Agenda item

Responses to Public Questions Received and Open Discussion on Local Issues

(a)          Police Priorities

Minutes:

57.1.    The Chair introduced Inspector Richard Burton of the Ipswich Central Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), who provided the following policing updates:

57.2.    SNT websites: Due to Police Officers frequently being posted elsewhere or seconded onto other operations, only the Inspector and Sergeants were listed on the SNT websites, otherwise these webpages would become out of date very quickly.  A new Community Engagement Officer, Dominic Woodmansee, would be starting with the Ipswich Central SNT on 1 April 2019, and his contact information would also be added to the SNT website and social media.
With regards to out-of-date newsletters, a paper was currently being considered by the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) that would seek to cancel the current SNT newsletters and replace them with a county-wide newsletter, “Constables County”.

57.3.    Priorities: Additional patrols have been undertaken in the Old Cattle Market/St Stephens Lane area in response to reports of aggressive begging and street drinking related anti-social behaviour, resulting in 4 Community Protection Notices (CPNs) being served; as a result of partnership work with Ipswich Central, the number of known street beggars in the town centre has reduced from 50 to 19.

57.4.    Work was ongoing to disrupt county lines operations, especially in relation to the premises of vulnerable young people.  Operation Sceptre has been set up to target knife crime, with additional patrols and weapons sweeps taking place to help tackle youth-related violence, in addition to educational programmes being delivered by schools and Suffolk County Council (SCC) on knife crime awareness.  Since the introduction of knife amnesty bins in Suffolk in 2011, over 20,000 bladed items have been deposited and in Central Ipswich, there were knife bins located on Princes Street and by Jubilee Park.

57.5.    Councillor Gibbs asked about the latest position of the court case for the murder of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens. 
Inspector Burton reported that all the evidence had been summed up and the jury was now considering its verdict in relation to the 6 defendants.  There was no intelligence of any Police threat at this stage, but the Police had allocated SNT Officers to provide public reassurance when the verdict was announced.

57.6.    Councillor Cook commented that with only the Sergeants being displayed on the SNT website, it was not possible to see the level of resource allocated to the SNT.
Inspector Burton commented that it was the Inspector and Sergeants who would allocate tasks across the SNT, and to add all the other Officers could result in the website becoming out of date very quickly.

57.7.    Councillor Cook asked what the current resource available to the Ipswich Central SNT was.
Inspector Burton reported that the SNTs each had 3 Sergeants and 5 PCs, plus there was a total of 3 PCSOs, 1 Link PC and 1 Community Engagement Officer, who was due to start on 1 April 2019.

57.8.    Councillor Kreidewolf asked whether some police enforcement could be considered for Anglesea Road/Orford Road/Warrington Road area now that the 20mph speed limit scheme had been implemented.
Inspector Burton reported that he would request that the Road Traffic Unit undertake some speed awareness work in this area.

57.9.    Councillor Reynolds asked whether the knife amnesty bins were moved to different locations to help reduce the number of bladed weapons. 
Inspector Burton reported that a number of knife bins had been installed since 2011 and bids could be made to fund further bins; the current number of bins was considered sufficient, but they only covered certain locations.

57.10.Councillor Lockington commented that a resident had reported people driving into the town centre on a Sunday to beg as there was less Police and town centre security about, and asked whether there was any possibility of more Police resource being made available on Sundays. 
Inspector Burton highlighted that not all street beggars were homeless and that Police Officers did work on Sundays, but he would allocate some resource to address this.

57.11.Councillor Leeder commented that last year’s policing in the parks during the summer had been successful and had given the public reassurance. Councillor Leeder asked whether a similar action was being planned for this summer, and if so, whether it could start earlier this year.
Inspector Burton commented that the crime statistics relating to violence with injury had highlighted that most of these incidents had taken place in public places, especially parks, and confirmed that Operation Parkland would be repeated this summer.

57.12.Local resident (St Margaret’s Neighbourhood Watch): Could the Police attend the next quarterly Neighbourhood Watch (NW) meeting taking place next week on Park Road, as there were usually 30 NW schemes represented at these meetings?
Inspector Burton reported that this was one of the engagement events that the new Community Engagement Officer would be involved with and he would be tasked to attend the next meeting in June 2019.