Opinion: ‘Peterborough’s seven not very deadly sins’

The Peterborough Telegraph’s Nigel Thornton writes...

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 6:45 pm
A cyclist is stopped in Bridge Street. (PT archive image)

Reading the Peterborough Telegraph over the last few weeks it struck me how little progress has been made tackling those anti-social menaces that blight so many people’s lives.

Week after week, year after year, the same issues crop up.

Most are illegal, albeit right at the lower end of the scale, but unfortunately the authorities – city council, police, central government – lack the will or the resources or perhaps both to tackle them.

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I’ve compiled a list below of the seven not very deadly sins.

Many of you will find some of them trivial and petty (some I do too) and there will be others that make your blood boil.

In no particular order here we go.


The law is pretty clear here. It says you must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for:Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight; New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

A wedding or birthday or some other celebration is not a valid reason - yet in Peterborough it is becoming a regular occurance.

Noise annoys and for many it’s unacceptable particularly those with pets. Someone needs a rocket up their ****.

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 1.

2. Out of control dogs

... talking of pets. The law is a bit more woolly on this as dogs have to be ‘dangerously’ out of control.

Which is one of those legal nonsenses as being out of control must mean there is a level of danger.

But it’s one of my pet hates (and I’m a dog lover) to have a strange hound bound up to me while its owner usually some distance behind calls out cheerily ‘ he won’t hurt you’’ having failed to get the dog to obey to their command not to charge at you!

In other words they haven’t got any control and they’re just hoping their mutt won’t do any damage.

The law should take a, er lead, and demand dogs must be on a lead in public places.

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 0.

3. Parking

We have too many cars and not enough room to park them. But that doesn’t excuse the lazy chancers who dump their cars where they like (including Peterborough’s pedestrianised city centre). They drive me mad.

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 2.

4. Car cruising

A relative newcomer but one that has shot to the top of the list for many of the good people of Orton and Woodston. The powers that be seem very reluctant to get involved seemingly viewing it as a fairly harmless hobby.

But nobody’s hobby should involve keeping residents awake in the wee small hours. It’s not as if they’re training to defend the country!

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 2.

5. Cycling and cyclists

I have to declare an interest as I’m a keen cyclist (I’m also a motorist and pedestrian). Ironically some cyclists seethe about how motorists treat them on roads while riding like idiots on paths shared with pedestrians.

Being on a bike doesn’t make you morally superior to everybody else – especially if you’ve not mastered ringing a bell.

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 2.

6. Littering

This is the biggie - as it’s not only an irritant it also threatens our very existence. If we don’t start dealing better with waste issues we’re in big trouble. A sofa dumped in Dogsthorpe or a sweet wrapper littering Longthorpe might just be a drop in the ocean.

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 3.

7. Non mask wearers

Who doesn’t hate wearing a mask?

I know I do but it outrages me when people don’t wear them in crowded indoor places particularly shops. Maybe you’re double jabbed, maybe the risk is low but just show some respect for others, particularly the shop staff.

Authorities attempt to deal with this (out of 10) 1.