SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE CRIME & SAFETY COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 5 DECEMBER 2006, 10:00 TO 11:40

............................................................................................................................

PRESENT: Cllr R Dellow (Chairman of the Committee), Cllr Mrs V Wright (Chairman of the Council), Mrs P Raymond (Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer)

Co-opted members: Mrs S Martin, Mrs J Dellow, Mr R Glew

Also in attendance: Mr Craig Atkins (Orbit Housing Association), Mr Ian Morris (Chairman of the East View and Conqueror Community Association), PCSOs Sam and Debbie (in place of PCSO Peter Crotch on rest day)

CS06/07.53 Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Mrs Glew and Cllr A Rand (both work commitments).

CS06/07.54 Minutes. The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 10/10/06.

CS06/07.55 Interests. Members were reminded to disclose interests as they arose. It was noted that, in accordance with recent Standards Board advice, co-opted members will no longer be required to declare interests. The Monitoring Officer has confirmed he has removed their names from the Public Register.

CS06/07.56 Report on matters arising from previous meetings where not covered by other agenda items.
56.1 Special Constable advert. At the last Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour Forum, attended by Mr and Mrs Dellow, it was reported that the conditions of employment of specials is still being discussed now that British Rail and Gatwick Specials receive burseries.
56.2 E-mailed crime reports for noticeboard. The Clerk reported not having received an e-mailed crime report for the noticeboard for September, October or November. Sam will speak to PC Cleverley about this.

CS06/07.57 Police Community Support Oficer
57.1 PCSO Report in accordance with patrol schedule. Sam reported on November's crime. However, the report was not in accordance with the patrol schedules and, therefore, not in the agreed format. The patrol schedules are in the process of being revised following re-allocation of duties. According to the PCSOs attending the meeting, Peter Crotch now only covers the parish of Sedlescombe. His other areas have been re-allocated. The Parish Council has not been informed officially. Members expressed their serious concerns about the current Sedlescombe PCSO, as he does not seem to be carrying out his duties; residents and businesses are saying they have seen neither him nor the car in the Village.

57.2 Results of the PCSO surgery on 21/10/06 in Sedlescombe. Unfortunately, the PCSOs at the meeting had not been given any information on the surgery attended by PCSOs Peter and Tina.

57.3 Contact with the School. The Clerk reported that, at the beginning of November, she had received an e-mail from the Sedlescombe Primary School headteacher asking how she could get in touch with the PCSO for the Village as she wished to work more closely with him. She also wanted help with parking issues and for him to walk with the Walking Bus on occasions. Although Peter has now made contact, Committee members were surprised to hear that no automatic contact had been made.

57.4 PCSO overtime. PC Cleverley had informed the Clerk that PCSO Crotch had done 4.5 hours overtime, 18:00 to 22:30 on 5 November at the cost of £90 and 4 hours on Halloween at the cost of £70. No problems had arisen on those evenings. However on the day after Halloween, ie 1 November, there had been problems with pumpkins being thrown at houses. One of these incidents had resulted in a formal complaint being issued to Orbit Housing Association which was subsequently dropped because of lack of evidence. Cllr Mrs Wright had seen the Sedlescombe PCSO car in Robertsbridge Station on 5 November at 18:00. Cllr Dellow reported that the Forum meeting had been told that there had been a Police/PCSO presence at East View Terrace on the week prior to Halloween.

57.5 PCSO car marking and parking outside the Post Office. Members were extremely disappointed that the car had not been seen parked outside the Post Office. It was suggested that the car should be handed back to SLM Motors because it is not being used for the purpose for which it was given. SLM Motors may make this request. The idea of making a formal complaint to someone was mooted. It was suggested that the Parish Council considers making a complaint, possibly to County Cllr Peter Jones, Chairman of the Sussex Police Authority, if the situation has not improved by the next Council meeting to be held on 9 January.

57.6 PCSO attendance at meetings. Inspector Franklin had written as follows in reply to Sedlescombe Parish Council's request that the PCSO attends Parish Council as well as Crime and Safety Meetings: "PCSOs will attend when available and for the first part of the meeting to update policing issues. There are questions relating to the crime and safety meetings as these should be and are covered by other specific meetings. Attendance is also variable on other policing contraints."

The Chairman informed the Committee that Sedlescombe is probably the only Parish Council in Rother to have its own Crime and Safety Meetings with the Committee doing a lot of work to help local people in the fight against crime. The Committee does, therefore, expect that the Police and PCSOs will give their full support in return and this includes attending meetings.

57.7 Visits to victims. In the past, there had been useful communication between the PCSO and the Sedlescombe NHW Group and all victims in Sedlescombe had been visited after an incident. This is now more hit and miss and the Group is not made aware of what has been done by the PCSO. The Committee was interested to hear that Debbie prints out the NHW by e-mail reports and delivers them to people in her patch whom she knows will not be able to access the e-mail reports themselves.

57.8 Occasional visits by PCSO to local businesses such as Dennis Thomas (Builders). Local businessman, Paul Thomas, had spoken with the Clerk about not having seen the PCSO. He expected that he should have visited him particularly because he had had damage to his vehicles. The Chairman said he understood that the PCSO had visited but had not found him in. Presumably no follow up visit was made.

CS06/07.58 East View Terrace update
58.1 Letter from Greg Barker MP about anti-social behaviour. Cllr Mrs Wright had received a letter from the MP asking for information on anti-social behaviour at the Kickabout Area. The Clerk read Chief Inspector Brookman's reply to Greg Barker in which he said that "It is unfortunate that the previous PCSO was removed from the area. Funding was withdrawn by the parish council which has resulted in a 'normal' policing level being reinstated". The Committee was unhappy about this statement because it gives the impression that the problems are the fault of the parish council for withdrawing funding when, in fact, the parish council had provided additional funding for nearly two years, unlike any other Rother parish. Chief Inspector Brookman also stated that the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer is actively engaged in dealing with some of the issues arising from an identified group of youths. It appears that this may have had some effect, as, according to Ian Morris, the very late night disturbances have stopped (maybe due to inclement weather conditions). However, problems are continuing with a group of younger 12-15 year olds who are spending Thursdays to Sundays, 19:00 to 22:00, drinking in the shelter. Fires have been started including setting fire to paper pushed through a neighbour's fence where petrol is stored. One fire resulted in attendance by a fire engine and the Police.

Ian Morris reported that, although problems continue, for various reasons, fewer are being reported to the Police. However, the elderly are afraid and will not go out at night. The PCSO has witnessed residents being verbally abused by youngsters but the outcome of that incident is not known. He agreed that the shelter had been successful in providing somewhere for the youngsters to meet but the problem was that it is too close to properties.

Cllr Mrs Wright will reply to Greg Barker MP that there appears to be a lack of communication and that it should not be necessary for the Parish Council to pay extra for PCSO coverage.

58.2 East View and Conqueror Association Report. Arranging any meetings has proved very difficult. Ian Morris reported that a cold calling, which might have led to a distraction burglary, incident had occurred near where he lives. The PCSO had not visited the victim. The Chairman passed a "Cold Calling Pack" to Ian Morris for him to pass on to his neighbour.

58.3 Orbit Housing Association Report. Craig reported that all properties are occupied and that Orbit is not currently receiving complaints from the residents. Orbit is inviting East View Terrace representatives to join the Orbit Residents' Forum.

Since the last meeting, there had been the pumpkin incidents and the fire at the shelter attended by a fire engine as well as the Police. The perpetrators had not been found.

The results so far of the survey regarding the under-10s playground, show that people are in favour of retaining the play area. Even those without children had the same view. He said that Orbit would have to go ahead with the refurbishment.

58.4 Youth Issues. The last Council meeting had been attended by a group of younger teenagers who had presented a list of their priorities to the Council. It was reported that the Chairman and Clerk planned to meet with Craig Atkins after the meeting and with the Youth Development Worker, the Buzz Project Worker and two of the youngsters this evening to discuss the priorities. A report will then be made to the next meeting of the Council.

58.5 Provision of a Youth Worker. Craig reported that a joint bid for funding for a Youth Worker who could work with the youngsters in three parishes had been successful and arrangements were being made regarding holding the funds and employing the worker.

At the last Council Meeting, the idea of a new youth club in the Scout Hut was suggested as a start. This would require two additional youth workers and funding would need to be found. Although a youth club would help to keep some of the youngsters off the street for a while, it will probably not stop gatherings in the shelter or the riding of mini-motos around the estate and along the lanes.

58.6 Alcohol. The Criminal Justice & Police Act 2001 made it possible for district councils to designate public places where it is an offence to continue drinking after being required by a Police Officer not to do so. This would not make drinking in public illegal. The Committee suggested that there is sufficient evidence to present to Rother with a request for a Designation Order re Alcohol Consumption in Public Places at the Kickabout Area to be introduced.

The PCSOs confirmed that stop forms should be issued whenever a Police or Community Support Officer attends and speaks to anyone and that ,where appropriate, copies should go to the Anti-Social Behaviour officer.

CS06/07.59 Speed Indicator Device
59.1 Second campaign planned during the week beginning 26/03/07. Dates to be suggested to Graham Beattie are Monday 26 March pm, Tuesday all day and Wednesday 28 March morning, with the device being collected on Monday morning and returned on Wednesday afternoon. It was agreed that a meeting of the Neighbourhood Watch Group would be held with the Clerk to consider how the second campaign should be run.
59.2 Graham Beattie's comments on points raised after the first campaign. Comments to be considered at the NHW meeting mentioned above.

CS06/07.60 Neighbourhood Watch
60.1 Ringmaster Scheme. Inspector Franklin is awaiting a system to be devised that will filter the information by area. It is hoped that the messages can be sent and received via mobile phones and phone/fax. New registration and data protection forms had been completed and despatched for all of Sedlescombe's thirty co-ordinators. Completed forms from the new Meadow Lane co-ordinator are awaited.
60.2 Report. The Chief NHW Co-ordinator, Jean Dellow, gave a full report on work undertaken including fitting of 20 window locks and a door chain, watching a house during a funeral, reassuring a resident of East View whose car had been walked over, advertising Lifeline through the surgery, the provision of carbon monoxide alarms and delivery of a newsletter.

CS06/07.61 CCTV Cameras. Some detail on CCTV cameras had been received. However, it was acknowledged that there are legal implications regarding where they can be placed. The East View and Conqueror Community Association Chairman was asked to bring this subject up at their next meeting to see whether there is any support for use of CCTV cameras at East View.

CS06/07.62 Electric Blanket Testing and Safety Day. In 2007, it will be three years since we held the last electric blanket testing day. It would be appropriate to have another session in the Village. Cllr Dellow has raised the matter early so that fire service officers can be trained so that we do not have to pay as we did last time.

CS06/07.63 Date of the next meeting. 16/01/07 at 10:00 in Committee Room of Village Hall.

Chairman................................... Date...............................................