Criminal Behaviour Order bans Penzance man from approaching women

December 22nd, 2016 by

morganA Criminal Behaviour Order has been given to a 29 year old man from Penzance to prevent him from approaching women.

Clifford Morgan, who appeared via video link in Truro Magistrates Court on Tuesday 13 December, pleaded guilty to three separate charges in which he had targeted three lone women and caused them considerable alarm, harassment and distress, by barging one victim and following the other two and making comments perceived to be of a sexual nature, whilst they were out for a jog in the Penzance area.

Devon and Cornwall Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team had argued that as a result of Morgan’s dangerous behaviour and his lack of engaging with support services, a Criminal Behaviour Order should be made to restrict him from being able to approach females in the future and protect the wider community.

Supporting the granting of the Order, Truro Magistrates placed a lifetime Criminal Behaviour Order on Morgan saying he “must not approach, contact or follow any female in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress”.

The prosecution comes as a result of staff from Cornwall Council working closely with colleagues from Devon & Cornwall Police to address a very serious anti-social behaviour issue.  Criminal Behaviour Orders are a valuable tool to prevent further or escalated anti-social behaviour and stop the harm caused to innocent victims.

Tom Styles, from the Anti Social Behaviour team, “This shows the power and flexibility of the Anti-Social Behaviour Tools and Powers. Orders like this are not made without serious consideration to the perpetrator, the victim(s) and the wider community.  If this individual chooses to continue to target people and  cause them fear and distress, he can now be arrested and imprisoned for up to 5 years, given up to a £5000 fine, or both”.

 We encourage members of the public to report any incidents to the Police via the 101 number for non-emergency or the 999 number for emergencies.”

Sergeant Gemma Freestone, from Penzance, said: This man was given sufficient opportunity and support to change his behaviour but he continued to frighten innocent victims. The Criminal Behaviour Order will provide additional powers to us should he breach this.”

Nuisance caller who bombarded police handed Criminal Behaviour Order

December 22nd, 2016 by

minersDebbie Miners, aged 33 from the Camborne area, was given a Criminal Behaviour Order by Magistrates in Truro on 20 December for making persistent nuisance calls and her behaviour towards to emergency services, NHS Staff and other Mental Health Services in Cornwall.

Miners, who appeared by video link to Truro Magistrates Court, pleaded guilty to a Public Order offence of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.

The court sentenced her to a custodial sentence of four weeks rather than imposing fines because of her financial situation. The sentence was taken as time paid as she had been in custody since early November.

The Criminal Behaviour Order includes a condition stating that Miners must not “call the 999 emergency service number unless in the case of a genuine emergency that would require immediate attendance of the emergency services”.  The order lasts for 3 years.

The prosecution comes as a  result of staff from the Council working closely with colleagues from Devon and Cornwall Police and the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) to address a persistent and serious anti-social behaviour issue.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Deliberate and malicious use of the 999 system not only wastes staff time but could also put the lives of others at risk and will not be tolerated”.

Tom Styles, from Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, said: Misuse of the 999 number is a serious issue. Emergency services must take all calls and attend if necessary. When the number is misused to get attention this means that units are taken away from other calls that could well be life or death situations.  The staffing for the emergency services is currently stretched incredibly thin and does not need nuisance calls to detract the valuable service they offer from those that genuinely need it.”

A spokesperson for South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said: The Trust takes the issue of frequent callers very seriously. Those who are not in genuine need can use precious resources that should be allocated to those who are in a life-threatening condition. We seek prosecutions of people found to be abusing the system because abusing it can and does put people’s lives at risk. Our work with partner organisations to tackle the issue and prevent misuse of the 999 system continues.”

A spokesperson for Devon & Cornwall Police said: We welcome the court’s decision in serving this criminal behaviour order. We will continue to work hand in hand with our partner agencies to reduce these nuisance calls using the legislation we have to ensure we help to those most vulnerable and in need.”

Local Government Association – Community Safety, Policing and Fire Service Bulletin

December 20th, 2016 by

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Here is the latest Local Government Association – Community Safety, Policing and Fire Service Bulletin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories

Local Government Finance Settlement

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid MP, announced the provisional local government finance settlement for 2017/18 on 16 December. The LGA responded in a press release and published an on-the-day briefing, outlining the announcements in more detail.


The Casey Review: A review into opportunity and integration

As set out above, the Government has published Dame Louise Casey’s review into integration.


Violence against women and girls: service transformation fund

The Home Office has recently published details of its three-year £15million VAWG service transformation fund for commissioners, to support delivery against the NSE and commissioning toolkit. The formal application process is expected to start in early 2017, with the intention of awarding grants to successful bidders early in the 2017/18 financial year, however the expression of interest period is now open until 23 January. Further details and the funding prospectus are available here.


The Home Office has published a number of Domestic Violence related reports:


Home Office Serious & Organised Crime National Conference

The serious and organised crime national conference aims to bring together practitioners, local leaders and government departments and provide a forum for capturing and sharing best practice and encouraging more proactive multi agency partnership working across the whole of the serious & organised crime strategy. The conference is taking place on 2 February at Aston Villa, Birmingham. You can register for the event online.


European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Plymouth City Council have asked the LGA to draw your attention to the availability of funds from the Marine Management Organisation through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to fully fund the purchase of Personal Flotation Devices equipped with Personal Locator Beacons for those working at sea in the fishing industry.

Plymouth City Council has passed a motion supporting such an application. Fishing has been identified as Britain’s most dangerous peacetime industry and councils with a local fishing industry may want to consider this proposal. Further information is available on the Seafish, RNLI and Fishermen’s Mission websites and here.

The LGA is now working closely with the National Water Safety Forum to pursue the aims of the National Drowning Prevention Strategy. The National Drowning Prevention Strategy can be viewed via the National Water Safety Forum website.


National FGM Centre wins Safeguarding Award

In November the National FGM Centre won the Safeguarding Award at the Children and Young People Now Awards. The judges said that the Centre won the award as the “initiative that has made the biggest contribution to prevent and protect children and young people from abuse and neglect”, with one judge saying the centre was “a prime example of multi-agency, ground breaking practice”.


National FGM Centre training

The aim of the National FGM Centre’s training offers is to enhance participants’ understanding and skills to act appropriately and confidently to protect and support girls who are at risk or have been subjected to FGM. 100% of delegates who have attended the training would recommend it.


Female offenders grant funding scheme 2016

The Ministry of Justice is providing £800,000 to support local areas to develop a joined-up, multi-agency approach to improve support for female offenders and other women with complex needs who may be at risk of offending.

The guidance document provides further details of the scheme, eligibility criteria and advice for applicants. Applicants must submit the application form to cjwst@justice.gsi.gov.uk, no later than 12 noon on Monday 30 January 2017.


Duty to Notify the Home Office about Modern Slavery

The Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has published a number of resources including legislation, training materials, guidance and information on your duty to notify the Home Office of potential victims of modern slavery. See more here.


Health and Safety Executive (HSE) update events

HSE will be delivering a series of LA update events in early 2017 across England, Scotland and Wales. The events will provide strategic updates regarding the health and safety system in GB as well as sharing information about inspection priorities for the forthcoming work year. The invitation is open to Chairs and Secretaries of County Liaison Groups and also to any EHOs responsible for undertaking health and safety work in their LA. In order to register to attend one of the events, please e-mail lau.enquiries@hse.gov.uk.

The dates and venues are:

  • Friday 27 January 2017 – Stirling Council Chambers
  • Monday 30 January 2017 – Cannock Chase Council
  • Tuesday 14 February 2017 – City of London Council
  • Friday 17 February 2017 – Stockport Council

Publications

Community engagement on female genital mutilation

These case studies provide examples of how councils and their partners have been working with women and girls to raise awareness of FGM, provide support and protect vulnerable people who may be at risk.

Events

Annual Licensing conference
 7 February  | London
An  opportunity to discuss key strategic and practical developments that can be expected to affect councils’ licensing committees and teams over the next year.

Taxi licensing conference –  North West
21 February 2017 | Preston
A one-day session exploring how members can oversee, scrutinise and enact their licensing role to best effect.

Leadership Essentials Counter Extremism
Tuesday 28th February – Wednesday, 1st March 2017

The Government’s 2015 Counter-extremism strategy acknowledged the importance of local authorities in protecting local areas from extremism. This new two-day programme for elected members will explore in detail the role of local government in countering extremism, including distinctions with the Prevent duty, challenging extremist ideologies, approaches for building community cohesion and resilience and effective responses to hate crime. It will also cover effective scrutiny of local counter-extremism strategies.

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.  This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition. To book please contact Grace Collins on 020 7664 3054 grace.collins@local.gov.uk

LGA Annual fire conference and exhibition 2017
7-8 March 2017 | Hilton Newcastle Gateshead
The annual fire conference and exhibition is a key event in the conference calendar for senior fire officers and members of fire and rescue authorities.

Parliamentary

Policing and Crime Bill

The Policing and Crime Bill has completed its Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Lords this week. The LGA has briefed peers ahead of each stage of the debate, in support of amendments on gambling, licensing, and fire and rescue authorities. We have also called for clarification on amendments for homicide reviews, to ensure any new responsibilities for councils are appropriately funded. The Bill will be re-examined in the House of Commons on the 10th January 2017, for ping pong stage. The LGA will publish a ‘Get in of the Act’, which provides a brief overview of the LGA’s lobbying work on the Bill and any changes made during the Bill’s passage.

Media

Minibus taxi safeguarding loophole must be fixed, councils urge
3 December 2016

 

Enjoy Alcohol safely this Christmas

December 8th, 2016 by

With Christmas upon us – a time when people who enjoy alcohol tend to drink more than usual – it’s worth being aware that this year the national guidance for recommended healthy alcohol limits has been updated.

The new guidance states that the levels for both men and women are now the same:

14 units a week at the most, spread evenly over 3 or more days.

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This message can be seen in full here: www.goo.gl/MVkDtX

The reason for the change – which recommends the same amount for both men and women for the first time – is that it’s now known that the risk of alcohol related cancers is the same for both men and women.

A ‘Cancer Research‘ survey suggests that most people don’t know this.

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Many adults drink alcohol at levels that damage their health in the short and long-term, with as many as 1 in 3 people in the South West drinking too much alcohol, whilst remaining unaware of it (Public Health Action, 2015).

So, if the current guidance suggests that it’s unhealthy to drink more than 14 units each week, what does that mean in normal ‘drinking English’?

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‘Bingeing’ is also not good for us, so we shouldn’t save up and drink all 14 units in one session, and we should aim for at least 3 alcohol free days each week. While sensible drinking for relaxation, enjoyment and sociability is a normal and positive part of life for most of us, it’s also clear to see that drinking too much alcohol has many possible harmful effects.

Some of these are behavioural and can cause problems in relationships or through crime, or can even affect our employment. Other impacts cause health problems. As well as causing personal struggles and tragedies, the medical treatment then costs a lot for our health services, paid for by all of us.

If you want to enjoy alcohol safely, or if you want to know more about your alcohol use, here are 8 things you could try:

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Here is Cornwall’s alcohol messaging:

http://oneyoucios.com/drink-less/

Look out for our Safer Cornwall tips for a safe night out.

If you know that you already need help, support or treatment for yourself or someone else, please call Addaction Cornwall on:

0333 2000 325.

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 Have a great Christmas, enjoy yourself, and stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Carol Service

December 6th, 2016 by

The Chief Fire Officer and The Chief Superintendent for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly invite you to their Christmas carol service in Truro Cathedral on Monday 12 December 2016 at 7.30pm. Mince pies, coffee / tea will provided by cadets.

For more information, contact Stephanie Hosken on 01872 323192.

 

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Are your Christmas decorations safe?

December 6th, 2016 by

How to prevent a fire in your home at Christmas

In the run up to Christmas, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service want you to make sure you, your families and friends all celebrate safely during the festive period.  Please take into consideration the following safety tips when using Christmas decorations to avoid a preventable accident happening in your home.

Christmas tree

  • Get a freshly cut tree. It will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard. Try to pick a tree with a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance.
  • Always test for freshness before buying. A tree with high moisture content is safer. Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground; needles should bend, not break; and the stump should be sticky with resin.
  • Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly. Make sure it is always immersed in water: If water drops below the trunk, the stem may reseal itself, requiring a fresh cut. Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance.
  • Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block doors or windows.
  • Never use lighted candles on the tree.
  • Preferably remove the tree within 10 to 14 days.  After that amount of time in a heated building, even the freshest tree can start to dry out.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labelled as fire resistant.

Decorations

Image showing a christmas scene with candles, a lit Christmas tree, stocking and open fire

  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive.
  • If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations.
  • Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible.
  • Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.

Lights

  • Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot indoors.
  • Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.
  • Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energise the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact. Illuminate metallic trees with coloured floodlights placed at a safe distance from the tree and out of reach.
  • Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.

Christmas candles; text reads "Fire Kills, you can prevent it"

Candles

  • Place candles away from absolutely anything that could catch fire.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Burn them only when a responsible adult is overseeing the flame.
  • Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets.
  • Snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.

More candle fire safety information.

The fireplace

  • Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace. They burn too rapidly and generate far too much heat.
  • Don’t hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned and dried wood.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or let it smolder.
  • Clean the ashes regularly. Place the ashes in a metal container and store outside away from flammable materials.
  • Don’t use Christmas trees for firewood.

More information on preventing chimney fires.

Electrical outlets

  • There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets during the holiday season. This is an unsafe practice and should be avoided even for short durations.
  • Inspect all cords before using. Make sure they have the BEAB mark of safety – this means that it has been tested and approved by the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board. Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire. Discard any defective cords. Read the labels and manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper use.
  • Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.
  • To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord which is in use and do not run it under carpets or rugs.

The kitchen

Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires, so be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking.

Here’s what to do if grease in a pot or pan catches fire:

  • Smother the flames by covering the pan with a lid.
  • Turn off the heat immediately.
  • Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire.

More kitchen fire safety information.

Gift suggestions

  • Home smoke alarm
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Multi-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher
  • Candle snuffer
  • Thermostatically controlled deep fryer

Last but not least … make sure your smoke detectors work!

12 Days to Christmas

View our page on twelve simple tips to enjoy a safe and happy Christmas.

Stay Well This Winter

December 6th, 2016 by

We are supporting the NHS campaign again this year, please can we encourage you to take positive steps to look after your health and advise others on:

  • Get a flu vaccination;
  • Keep home warm (at least 18 degrees C);
  • Seek immediate advice and help from a pharmacist as soon as you feel unwell;
  • Stock-up on medications ahead of Christmas;
  • Get registered for online services via your GP practice website, so you can get repeat prescriptions and make appointments at the click of a mouse.

winter-wellbeing

For more information visit: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/staywellthiswinter

Safer Cornwall’s Domestic Abuse Awareness week

December 5th, 2016 by

Safer Cornwall’s Domestic Abuse Awareness week (November 21st – 25th) saw an overwhelmingly positive response from the providers involved. The following services and providers were represented at events throughout the week:

  • Active Plus
  • Addaction
  • Age UK
  • CFRS Community Fire & Road Safety Team
  • CFRS Phoenix Team
  • Cornwall Refuge Trust
  • Devon & Cornwall Police
  • Disability Cornwall
  • Health Promotion (Cornwall & IoS)
  • Twelves Company IDVA Service
  • West Cornwall Women’s Aid
  • Women’s Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre

fire-station-event-300-2CFO Paul Walker opened the launch event at CFRS Headquarters on the Monday.  Despite the torrential rain, there was excellent cross-agency representation.  The Upbeat Dreamers – a singing group from Age UK Newquay day centre provided lovely entertainment during the morning.

Black Watch provided a great deal of help and assistance with preparing the appliance bay for the morning’s event – this was very much appreciated by all who were involved in DA Week arrangements.

The theme for the week was older people and domestic abuse.  Age UK day centres in Falmouth and Newquay hosted two of the events and were very hospitable and accommodating to all th
e representatives attending.  Green Watch attended the Newquay event and spent time chatting with agency representatives as well as some of the people who work/attend the day centre.

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The week ended at St John’s Hall, Penzance on Friday – National White Ribbon Day. The event was opened by Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce from Devon & Cornwall police and attended by CFO Paul Walker.  Green Watch were present throughout the morning. There was a great deal of agency interaction with members of the public during the morning which provided  opportunities to raise awareness about domestic abuse and also signpost to relevant support where requested.

A great deal of positive feedback was provided on the week in general – particularly in respect of the agency networking opportunities.

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West Cornwall Women’s Aid Representative – The events have been a fantastic networking experience resulting in the promotion of each of the services in different arenas, we have received some direct referrals and very much look forward to participating next time.

Active Plus Representative – Very good networking opportunity, being able to pass on information to other Services who in turn further this information to their users helps to spread awareness of the services available from a variety of sources. In addition we been invited to attend a PCSO meeting regarding the services Active Plus provides.

On behalf of all from CFRCS Service and Safer Cornwall, we would like to thank all our partners who helped make Domestic Abuse Awareness Week 2016 a success.

If you would like more information please visit: http://safercornwall.co.uk/what-we-do/dasv-hub/

More help for sexual assault and abuse victims in Devon and Cornwall

December 4th, 2016 by

Victims of sexual assault and abuse in Devon and Cornwall, including children and young people will be helped by extra funding from NHS England.

The team of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez worked closely with NHS England to secure more than £150,000. This additional funding will enhance the services already provided by sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) in the two counties.

The funding focuses on two developments;

Firstly, it will increase the SARCs’ capacity to offer psychological and medical support to victims of sexual assault over the weekend. Currently, at weekends, this service is only available to people who report an assault to the police.

hub-skoodhya-newThe biggest part of the funding will pay for three new children and young people’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisors. Two will cover East and West Cornwall for the Pool based victim support organisation Skoodhya. The other will join the SARC in Plymouth, run by Twelves Company, a Devon and Cornwall sexual violence and domestic abuse support charity.

Sally Piper, Chief Executive, Skoodhya said: “We are delighted with the additional funding from NHS England and grateful for the support from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. This will allow us to provide a dedicated specialist service for children and young people affected by sexual violence, as this is something we have wanted to do for a long time.

“I am absolutely thrilled that funding has been secured to ensure victims of sexual assault are appropriately supported across the Peninsula, including at weekends.” said Tom Dingwall, Chief Executive, Twelves Company. 

“However, I’m especially pleased that child victims of sexual exploitation and assault will now get the practical and emotional support they need from ‘report to court’. 

“Working in partnership with Barnardo’s in Plymouth, we’re delighted that children from Plymouth will no longer need to travel to the Truro or Exeter paediatric SARCs for their follow-on support. 

“The funding also sends an important message about child assault and exploitation across the Peninsula. Staff are there to believe, support and help a child at a very difficult and emotional time, through the legal system following sexual exploitation or assault. 

“This is a vital step in terms of providing timely support and care to victims, developing a child’s faith in support services and that the child – and their voice – remains at the centre of any response. It is also an important element of helping to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Vanessa Fowler, NHS England said: “There are excellent sexual assault services in these areas, delivered by local organisations. NHS England is pleased to be able to support this work with additional funding to meet the needs of victims and their families.”

Jo Robison, Criminal Justice, Partnership and Commissioning Manager, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The Commissioning Managers for the OPCC and NHS England welcome the news that the three Sexual Assault Referral Centres across Devon and Cornwall are to receive additional funding from NHS England to allow further development of the critical services our SARCs offer to victims of sexual assault.”

Premises Closure – Berkley Vale, Falmouth

December 3rd, 2016 by

A premise in Falmouth at Berkley Vale was highlighted by the Police and Sanctuary Housing as attracting numerous issues of disorder and anti-social behaviour. A Closure Notice was also served on a separate property but withdrawn at the final hearing.

Issues being reported included; late night visitors creating disturbances to the other residents, vagrants squatting in the communal area, the front door being regularly broken and fire alarms being ripped off the walls or set off.  There was a constant issue being reported of people visiting the property to purchase drugs and paraphernalia (such as used needles) was found littered inside and outside the property. Sadly there had also been incidents of people overdosing at the property too.

After initial joint agency discussions and investigation it was agreed that a Premises Closure be applied for to close the two properties.

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In July, the ASB team, Sanctuary Housing and Police visited both the properties to serve the tenants with Stage 2 ASB Warning letters.  The letters and words of advice were openly received by the tenants and they both promised the disorder would cease.

Incidents continued to be reported to Housing and Police requiring Police attendance and so in August both sets of tenants were served with Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and a Notice Seeking Possession.  During the serving of these the tenants were informed that should issues continue the ASB Team would start to apply for a Closure Order, which would remove them from their homes for up to 3 months.

On the 1 November the ASB Team served the defendants with letters informing them of the multi-agency intention to apply for a Premises Closure.  The letter was set not only to inform them of the intention but also give them information of agencies they should contact, should the order be agreed and also agencies that could advise and help with the legal advice. Over the following week the ASB Team worked with Force Legal to ensure that all statements were correctly signed and witnesses would still be happy to attend court to give evidence.

The ASB team co-ordinated the serving of a closure notice on the 5th of November and on the 16 of November the final hearing took place.  Due to a witness not attending we had to withdraw the application for the second premise but advised the tenant that should any incidents take place, we would reapply very quickly.

After hearing all the evidence the court agreed that a Closure Order be made and the tenants be removed from their property for three months.

A week since the order has been made and there have been no reports of ASB, crime or disorder at the premise.

Visits will continue to be made to the property to continue to collect evidence to show that the order has worked and also check with the residents on how they feel things have changed.

Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: