’s licensing officer, said he believed owner Shailesh Patel was “knowingly breaching” licensing rules by serving drunks and that there was a “causal link” between sales at the shop and disorder.

He said advice given on numerous occasions “appeared to have fallen on deaf ears” and that the Patels “have by their behaviour treated the law-abiding residents in the area with utter contempt”.

However, the Patels have won support from customers, 39 of whom have written letters calling for the licence to remain in place – plus 112 who signed a petition.
They claim the Patels are careful about who they sell alcohol to and that it would be unfair to single out News and More when street drinking was a citywide problem.
Mr Patel said he had voluntarily stopped selling super-strength alcohol and that he had “tried his best” to prevent problems.


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