Anti Social Behaviour and Vandalism

May 18, 2006 by  

I recognised the issue of policing in my election address as a matter of concern not just for Hawkwell but the whole Rochford District. This is not just an issue for Hawkwell or its representives to address alone.

The situation will not be improved across the District unless the whole District Council acts and obtains the level of policing we require from the newly merged Rayleigh and Southend Division. As I said in my election address the Council is still awaiting the Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Folkard to come to a Council Meeting and explain the basis of resourcing we have and challenge that is insufficient.

In the meantime I have advised Essex Police again, and just a few weeks ago, of the concerns of residents about young people coming into Hockley and Hawkwell by train because they have been dispersed by law from Rochford. There have been joint operations between the Transport Police and Essex Police at Hockley Rail Station in the past and I have asked that this operation be renewed. I have also asked Essex Police to increase patrols in Hawkwell.

The matter of Dispersal Powers was raised during the election and by many residents that I met. Only the Police have the legal power to request Dispersal Orders, not local councillors as the Labour Candidate suggested (indeed the Labour Candidate said that “While neighbouring villages have had dispersal orders, Hawk¬well has missed out. The Police say that dispersal orders were not supported by Ward Councillors”. Not True. After the trial the Police did not request continuation because of the low level of reported incidents in Hawkwell. If the police request Dispersal and Curfew Orders then I shall be consulted and I will agree to the request because that is what the people who elected me require having spoken to so many during the election.

Dispersal Order Powers are part of a toolkit of measures that the police may draw upon. They can only be applied where the evidence indicates they might be appropriate. In the first instance, based on supporting evidence, the Police identify areas for Dispersal Area powers. They then have to approach the Council for agreement to those areas. Once agreed the Dispersal Area powers come into operation and are enforced by the Police. In 2004 the Police put forward a number of areas in the District for Dispersal Orders, which only operate for a limited timeframe. These were agreed by the Council and then came into operation over the summer months. I have to say that an analysis of their effectiveness showed that in many cases they were not as effective as hoped. Last summer the Police decided to look at a more concentrated approach and put forward only one area for Dispersal Order Powers targeting part of Rayleigh for the Council’s agreement, which was given.

District Councillors have very little direct involvement in the way the police carry out their responsibilities in Hawkwell. As I said earlier I can agree to Dispersal Orders if they wish to apply for them. The Chairman of the Police Authority is a County Councillor, Robert Chambers. Perhaps you could also raise your concerns about policing with your County Councillor, Tracey Chapman.

Hawkwell Parish Council have a representative on the Rochford District Crime and Disorder Partnership. He is Councillor Alan James.

I am sure that if you also make all the elected Councillors for Hawkwell aware of your concerns that together, as a team, each doing as I am doing all I can, then the community as a whole can improve the position once again.



5 Responses to “Anti Social Behaviour and Vandalism”
  1. John Mason says:

    I e-mailed our County Councillor as follows;

    “I would support Dispersal and Curfew Orders at Clements Hall and ALL
    of the surrounding roads if the Police would apply. This is what
    residents want.

    Tracey, please support me in this and ask the Police via Robert
    Chambers to apply for the powers. The number of complaints is
    escalating despite my requests for help. Why can’t we stop them
    coming in at Hockley Station? ”

    This is the reply from our County Councillor on 14 May 2006

    “Will find out the facts and options and get back to you.”

  2. John Mason says:

    Inspector Andy Parkman advised a resident who was concerned about this issue in the Clements Hall Playing Field Area.

    “Thanks for drawing the specifics here to my attention. I am aware of some broader issues occurring in Hockley around Southend Road and Main Road and given the proximity of Clements Hall, the events may be a displacement effect although it is truly difficult to know for sure.
    I am hopeful that the introduction of Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) across Essex will improve our ability to tackle such incidence (we have essentially switched our resources around to put 70% of our strength into NPT’s whereas historically the majority of our officers worked on 24/7 response cover duties).
    Your comments about CCTV are quite timely – only yesterday I was sent details of a piece of kit that can be deployed into vulnerable locations – although we have always had a police camera surveillance capacity, it has tended to be of a covert nature. I have attached a PDF of the piece of kit we will be looking at in the near future but the cost ranges between £7,000 to £12,000 per unit! Should we secure one of these, I have no doubt it will attract widespread usage although CCTV will always have limitations.
    I will forward your e mail to Sgt Gary Rogers who is the new NPT sergeant in charge of the Hockley NPT – you may take heart from the fact that he has already deployed his officers on plain clothes duties in the Hockley area already to tackle some of the issues you refer to and I know he has plans for further efforts in the very near future.”

    The resident asked me to find out about funding for CCTV.

    This is my reply;

    “Hello Andy,

    I have this advice from Paul Warren who is Chair of the CDRP – Crime and Disorder and Reduction Partnership.

    The Police have what is called a bcu funding allocation and the CDRP also has an allocation of funding. Both allocations are now targetted specifically to actions outlined in the Action Plans linked to the Crime and Disorder Strategy and the targets emerging from the Local Area Agreement process around community strategy. With the neighbourhood policing initiative about to kick off, certain funds have been set aside to pump prime specific targetted approaches across the district looking at particular hotspots in Hockley, Hawkwell, Rochford, Rayleigh, Great Wakering, etc in addition to work already underway re youth diversionary activity, getting into schools and particular classes, targetting specific young people and their parents, etc. CCTV is a tool but even the Home Office question its effectiveness. Also, the kit has moved on and cables are not always required.I’m sure that if the police think this particular piece of kit is useful it will come up in those discussions re what further needs to be done in the targetted area discussions.

    I shall be obliged if you would consider this.”

  3. admin says:

    Residents in Hockley want the Southend Road Car Park closed by gate at night to stop joy riders.

    I have raised this with Officers at RDC who are not in favour because
    of commuter parking or other residents that park but come back late.

    I don’t agree that this is a bar to this measure.

    As a resident wrote when I told them the news “There is a car park at the railway which has space. The Hockley car park is for the users of the town centre and at that time of night, no one would be using it. RDC keep the car park openfor revenue purposes only. To me this is not a cash decision but rather,a quality of life decision for those affected. ”

    I will raise with Hockley Parish Council who want the car park to be gated.

    John Mason

  4. admin says:

    Hawkwell Parade

    Christine and I are also Members of Hawkwell Parish Council.

    We are obviously concerned about the nuisance being caused by young people at Hawkwell Parade. Equally the young people of Hawkwell are complaining about the behaviour of the influx from Rochford causing trouble. We have made our local police officers aware of that situation and asked them to help the Hawkwell young people deal with this before there is confrontation.

    Hawkwell Parish Council asked the CDRP (Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership) for funding for a CCTV Camera. This was refused.

    I have asked Hawkwell Parish Council to consider a 50/50 basis with the retailers on a total cost of around £1000.

    The retailers do not wish to deploy a Mosquito because of health and safety issues.

    John Mason

  5. admin says:

    Here ia a response from Conservative County Councillor Tracey Chapman

    John, we are taking this very seriously and have had discussions with the police and Rochford DC. Through the CRDP (Crime Reduction and Disorder Partnership, Chaired by Paul Warren, Chief Executive of RDC) we will decide what is the most appropriate action to take (i.e. if a dispersal order is appropriate or identifying the key individuals who are causing the problems and possibly doing some specific work with them, alternatively they will decide if targeted action for the area is necessary).

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