Thursday, June 09, 2005

PCCG call for night closure of Sir Herbert Miles Road

As an antidote to rowdiness * road has become a racing track, says Bautista

The Police Community Consultative Group has called for weaknesses in the legal system that interfere with the police’s pro-active role in the prevention of offences to be addressed.

Among other issues raised was a proposal by PCCG chairman Joe Bautista for “a radical solution” to deal with anti-social behaviour, night-time rowdiness and motorcycle and car speeding particularly at Sir Herbert Miles road at weekends.

“Perhaps,” he said, “the answer lies in closing off the area to newcomers after sunset and allowing access thereafter only to certain persons and defined purposes. I am taking a leaf from what’s been done for the Port area.”

The main danger, he continued, was “the loss of life and personal injury” that can result from racing vehicles as well as the health hazards created by littered broken glass bottles on the road and pavement.

Speaking at the annual general meeting on Monday, Mr Bautista also identified the increase in anti-social behaviour in private housing estates as the most disturbing feature, and noted the seriousness of the recent arson attack at Westside 1, which he declined to mention by name in deference to residents.

In his intervention, Mr Bautista whose group is totally apolitical, said some of the difficulties faced by police included requiring permission from the managers to patrol private estates, and suggested that the installation of CCTV cameras within these areas, as part of their own security arrangements would mitigate the problem. “Moreover, certain acts committed within private estates, for example, speeding and unlicensed driving, are not in law the offences they would be elsewhere,” explained Mr Bautista.

Other important concerns identified were: speeding by youth; the jumping of traffic lights at Regal House; reckless overtaking of the queues there and at the zebra crossings in the Waterport fountain area, by motor cycles using the wrong side of the road; the weaving in and out of such queues by motor cyclists, in certain instances with young children clinging to their backs; the blocking of entrances to one of the private estates by parked motorcycles at school opening and closing hours; indiscriminate parking by parents collecting children from School creating havoc to the traffic flow and frustration to other users - bordering on road rage; pedestrian safety: more zebra crossings at busy points, for example, at the BP Station/Cross of Sacrifice, or at the triple junction of Scud Hill/Cumberland Road/Rosia Road; poor road markings.

Mr Bautista declared:

“Clearly these issues can best be dealt by improved policing, while the installation of CCTV cameras at strategic points would help catch culprits and put a brake on these practices - as it would for the problems faced at the Regal House traffic lights.”


And he added that the issue of indiscriminate parking by parents at school collection times were the result of deficient planning.

No immediate plans, say Royal Gibraltar Police

The RG Police has not examined the viability of this proposal and there are no plans to give it immediate consideration, a police spokesman said yesterday in reply to Chronicle questions.

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