Settling into the Ward, I was contacted by a local resident, Les, who asked for our support to set up a public meeting to discuss local residents’ concerns about local crime and policing worries in the Ward.
At the same time I was approached by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, to perform the role of his Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, something that fits my past experience in the Metropolitan Police.
The meeting was chaired by Alan Young from Neighbourhood Watch, and we were joined by officers from Cambridgeshire Police. We were able to identify a number of concerns, including:
- General lack of police presence and visible patrolling
- Concerns about males following women in the Wharf Road area and along the riverbank
- worries about recent reports of violent crime
- concerns about possible drug dealing from cars around the area
- Speeding in Belsize and Orton Avenues
- Parking problems
- Street drinking
We also discussed littering, the Council’s contract for trimming shrubs and grass-cutting and other issues of more relevance to the Council such as pest control problems, fly tipping, and a lack of street lighting.
These reports were passed on for investigation by the police. What was announced was the setting up of the Joint Enforcement Team in central Peterborough, and the desire to launch a Peterborough-Wide scheme later in the year. This brings together staff from Police, the Council ,Housing and Fire and Rescue together so that no matter the local complaint, a member of the team with the right skills and powers can deal with it then and there. A period of training and some legal work would be necessary before it would start.