MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE CRIME & SAFETY COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2007, 10:00-11:43 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 1 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL
PRESENT: Cllr R Dellow (Chairman), Cllrs M Irwin, C Wheatley, P Glew, V Wright (Chairman of the Council). Mrs P Raymond – Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer of Sedlescombe Parish Council. Co-opted members: Mrs S Martin, Mrs J Dellow, Mr R Glew. Also present: Wendy Anderson (Housing Officer, Orbit HA); Marion Shelley (Housing Assistant, Orbit HA); Liz King (Housing Assistant, Orbit HA); Craig Atkins (Community Officer, Orbit HA) PCSO Peter Crotch; Sue Manwaring (Youth Development Service – YDS)
CS07/08.24 Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Rand (working) and PC Cleverley (in London).
CS07/08.25 Declarations of interest. The Chairman invited members to declare personal or personal/prejudicial interests. None declared.
CS07/08.26 Public participation session with respect to items on the agenda. None.
CS07/08.27 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee be authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 19/10/07.
CS07/08.28 Communication with the Police.
1. Neighbourhood Policing Initiative. Members discussed briefly the Initiative proposed by Inspector Keating at the last C&S Meeting. Further contact with Inspector Keating is expected. At the meeting, the Committee had stressed the importance of communications between the Police and the Parish Council. Representatives of Orbit Housing Association and the YDS also need to be kept fully informed by the Police about incidents occurring in Sedlescombe especially if they can be linked to East View or youngsters the YDS are working with. It was noted that, recently, PCSO Crotch had been able to be at the School more often although without double yellow lines, he is not able to stop people parking in Brede Lane. That is, unless vehicles are causing an obstruction. (A request had been received from the headteacher for more PCSO support.) The Clerk informed the Committee that the Parish Council is currently working with Rother District Council to get the public car park made more user-friendly. A suggestion was made that the entrance to the car park should be resited next to the Doctors’ Surgery.
2. Neighbourhood Watch and its future. The Chairman expressed the concern of members of the NHW that communication with the Police is far from satisfactory. Members feel that they are neglected and disregarded. Sussex Police currently have no-one in charge of NHW and most schemes have closed. We know of only Northiam and Sedlescombe that are still in existence. There is now only one Crime Prevention Officer and 1 ASBO Officer to cover Hastings and Rother. The Ringmaster Scheme has been out of action for two years. Mrs Dellow, who is Chief Sedlescombe NHW Co-ordinator, asked PCSO Crotch to make regular contact with her for a two-way exchange of information. PCSO Crotch agreed to this.
3. Is there a future for Sedlescombe Parish Council Crime & Safety Meetings? The Chairman spoke of his concern that very little was being achieved by the Crime & Safety Committee Meetings, mainly because of the lack of communication with the Police. For example, the arrangement whereby PCSO Crotch was to contact a member of the Crime & Safety Committee on a monthly basis so that the member could accompany him around the Village had fallen by the wayside. PCSO Crotch agreed to contact Reg Glew in the near future.
It was agreed that matters of concern e-mailed between NHW/SPC to PC Jayne Cleverley should be copied to Craig Atkins at Orbit. He would pass any matters concerning the youth to the YDS. This would be followed, if found necessary, with a face to face meeting. It is important for results to be passed back to the originators. To be reviewed at the next C&S Meeting.
The situation whereby local residents feel happier phoning the Parish Council or NHW rather than other statutory bodies was discussed. It was suggested that if people see results they will be more willing to phone those bodies although fears of victimisation may still prevent this happening.
CS07/08.29 Report from PCSO. Peter Crotch reported two crimes and fly-tipping in October. There had been reports of youths gathering by the East View garages and seat outside the East View flats. Operation Temptation had included Sedlescombe during half term but no problems found – both Orbit and YDS representatives would have liked to have been informed about the Police operation.
On Saturday 3 November, there was a suspicious fire at the Scout Hut at East View resulting in the hut being badly damaged. PCSO Crotch had spoken to the young people, house-to-house had taken place and A-boards are being displayed in the Village asking for information. Rother Homes has been informed. Road signs have been thrown onto the roofs of garages at East View. The pub has been very popular over the last couple of weeks at Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night.
CS07/08.30 Report from Craig Atkins of Orbit Housing Association. Craig reported that he is no longer dealing with housing issues at East View. This task is now the responsibility of housing officer Wendy Anderson. He is still involved with community work and youth. He reported that, since the shelter was removed from the Kickabout Area, late-night drinkers do not seem to be around. He had only had two reports of young people targeting an ex-resident of East View with nuisance behaviour. This now appears to have ceased. The Clerk reported that there had been a spate of damage to Riverside play equipment since the shelter had been removed.
Craig reported that the East View play park equipment has been removed and should be replaced before Christmas.
CS07/08.31 Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
1. Incidents. The Chairman reported damage to the table at the Riverside, an assault where charges were not being pressed, an under-age driver, damage to the public phone in the box in The Street, a fire started at the Kickabout Area and damage to the fence.
2. What can be done about crime and anti-social behaviour locally? Sue Manwaring reported that Greg Barker MP will be meeting some young people on Friday evening to hear the other side of the story of alleged harassment at East View. Reg Glew was pleased to report that, whilst working in the portacabin at the sportsfield late afternoon last week, two PCSOs came in when they saw the light on.
3. Report of meeting of Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour Forum on 17/10/07. Mrs Dellow gave her report on this meeting which she had attended. Reg Glew had produced information sheets to inform residents of some of the issues raised at the meeting and these had been delivered by NHW co-ordinators. Those present had a discussion on Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) and the importance of parents supporting the various agencies involved.
CS07/08.32 Additional policing in the Village. The Chairman recapped that a local resident had offered to pay for additional PCSO support in Sedlescombe. In addition, the Parish Council has some money in a Fund earmarked for Village security.
It was proposed by Cllr Wright and RECOMMENDED: That the offer to pay for additional PCSO cover in Sedlescombe should only be accepted if bad behaviour in the Village increases (3 councillors in favour, 2 against).
It was proposed by Cllr Dellow: That a letter should be written to the benefactor thanking him and explaining the situation. This proposal did not receive any support.
It was proposed by Cllr Wright and RECOMMENDED: That informal contact should be made with the benefactor to explain the situation. (All 5 councillors in favour)
CS07/08.33 No Cold Calling Zones. The Clerk reported receipt of information from the Trading Standards Department of East Sussex County Council about setting up No Cold Calling Zones. It was agreed that residents consulted by the Police in the forthcoming Neighbourhood Policing Initiative could be asked whether they would like to have these Zones set up.