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Abandoned car being used as 'drugs den' in Peterborough

Residents and businesses have raised concerns of an abandoned vehicle left in a Lincoln Road car park off Windmill Street, describing it as ‘a drugs den’.
Residents and local businesses have raised concerns of an abandoned car in an Iceland store car park on Lincoln Road, calling it a 'drugs den'. (Picture: Mohammed Sayeed)

The area has also been blighted by large amounts of flytipping, especially the car park.

Mohammed Sayeed who runs a pizza joint on Lincoln Road and also works for voluntary organisation Community First brought this to Peterborough Matters' attention. 

He said: “This car has been left in the Iceland car park for months. It has been reported previously as well but nothing! No one responded. 

“It's a total disregard for this community. The car is being used to sleep rough by some people, we believe there are three of them. It's attracting anti-social behaviour including drug taking. 

“There is so much flytipping around this car, and around the car park, but nothing ever gets done. There's a camera in the car park that is monitored regularly. I can say that because if you park and don't pay, you straight away get sent a fine.

"So why isn't anyone monitoring these anti-social activities and taking action?" 

Members of public have also complained of large amounts of flytipping in the area, especially the car park.

Labour Councillor for North Ward Ansar Ali had initially expressed disappointment on the situation, but has confirmed progress is being made by relevant authorities.

Speaking to Peterborough Matters Mr. Ali said: " I received several complaints from residents about the antisocial activities and flytipping that are happening in the area. They are disappointed as they say they have been reporting these incidents but don't get enough responses.

“All through lockdown, I have been getting complaints of social distancing not been followed in the area but there has been no policing. There is so much flytipping and rubbish in the area. 

“Residents are very upset and fed up now.

"Although, I am pleased to say, at this occasion, I have got a positive response from the council and police who are looking into it. The council have visited the site and I believe have also engaged with an individual believed to be sleeping rough in the car and offered him support. An officer who works in the rough sleeper outreach department has attended the scene. They are looking to remove the vehicle if it's not moved by the owner.

"So some progress has been made. But I am urging residents to continue their reporting of any incidents. I would also like to thank them for bringing me light on this incident. I believe the community needs to work collectively to address these issues, going forward as well."

Peterborough City Council has placed a notice on the car, informing that it will be removed if the owner takes no action himself.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: "The council are aware of the suspected abandoned vehicle parked in a car park off Windmill Road. After visiting the site Friday morning, the enforcement team have placed a notice on the vehicle and scheduled its removal should the owner not come forward. 

"We will continue to liaise with the land owners to ensure they arrange clearance of any fly tipping and litter.

"The enforcement team were accompanied by our Rough Sleeper Outreach team who have been engaging with an individual found to be sleeping inside the vehicle. The individual had previously been offered emergency accommodation by the city council, and we are happy to work with them to enable them to re-access this accommodation.

"Nobody in Peterborough has to sleep rough, and we will continue to work towards providing all with suitable emergency accommodation."

The city MP, Paul Bristow has also tweeted about this issue, calling the abandoned car an 'eyesore' and a ' magnet for anti-social activity'. He has contacted Iceland foods to take action and help keep crime at bay.

In a statement Mr Bristow: " I have written to Iceland Foods to raise concerns of the abandoned car in one their branch car parks on Lincoln Road.

"Residents have informed, this is being used as a drugs den. This car is a magnet for anti-social behaviour and drug taking, impacting residents and local businesses.

"I have told them it needs to be removed as a matter of priority and have also informed the police of this incident."

Cambridgeshire Police have also confirmed they are ware of the situation and are coordinating with relevant authorities.

A spokesperson for the police said: "We are aware of an abandoned car on private land in the car park at Iceland on Lincoln Road, Peterborough and are working with partners, including the local authority, to get the vehicle removed from the area.

"Anyone with any concerns regarding the vehicle should report these online or call 101."

Peterborough Matters reached out to the management of the car park, run by Horizon parking. However, we haven't been successful with a response. We were sent an automatic reply, informing us, that it could take up to 35 days to reply to our email.