Security guards to be employed at bus station waiting room to deter threatening and anti-social behaviour

Security guards are to be employed at a bus station waiting room so that it can stay open this winter and give people greater confidence to use it.

West Suffolk Council is continuing to work with Suffolk Police to tackle the issues of fighting, threatening behaviour, damage and anti-social behaviour that have been taking place at the waiting room at Bury St Edmunds Bus Station since March this year.

The incidents, the majority of which happen during the day, have been caught on CCTV with police alerted and evidence provided for any crimes committed.

Cllr David Taylor, Cabinet Member for Operations at West Suffolk Council, said: “People have reported feeling unsafe and the continuous issues of crime and anti-social behaviour taking place in and around the waiting room is a serious issue which needs to be resolved. That is why I announced last week my intention to close the waiting room.

“But I believe politicians should be prepared to listen, and I have listened and taken on board the concerns raised.

“And so, we will not be closing the waiting room on 1 November. Instead, we are putting in security to give the public greater confidence in using this facility. We are not putting a time limit for how long we will put security in place for at this stage. It will be for at the very least the winter period, while other work takes place in tandem to try to address these issues.”

At the same time, the Leader of West Suffolk Council Cllr Cliff Waterman has met with Bury St Edmunds police.

“We want to continue to work with and support police in any way that we can in tackling this issue,” Cllr Waterman said.

“It cannot be right that we are faced with closing public facilities because of the criminal and anti-social behaviour acts of a few.

“Alongside this we will be looking at the long-term future of the part of the bus station and how this part of the town centre can be improved to offer a better experience to people arriving in what is, despite the actions of this tiny minority, a beautiful and wonderful town to live and work in.”

Bury St Edmunds police inspector Andy Beeby, said: “We want to ensure our community feels safe and confident in reporting these issues to us. We do not under-estimate the negative impact it has on residents, including their mental well-being.

“The responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour is shared between several agencies, particularly the police, councils, and housing providers and Suffolk Constabulary is continuing to work closely with West Suffolk Council on this matter to find a solution.”