Date issued: 19 September 2019
A year ago, Colchester Borough Council invested over £300,000 in a plan to tackle antisocial behaviour and to make the centre of Colchester an even safer place.
The Town Centre Action Plan (TCAP) was created in a partnership with Essex Police, who match funded the scheme. A team of police and officers from Colchester Borough Homes was set up to work alongside the council’s Neighbourhood Team to combat issues like street drinking and aggressive begging.
Now, a total of 15 organisations work together to tackle anti-social behaviour and support rough sleepers.
During the period between January and June 2019, 47 people were supported into accommodation and 195 contacts made through the Street Link app. Two Criminal Behaviour Orders were issued to a prolific beggar and one person for graffitiing, and 35 arrests were made in the town centre relating to anti-social behaviour, burglary and graffiti.
The TCAP team has also worked to create a better environment by installing 14 on-street recycling bins in the town centre and Castle Park and supported the council’s Gum Drop campaign.
Councillor Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “The Town Centre Action Plan partnership is having a positive impact on anti-social behaviour in the town centre. Although the work continues, we are now receiving substantially less complaints than six months ago. I hope the people of Colchester feel reassured that we are taking this seriously. I’d like to thank all our partners and organisations who work together to make a Better Colchester.”
Colchester district commander, Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston, said: “The close partnership has ensured that we can provide a range of interventions to vulnerable people to support them off the streets, and provide lasting support mechanisms. Working together we provide a more visible presence and the partners can bring a range of powers to reduce crime and combat anti-social behaviour making Colchester safer and reducing the fear of crime for residents, businesses, and visitors.”
Cllr Mike Lilley added: “This isn’t the end of our efforts; the council is committed to continue the great work happening in the town centre. We will also be launching our new Rural Crime Toolkit in October, which will provide guidance on identifying problems, practical solutions, preventative measures and funding opportunities for those living in more rural areas of the borough.”