Chief Inspector Dave Stephenson and I, met in St James Square to discuss their community policing project. I have been working with the police for several months, to tackle head-on the issues we have in TopTown with Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). Groups of people have been congregating while drinking alcohol and causing disturbances in the town centre, which I am concerned are fostering more serious crime. The police have been extremely responsive and understand the importance of the community policing team to be in the town centre on regular patrols, ensuring that Victoria Street and surrounding shopping areas are pleasant places to visit.
We stopped to talk with residents and shoppers about their concerns and that they were very pleased to see police patrols. We also spoke with constituents who do cause some of the ASB issues and were frank and open with them about their unacceptable behaviour, making it clear to them that the police and council officers will move them on.
It is important that we all work together to support our town centre businesses and shoppers, to make sure that the town centre is a place that we are all proud of. We have a huge amount of government investment going into the town centre, with the Towns Fund and Future High Streets Fund will provide, we are very lucky we have a potentially beautiful town centre that we all want to be happy to visit and shop in, and I will continue to work with the police and the community to ensure this happens.
In addition, I visited the Hamilton Street Police Station, on the East Marsh, to meet the whole policing team to discuss their strategies and challenges, and to learn how I can work with them. In discussions with Chief Superintendent Darren Wildbore, Chief Inspector Stephenson, and Inspector Steve Peck, we identified strategies going forward that will enable us to work together to tackle the problems we face.