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Town centre phone boxes subjected to anti-social behaviour to be removed

Two town centre phone boxes which have been blighted by anti-social behaviour are to be removed.

Issues with the phone boxes on Lord Street had been raised to Ian Lucas MP by a number of local retailers.

Following on from the conversations with town traders, Mr Lucas raised the issue with BT during a face-to-face meeting in the Commons, setting out the retailers’ concerns.

After the meeting, BT confirmed to Mr Lucas via letter that they had reviewed previous decisions about the phone boxes and would now be removing them.

Their letter states: “I’m pleased to tell you we will remove the boxes.

“As you’ll appreciate, although this addresses the issues you’ve outlined relating to these two boxes, there is always a risk that this activity will move to other boxes.

“We work collaboratively with policing teams and other interested parties to support their efforts to reduce criminal and anti-social behaviour.”

The letter also sets out other steps that BT have taken – alongside local policing teams and others – to help tackle issues in the town centre around phone boxes.

Mr Lucas said: “I’ve seen the problems with these phone boxes with my own eyes and I know retailers had concerns about the impact they were having on Lord Street.

“BT’s willingness to listen and act on this issue after I raised concerns is very welcome – it is by working together to tackle problems like this that we will make progress.”

Additional efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Lord Street and King Street area have been ongoing for several months, with new CCTV cameras recently installed to help monitor the area.

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