This report sets out information in respect of the requests of the Committee to address such matters as ‘Operation Spider’ and town centre policing, the extent and activity of ‘watch’ groups in the District and the work of the reconstituted Multi-Agency Co-ordination Panel in respect of addressing a range of criminal and anti-social behaviours.
The Committee heard that Essex Police, through funding by the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) had given all districts permission to recruit a Town Centre Team (TCT). The TCT for Clacton consists of one police sergeant, a number of police constables and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
Tendring TCT had been utilised to tackle four (4) broad issues in the centre in collaboration with community safety partners (including various TDC departments, Open Road, Phoenix Futures, Anglia Care Trust, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Peabody).
These issues were:
· Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in all its forms – street drinking, homelessness (specifically begging within homelessness), poor behaviour. – Op Luscombe (Led by Tendring District Council) commencement date 18th September 2020.
· Day Time Economy - Shoplifting, hate crime and pick pockets.
· County Drug Lines – drug dealing, carriage of weapons, the effects criminally from being an addict and High Harm violence through turf disputes or debt collection.
· Night Time Economy – High Harm (HH) through drunken violence.
Members were informed that Policing of the Town Centre and specifically ASB had become everyday business. TDC had employed an ASB Patrol Officer since August 2019. He was embedded within the TCT and worked predominantly from Clacton Police Station, working the same shifts as the TCT. From September 18th the ASB Patrol Officer would play a vital sign-posting role in , a multi-agency initiative providing support to people that had been found in Clacton Town centre, rough sleeping, street drinking or were suspected of begging in a public place.
Identified individuals would be invited to attend an Intervention Hub at Trinity Methodist Church, Pier Avenue, Clacton on Sea. The Hub would have representatives from Rough Sleeper outreach workers, TDC Homelessness Team, Health and Wellbeing services, Support Agencies, Charities and Drugs and Alcohol referral services. Attendees would have been able to have sought help in matters that may have been causing them to offend or any matters that were concerning them. All discussions would be private and confidential.
The report outlined that in 2019, TDC contributed funding to the police to support Operation Spider; an initiative to provide high visibility patrols within Clacton town centre. In 2020 no such funding request had been received. However, the Council had provided, at the request of the police, funding of £5K to support special projects run by the TCT to address the four issue areas as outlined above and especially to tackle ASB in the town in all its forms. The special projects for that activity were due to commence in the autumn of 2020. At the time of the report, details of the projects were still to be confirmed.
Tendring had various ‘watch groups’ such as Neighbourhood Watch (NHW), Frinton Residents Group and Pub Watch. In addition there were other watches including Farm Watch and Horse Watch but at that time it was unclear as to how active those groups were. Although the Community Safety partnership did not meet with these groups on an individual basis, regular contact was maintained through other means; the key one of which was the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) which met on a quarterly basis. In addition, plans had been made to have a separate meeting with the NHW however that has been delayed as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.
The watch groups were intended to facilitate a two way flow of information.
After some discussion it was AGREED the Committee noted this report.
This was moved by Councillor Miles and seconded by Councillor V Guiglielmi.
It was also AGREED that the Committee would receive, an update in terms of the progress made by Operation Luscombe.
This was moved by Councillor V Guiglielmi and seconded by Councillor Miles.