Editorial February 2002

                            Well Done Gemma

What a great job Gemma did in the Editorial seat last month. The magazine was out on time and up to the usual standard. Not bad for a young lady not yet in her twenties.

February is here – According to Jimper the winter is over and there will be hose pipe bans this summer. From the way the rain has been falling in the last week this seems unlikely but he is usually proved to be right.

                   No Medieval Festival in 2002

News that the Rye Medieval Festival has been cancelled this year has underlined the difficulties in putting on such a show. There seems to be little co-operation on Rother’s part – all our traditional annual events have been whittled away over the years since the days of the old Borough. Will the Bonfire Society manage to put on a show this year? There must be some doubt if the grant from the E.E.C. Interreg fund is not forthcoming.

                               The Bright Side

On a brighter note the road works seem to have gone at last. Britain is free of foot & mouth disease and the airlines are reporting much increased bookings. Times are much more favourable for tourism in 2002 than they were a year ago. Visitors make up a big part of the lifeblood of Rye. Let us keep our fingers crossed for a much better year that will allow many of our struggling businesses to get back on their feet.

                         Keep the Pressure On

All those of us who love this town and wish it to be the safe place it has been over the years must continue to put pressure on those that control the Police Force to restore Rye’s Police Station to the excellent facility we knew in the past. Both with more officers, twenty-four hour foot patrols and round the clock access. There can be no excuse, the Government have just announced that by the spring they will have record numbers of officers on the books. We had fifty based on Rye and District, now we have eight. The mathematics do not hold up – where have our policemen gone?

“Rye’s Own” makes no apologies for continuing to return to the crisis of policing in Rye – Even contingency plans to allow our traffic warden to arrest people and hold them for up to 20 minutes does not hold water as the time taken for back up in the form of real policemen to arrive is usually greater than that. The odd policeman we see on the beat in this town is just a sop to public opinion. These patrols, although an improvement on the previous state of affairs when no foot patrols were carried out, are not sufficient. There needs to be twenty four hour patrols if the vandal and crime problems are to be contained. The country villages must have better cover too. Eight policemen means there are an average of one and a half on duty at any one time to cover Rye and the villages – How can this situation be allowed to continue?

Slashed tyres, broken windows, street fights, drug taking, major vandalism in the Gun Gardens, screaming and foul language in the streets in the small hours, graphite, break-ins, arson attempt, stabbings – the list is endless. This is Rye 2002. The time has come to return to sanity – Open our Police Station and fill it with officers.

These comments are no reflection on the policemen working at Rye. They do their best in an impossible position. The local villains are having a laugh at their expense.

“Rye’s Own” February 2002

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