Torquay Chamber of Commerce, the Police and Torbay Council – Working together to clean up Torquay
The Torquay Chamber of Commerce is now insisting that the time has come for action, as well as words, to help promote a new and vibrant town, to support the forthcoming developments, which are due to commence very soon.
The Chamber’s Chair, Susie Colley, and Steve Thorne from Jane’s, met with Superintendent Capey from the Devon and Cornwall Police on 18th July 2018, to discuss how retailers and the Chamber can work together with the Police, the Council, and other agencies to address the issues affecting the town, which have become so contentious in the last few months.
The Chamber is fully aware of the following:
* Financial cuts in the services provided by the Council;
* Financial constraints on the Police;
* An increase in the town of “professional beggars” and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), including intimidation of shoppers and retailers.
Objectives and future and ongoing actions by the Police
* The police have a dedicated operation – Operation Roxbury – which is focussed on issues in the town.
* Operation Roxbury features as one of the main priorities within South Devon, and as such, resources are being re-deployed to support policing activity.
* Not all policing activity will be visible.
* The local neighbourhood team have initiated a problem profile, to ensure that they have an ongoing story board of activity.
* The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; has been reintroduced to allow the Police to exercise Dispersal Powers.
* For the summer period, a dedicated overtime budget has been secured to enhance the number of policing resources dedicated to town centre issues.
* The policing approach is looking at 3 main areas:
o Drug related issues;
o Associated criminality, such as shoplifting;
* The police are continuing to work closely with partners, such as the council, to make best use of legislation such as CBOs and s35 powers.
* 35 Misuse of Drugs Act Warrants in the past 6 months, that have a correlation to town centre related issues.
* The police will ensure that a Community Impact statement is given to Magistrates prior to sentencing those who are in Court – not prior to hearing the case, as that would jeopardise the sentence, but afterwards, so that the Magistrates are aware of the damage the miscreant has caused to the community.
* Regarding communication, Superintendent Capey has taken on board the comments in relation to the development of improved communication, and will ask Inspector Stevens to look into this.
* Regarding the use of the 101 system, the incident log, it is the intention to ask Sergeant Nichola Drury to develop an initial draft to share for comment. Please note however, that, as discussed, this should not be seen as an alternative to utilising 999 or 101 (including email to the force control room) where incidents occur, as this remains the most reliable method for spontaneous allocation of resources, and also creates an overview of incident levels, from which the force assesses demand.
Objectives and future and ongoing actions by the Chamber and Retailers
* Use the template to report ASB and minor crime etc on a daily basis (this template, which will be constructed by the Police, will be available for download from the Chamber’s website, and will be sent to all retailers).
* Using the template and sending it to the Police by email (the address will be on the form) will relieve the retailers of wasting time trying to use the 101 system.
* The Chamber will lobby Kevin Foster, Torquay’s Member of Parliament and leaders of the three political parties, for more funding and assistance, as Torquay is very near the top of the worst areas of deprivation in the country.
* The Chamber will ask Kevin Foster MP to ask the question, when next the House sits, as to when Austerity is to be lifted and are all MPs aware, that by cutting all the services, it will have an extremely long term detrimental effect on the country as a whole.