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Hawkwell/Hockley Anti Social Behaviour Reduction Plan

June 19, 2007 by  

Anti Social Behaviour : Matter of Concern Number 1, Residents Survey – Hawkwell West 2007

So the Police want the Youth to congregate at Clements Hall Leisure Centre. Not good news for Hawkwell residents living nearby.  But the Police want the Youth to be able to use the facilities.

So will Virgin Active and RDC offer the use free or subsidised?

I have written to a senior officer of RDC to ask how this Police request will be actioned.

Graham Woolhouse
Corporate Director of External Services
Rochford District Council

Dear Graham

At the Central Area Committee Chief Inspector Walker gave an update on Anti Social Behaviour.

Residents who have become aware that Mr Walker said that it is Police policy to get the youth to congregate at CHLC have voiced their concerns to me because on the face of it it brings a higher incidence of risk of antisocial behaviour being centred there and in surrounding roads.

I told them that Mr Walker went on to say that he wanted them to be able to use the facilities at CHLC in smaller groups.  Presumably free or subsidised, because, of course, they can use the facilities already on a paid basis, and they do not.

But these residents wish to know if RDC and Virgin Active are going to respond positively to Mr. Walker’s request and provide the use of facilities at CHLC on a no cost or subsidised basis?

If not then the Police policy of deliberately congregating the youth at CHLC will continue cause the difficulties and concerns that they already have.

Please advise me how this police request will be actioned by RDC.

Comments

Comments

3 Responses to “Hawkwell/Hockley Anti Social Behaviour Reduction Plan”
  1. admin says:

    Comments by e-mail from:

    Chief Inspector John Walker
    Rochford District Commander
    Extension 34433

    From a purely policing perspective we would certainly prefer for the youngsters to gather in one location, preferably somewhere like Clements Hall, rather than in numerous more urban locations. Policing one location is obviously more desirable than several spread across the district. However, I should stress the police do not actively seek to move youngsters to the Clements Hall playing fields. Indeed although we can move people on if they are causing an obstruction we have no powers to move them from one location to another. As summer has arrived it has already been noticeable that there has been a significant but voluntary movement of youngsters away from the Spa Road area of Hockley towards Clements Hall, whichappears to be an annual phenomenon.

    The free facilities that I referred to at the Area Committee are the newly upgraded skateboard ramp and the football pitch and goals that have been erected adjacent to it. I was not referring to free or subsidised entrance to the leisure centre. However, I undertsand that already Virgin Leisure, in co-operation with RDC, organise an ongoing, subsidised programme for youngsters, the Hyper programme. It would be extremely presumptious of me to request any further free or subsidised use of the leisure centre. As you quite rightly say the facilities are currently available to them and the rest of the community through a small payment but the majority do not actually want to use them.

    Whilst the relocation of the youngsters to the Clements Hall area may increase the likelihood of anti social behaviour to residents surrounding the area we will be looking to take positive actions to addressthat situation. The additional resources that have been made available to patrol the Hockley and Hawkwell area every Friday and Saturday evening for the past two years will be relocated to wherever the need is. That will invariably mean additional high visibility and covert policing activity around Clements Hall.

  2. admin says:

    Email to John Walker
    Rochford District Commander
    Extension 34433

    I have since been reading the Minutes of the Central Area Committee. As I shall not be present on 24 July, being away on business and not be able to query this with you at the next meeting, could I ask you to comment further please to clarify the position?

    Clearly I was mistaken because originally I thought that you were referring to the existing CHLC buildings but you have clarified for me that this was not the case.

    But the RDC Minutes say “The Police would like to see future premises developed for youths that would encourage them away from the streets.”

    The announcement from the Chair of Hawkwell Parish Council about the proposed portakabin on Hawkwell Playing Fields came at the end of the meeting and was something I did not know about. Is that what you were referring to in your earlier update?

    I have been copied into letters sent by residents to the Clerk of Hawkwell Parish Council objecting to this project and before I comment further to residents would you please confirm that the Essex Police endorsement to this project in the Minutes of the RDC Meeting is correct?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    John Mason

  3. admin says:

    From Chief Inspector Walker by email

    My comments relating to premises being developed for youths is fully in line with the consultation currently being undertaken by the Hawkwell Parish Council and other councils. There appears to be a general consensus both from the general public and youngsters that designated meeting areas, which are supported by all, are preferred to ad hoc gathering points on street corners or other inappropriate venues. Consultation with youths across the District has already confirmed their perception that they have nowhere to go. It therefore appears that we are all united in recognising the need to identify suitable locations for youngsters to meet up.

    I was in fact unaware of the Hawkwell portakabin proposal, although I have understood that there has been a view that a structure in the Clements Hall fields was a consideration. However, I was actually referring to some preliminary discussions about re-establishing a youth club at Rocheway, Rochford and in proposals for a new youth club in Eldon Way at Hockley.

    In summary the police would support buildings and locations that diverted the prospect of anti social behaviour away from more residential areas, but we will do no more that support the general principles. It is very much in the hands of local residents and councils to determine whether specific locations are deemed appropriate.

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