Agenda item

Responses to Public Questions Received and Open Discussion on Local Issues

(a)          Police Priorities

Minutes:

55.1.    The Chair introduced Inspector Weaver of the Central Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), who provided the following update on policing priorities:

Shoplifting in the Town Centre: A meeting was held with Ipswich Central to consider the greater involvement of the Street Rangers in the response to shoplifting and how shops report crime in order to free up Police Officers for deployment elsewhere.

Youth gangs and drug-related crime:  The new Gangs Co-ordinator for the multi-agency response to youth gangs and drug-related crime started in this role on 15 January 2018 on a 2-year secondment from the Youth Offending Service. The level of crime had currently subsided, most likely due to the wintry weather.

 

Street drinking/begging in town centre:  Early morning patrols were being undertaken in the town centre area to engage with homeless people and signpost them onto the appropriate agencies; the Help our Homeless initiative was trying to educate the public not to donate to homeless people or those begging, but to instead donate directly to the agencies dealing with these issues.

Prostitution: Operation Silverton had been set up as a result of recent intelligence and a multi-agency response was being put together with Turning Point, Health partners and Adult and Social Care to identify any women who might be getting drawn into prostitution in order to provide early intervention and support to tackle substance abuse issues and get them into safe accommodation.  The number of cases reported had increased, but there were still very few involved; people caught soliciting would have letters sent to their home address in the first instance.

 

55.2.    Councillor Lockington: Was the Urban Street Gang Unit a multi-agency team or just Police?
The Urban Street Gang Unit was established out of Operation Woven and comprised one Sergeant and 8 PCs; this team was now being overseen by the newly appointed Gangs Coordinator.

55.3.    Councillor Cook: Do the Street Rangers have citizen arrest powers in relation to shoplifting?
The Street Rangers have been asked what powers they currently had and how often they were used.  The Police would be providing training and support in order that they could be confident in using powers; in order to perform a citizen arrest, there must be certainty that an offence has been committed.

55.4.    The Chair reported that 2 questions/issues had been received in writing in advance of the meeting.

55.5.    Question 1: Local resident
“Every time it rains, a large puddle is formed outside the Nail Bar Shop and the Chinese Herbal Shop on St Matthews Street, opposite Tesco Express. Can anything be done to address this?”

Responsibility for drainage issues fell under the remit of Suffolk County Council and this issue had been referred to Suffolk County Council for a response.

55.6.    Question 2: Local resident
“There is some graffiti in the South Street Car Park on the wall opposite Gymnasium Street – if you go up Orford Street from Norwich Road, as you approach the South Street Car Park, it is on the wall to the left”.

This matter was referred to the Council’s Graffiti Squad and the graffiti has now been removed.

 

55.7.    Local resident: What has happened to the ‘No entry’ sign that was to be replaced at the end of Little Bramford Road?
Councillor Lockington reported that this was being progressed, but was waiting on the ‘Except cycles’ plate that would need to go under the ‘No entry’ sign.

55.8.    Local resident: Was there still a problem with motorcycles racing around St Matthews Street and Northgate Street?
Inspector Weaver commented that he was not aware of this issue being reported recently.