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Increased patrols and penalties – Colchester Town Centre Action Plan reviews first months’ activity

Latest figures figures show how the multi-agency Town Centre Action Plan is contributing to tackling crime and ASB

Date issued: 21 December 2018

In a bid to crackdown on persistent issues in the Town Centre, including aggressive begging, street drinking and drug use/selling, figures from Colchester Borough Council show how its recently launched multi-agency Town Centre Action Plan (TCAP) is contributing to tackling criminal and anti-social behaviour.

Since its launch in August, a key element of the TCAP involves weekly meetings between Essex Police, Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes to discuss cases of individuals or groups involved in criminal activity or anti-social behaviour in the town.

Partners track and share harmful or concerning Town Centre activity, so that appropriate action can be taken. Where enforcement is not appropriate, partners collaborate with the wider partnership, including homelessness organisations and outreach workers, to seek alternative support.

Cllr Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Public Safety, said: “We are committed to a Better Colchester and are working hard with partners to ensure Colchester remains a welcoming and safe town. This unique partnership work is invaluable, and I am pleased to see positive results already beginning to emerge from the great work the TCAP is achieving.”

Since TCAP launched in August, the partnership has undertaken:

  • A dedicated 50 to 70 hours per week of patrols and activity focused on the Town Centre in relation to hotspots and individuals undertaking criminal and anti-social behaviour
  • Increased patrols by Police officers and Zone Wardens in hotspot areas such as St Botolph’s, the Priory and Town Centre car parks
  • Increased enforcement action against Anti-Social Behaviour with the issue of:
    • 4 x Acceptable Behaviour Orders
    • 25 x Community Protection Warnings
    • 6 x Community Protection Notices
    • 7 x FPN Fixed Penalty Notices

TCAP was further strengthened earlier this month with the recruitment by Essex Police of a dedicated Town Centre Team made-up of Special Constables, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and a Police Constable. This boosts the forces capability to patrol targeted hotspot areas, both with uniformed/specialist trained and non-uniformed officers.

Chief Inspector Shaun Kane, District Commander for Colchester, said: “We are working tirelessly with our partners to keep Colchester Town Centre safe. Our Community Safety family is working closely with the newly formed Team Ten, and extra officers continue to work during busy weekends throughout December to ensure people can enjoy a safe night out in Colchester.

“Concerns raised about rough sleepers and aggressive begging are also being addressed, with officers working closely with partners and support agencies to offer support to those who need it.”

TCAP is led by Colchester Borough Council’s Community Safety Team, a partnership between Colchester Borough Council, Essex Police, Colchester Borough Homes, Community 360, NHS, Essex Fire and Rescue Service and Colchester Garrison.

Members of the public are encouraged to report crime using the email address ColchesterCPT@essex.pnn.police.uk

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