Use our council tax money to improve our security

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Having been the victim of a recent burglary incident, I have been in constant contact with the police, and I have found a shocking statistic - there have been 17 burglary incidents on our street (Hind Close, Cardiff. CF24 2EF) over the past 7 years! Yes, 55 households, 7 years, 17 burglaries! A figure that is crying for action, and NOTHING has been done so far by our council to stop this trend!

On top of burglaries, there have been countless incidents of anti-social behaviour in and around the area including throwing stones at people and throwing dog poos into the back gardens of various properties. Whilst these culprits are the ones who are mainly responsible, the council is also responsible to stop this from happening, or at the very least, not to encourage them!

This really begs a question: Is it safe to reside in this area? Does our council care about our safety at all? The 55 households pay a combined total of £100,000 worth of council tax per year, where have the council been spending our money on? Well, according to the Taxpayers' Alliance, Cardiff Council's chief executive pockets over £200,000 of salary per year, the tax that our street pays in total doesn't even cover the cost of half of that sum, and there are many more council employees with high salaries, no wonder they don't have enough money to care for the safety of our street even with just a corner of their eye.

One of the main concerns are the trees located in Tremorfa Park, adjacent to the properties on our street. I have made many complaints in the past regarding these trees, the trees are planted very closely to the back gardens of the properties, not only do they block the sunlight and causing a risk to the foundation of the properties with their roots, they also encourage intruders to climb into the gardens to burgle our properties.

However, those complaints were very impolitely turned down by the council. These are the exact words written in their replies:

I am sorry to hear about the issues you have had with burglaries of your property but the Council does not have any responsibility for the security of any private property that is located adjacent to Council park land. For this reason, the Council cannot assist you by installing additional fencing, lighting or security measures to improve the security your property. 

They do not put lighting in parks as it encourages anti-social behaviour and impacts negatively on the ecology of parks

It's an understatement to say that I am appalled by such reply, and would very much think that the majority of residents on our street would think the same too.

There is nothing much we can do to protect our properties, because:

1. We are not allowed to cut the trees down ourselves, as they are council owned and not belong to us.

2. We are not allowed to install anti-climbing fences around our gardens, as we will be charged if these fences cause injuries to intruders. Even when intruders do burgle our properties, so long as they do not attack us physically, we are not allowed to attack them either, we can only watch them as they take all our valuables away (what a sensible law!). By the time we get the police in they would have been gone for a long time.

3. We cannot do anything to the lack of street lighting both on our street and in the park, as however much more council tax we pay the money will be spent elsewhere.

We are proposing for the council to:

1. Install anti-climbing fences along the back of our properties.

2. Remove the council owned trees which are located far too close to our properties.

3. Increase the lighting both on the street and in the park.

4. Increase the policing around the area.

At the end of the day, we don't mind people earning high salaries within the council, as long as they carry their duties properly to ensure a safe and friendly environment for all Cardiff residents.

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