Mr Shammi Jalota and Mr Jamie Clarke, Trustees of the Ipswich
Community Church, highlighted the challenges faced by the Church
being located in a very deprived part of the town, but it had built
a good relationship with its immediate neighbours and had operated
as a night shelter and soup kitchen, in addition to providing free
English classes to people for whom English was not their first
Over the last 18 months, there has been considerable antisocial
behaviour and drug issues outside the front of the church, which
had been reported to the Police and other agencies, but it was
still causing anxiety to the local community. The proposed security measures would ease the
tension of neighbours whilst still allowing the church to be
opened up to enable community activities
to be provided and in time raise the level of aspiration of young
people in the area.
A planning application had been submitted to the Council for the
proposed works and funding had already been secured from the Police
and Crime Commissioner and from SCC Locality Budgets, and funding
was being requested to cover the shortfall of
Councillor Riley asked how high the proposed fencing would
The fencing would be at head height, and whilst people could potentially climb over it, it would not be easy to do so and should provide a safe zone around the grounds of the church. The fencing would be decorative and in keep with other fencing in the vicinity. Inspector McParland reported that the designs had been drawn up in consultation with the Police’s Design Out Crime Officer to minimise opportunity for antisocial behaviour and the fencing would comply with the ‘Safer by Design’ principles.
Councillor Rae commented that needles could still be deposited
through the fencing and added that the fencing could merely
displace problems elsewhere.
Whilst this was a possibility, further work would be done to provide diversionary activities at the Church.
Councillor Rae asked whether this was more of a law enforcement
issue and therefore a matter for the Police.
The antisocial behaviour issues required a multi-agency approach involving the Church, the Police and other agencies.
Councillor Cook commented that the drug paraphernalia found outside
the church was probably due to drug using taking place in the
churchyard and added that the security fencing could act as a
deterrent and would enhance the amenity of the area, subject to
planning permission being granted.
Councillor Jones commented that whilst the fencing might displace
the drug-taking and antisocial behaviour elsewhere, it was
important to protect this community space.
Mr Rod Stone, Senior Church Leader, commented that the existing
fencing had been erected as a last resort to deter the antisocial
behaviour. CCTV had been installed in
the area in 2012, but had had minimal
impact. The current HERAS fencing was not secure and was easy to
get round, resulting in public nuisance
on the premises. The proposed secure fencing would incorporate
sliding gates at the front of the church to enable the premises to
be used by the community.
Councillor Cook proposed that the funding be approved subject to
planning permission being granted and this was agreed.
that the Central Area Committee approve funding of £2,440 from the Central Area Committee budget to Ipswich Community Church as a contribution towards the installation of security fencing, subject to planning permission being granted for the proposed works.
Reason: To contribute towards the installation of increased security measures at Ipswich Community Church in an effort to deter anti-social behaviour and remove opportunities for criminal activity to occur.