No crime at Oxney Road

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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Let’s face it the Oxney Road area of Peterborough has had more problems than most places in the city.

From shootings at the travellers’ site to the scandal of empty homes at Heron Park and from car crashes to flytipping, it’s recent history does not make for pleasant reading not least for the long-suffering residents in the area.

The area is back in the news for the wrong reason again after a spate of car fires turned a field into a scene resembling a war zone.

This is not a new problem – a quick look in our archives reveals car fires in the field dating back to 2009 – but for some reason it seems to have reached epidemic levels just recently.

Not for the first time, the police reaction to this lawless behaviour seems puzzling to say the least.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire constabulary said the police have not bothered to get involved because no crime has been reported even though in the same breath they admit they are aware of what’s happening in Kabul, er sorry Oxney Road!

It sounds like a big cop-out (literally)to me.

No doubt one reason is that all this non-crime has taken place on private land.

But if the police are aware of it have they checked whether or not any of the cars were stolen? Or perhaps all the cars belonged to people who just wanted to toast some marshmallows. And what about the criminal damage to the land – ie the very serious crime of arson?

Still let’s be positive at least it’s all been cleared upthanks to the generosity of Peterborough Council Tax payers.

Once again the authorities have shown themselves to be either unable or unwilling, or both, to tackle this sort of behaviour which makes ordinary people despair.

Oxney Road has had more problems than most areas of the city, but really these are problems for us all.

Swim for your life

Never mind the Zika virus or gun-toting street robbers the scariest thing about the Rio Olympics is in the swimming pool.

You wouldn’t get me in the water when there’s a 100m butterfly about.

Grass is greener

News that Peterborough City Council had been shortlisted for “Council Of The Year’’ predictably provoked some ungracious comments on the PT’s website and Facebook page.

I admit that my first reaction was that winning such an award was akin to being theTallest Dwarf or Healthiest Glaswegian.

But on reflection I decided that was too harsh - the council is being recognised as one of the best in the country (and perhaps the best) it is churlish not to congratulate them for that.

This view was underlined when I read a story on the Mail Online about a council who had threatened to charge a pensioner with criminal damage for cutting the grass outside his home.

Robert Wall (71) has mowed the strip of council-owned grass for four years.

Mind you he’s got previous as in his ‘life of crime’ he’s been caught painting fence posts.

A spokesman for Havering Council said: “Mr Wall does a grreat job of cutting the grass and it’s appreciated.

“However, he had to bemade aware that a few of his actions combined could be seen as criminal damage. Cutting the grass on council land was not considered in isolation.’’

Talk about verging on the ridiculous.

It’s only a game

With a proud history my team Leeds United have won many trophies, but it’s been a while since we’ve had to make space in the cabinet.

Finally, we have a new trophy to celebrate after last week’s opening championship programme.

It’s called “The Fastest Extinquishing Of Hope For A New Season Trophy.’’

We won it after four minutes and thirty four seconds of our opening game when our ex-England keeper flapped at a loose ball and watched it dribble into the back of the net.

A door opens

The planned move of the post office to the WH Smith store in Bridge Street is going to leave a big hole in Cowgate but hopefully there will be a silver lining and the new tenant will insist that the doors work at its new home.

Seating plan

If sport and the Olympics doesn’t float your boat you could always head to Belton House near Grantham next month for an “Exhibition Of Lincolnshire Chairs’’.

We’re getting up a coach party fromTelegraph Towers.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

I’ve been married to Mrs T for seven years and been with her for many more so I don’t expect her to be at a fever pitch of excitement when I walk through the door after a hard day’s grind at Telegraph Towers.

But I do wish Preschooler T would be interested enough at my return home to avert her gaze from Horrid Henry on the telly for just a minute. She seems to have perfected teenage indifference very early in life.

At least Toddlernator the Terrible is pleased to see me. Every evening he comes hurtling down the hall bare chested (I don’t know why he never seems to have a shirt on) arms raised and fists clenched like he’d just scored a last minute winner at Wembley.

“Daddeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,’’ he shouts. It melts my hardened journalist’s heart but sadly after this initial burst of enthusiasm he joins his sister and mum in barely acknowledging my existence.