New powers help Cornwall Council and Police tackle criminal private landlords

July 17th, 2018 by
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Safer Towns Delivery

July 12th, 2018 by

In April 2018 our Safer Towns Scheme successfully launched in ten towns, which expanded on the scheme originally in place in St Austell, Truro, Newquay and Penzance.

The aim of Safer Towns is to improve community safety and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by targeting persistent problem places and people within the geographical areas and work with communities, partners and the business and voluntary sectors to develop sustainable solutions.

Applying an evidence based approach, the local partnerships have been developing their delivery plans that are focused on activity that will respond to:

o   The Safer Town Profiles (annual refresh);

o   Cornwall Residents Survey (4 yearly);

o   ‘Have Your Say’ Survey and other engagement mechanisms (6 monthly);

o   Adverse trends in crime and anti-social behaviour and other community safety issues as evidenced through the Safer Cornwall Performance Framework.

Since the launch events in April, the Safer Town partnerships have met and there have been two multi-agency operational groups implemented to deal with emerging concerns within Truro and Penzance. There has been an increase in outreach support and patrols from Devon and Cornwall Police and our Anti-Social Behaviour Team. The support and enforcement agencies meet regularly to continue to share current knowledge about individuals and ensure a joint response and support is in place for them. A multi-agency sub-group is being pulled together to focus on serious organised crime/dangerous drug networks.

The Safer Towns have also undertaken four community action days and a walkabout, which was specifically organised to reassure businesses and the public that action is being taken, to encourage people to report any concerns and explain how to report.  Several Safer Towns have also engaged with the public at various events including Cornwall County Show.  Further community action days are planned for the ten towns and we would welcome your involvement.

We have been working with services across the Council to resolve local issues and understand the best way to deal with concerns of community safety. Over the next six months we will be looking at specific concerns within our local areas whilst embedding the partnerships and delivering tangible outcomes in the towns.

 

 

If you would like to find out more please contact Community Safety on communitysafety@cornwall.gov.uk

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Campaign to raise awareness of County Lines

July 4th, 2018 by

County Lines

Know the signs

Police have today, Tuesday 3 July, launched a campaign to raise awareness of County Lines and how the public can help spot the signs of such criminal activity ongoing in their community.

County Lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and they will often use coercion.

This is a national trend and there are criminal gangs using the County Lines operating model across Devon and Cornwall.

The Force’s County Lines lead, Detective Superintendent Antony Hart, said: “This week we are launching our County Lines campaign and as part of our ongoing commitment in tackling this nationwide phenomenon, we are now appealing to the public to spot the signs within their communities.

“Our recent policing activity over the last year shows that our counties are not a safe haven for drugs supply chains and anyone coming to the area intending to be involved in drugs will face prosecution.

“We have teams across the force area who focus on disrupting these drugs supply lines and on protecting the vulnerable people who become victims of crime. We also work closely with other forces, regionally and nationally, as well as the Regional Organised Crime Unit, to share intelligence and best practice to target drug suppliers.

“Neighbourhood teams and response officers are regularly patrolling areas that are used for ‘street dealing’ creating an environment where there is no safe place left to hide.

“County Lines gangs will often target children and young people, women and vulnerable adults to deliver drugs and money between locations.

“An operating base is also an essential feature of the County Lines criminal model. Gangs will regularly exploit vulnerable people, forcing them to build up a debt or using threats of violence in order to take over a person’s home, a practice known as ‘cuckooing’.

“Police have worked to identify people who may be either susceptible to, or victims of, drugs networks who use their homes to ‘set-up shop’. Once into the address drug dealers use this as a base to run their activity for short periods of time before moving on.

“Any address that has previously been used is entered onto a database and then visited by Neighbourhood teams. This relies on good working relationships between local partners, housing providers and tenants. This process also provides opportunities for rehabilitation and rehousing to break the cycle of vulnerability and offending where relevant.

“By consistently visiting people in our community we aim to reduce the risk of people becoming repeat victims of cuckooing and to continue to build the intelligence picture to ensure that other people are not put at risk of harm from Organised Crime Groups.

“We have continued to keep up this level of activity and in 2018 have continued to visit addresses where ‘live’ cuckooing is suspected to be taking place.

“We recognise that County Lines drug supply is a problem that cannot be solved by the police alone. We will continue to work with our partner agencies and our communities to tackle the issue, sending a clear message to drug suppliers that they are not welcome in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Signs to look out for:

A young person’s involvement in county lines often leaves signs, below are some of the indicators of county lines involvement and exploitation:

  • A child or young person going missing from school or home or significant changes in emotional well-being
  • A person meeting unfamiliar adults or a change to their behaviour
  • The use of drugs and alcohol
  • Acquiring money or expensive gifts they can’t account for
  • Lone children from outside of the area
  • Individuals with multiple mobile phones or tablets or ‘SIM cards’
  • Young people with more money, expensive clothing, or accessories than they can account for
  • Unknown or suspicious looking characters coming and going from a neighbour’s house
  • Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associated with gangs
  • Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries

Gangs may also target women who tend to be drug users or have engaged in a relationship with a gang member. They can become victims of sexual and domestic violence and can also be coerced into delivery drugs or money for the gang.

Vulnerable adults who are in financial difficulties or who have mental health problems are usually the most likely victim of cuckooing.

What can you do?

If you have concerns surrounding children, follow safeguarding procedures and share your concerns with local authority social care services.

If you are being affected by any of the above or know someone who is then contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further information on County Lines can be found on our website: www.dc.police.uk/countylines

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Closure Order

March 30th, 2018 by

Camborne Neighbourhood Police, working in partnership with Cornwall Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator Dorian Thomas, recently made an application to the court to place a Closure Order on 81 Enys Road, Camborne due to ongoing anti-social behaviour and disorder.

Today, 21st March 2018, this Closure Order has been granted at Truro Magistrates Court, which will ensure the property will be boarded up and made secure.

The Closure Order prevents anyone from accessing the property for 3 months from the date of issue. Anyone entering the premises in this time is in breach of the Closure Order and therefore committing a criminal offence.

PCSO Regan has stated “we have been working tirelessly to collate evidence for this closure order and will continue to work closely with the Anti-Social Behaviour Co-Ordinator to support the public to report any further anti-social behaviour. Today we are relieved that we’re able to board the property up in an effort to break the cycle of behaviour and disorder emanating from this address.”

Dorian Thomas from Cornwall Council’s ASB Team stated “it is totally unacceptable for any member of the public to allow this type of behaviour to emanate from their property and for it to be out of control.

Those residing or visiting the premises had a total disregard for the surrounding community, who were affected by the ongoing behaviour.

The amount of community concern, which this property has prompted, was clear to see and reinforced the need for the team doing as much as physically possible to make this closure a reality. This property needed to be closed down to protect the public and give local residents the respite they deserve.

Having the court grant the closure order on the 21st March 2018 is a great testament to the hard work placed by the local Police Neighbourhood Team in partnership with Cornwall Council.

The public has a right and need to be protected from such behaviour and to come home to a place where they feel safe and enjoy quality of life. The public must have the confidence and reassurance to report anti-social behaviour. By reporting this type of behaviour will assist in making our streets and towns a more pleasant place to socialise and live.”

The public are encouraged to report suspected breaches of this order or anti-social behaviour to Police using 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively you can report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Learner drivers on motorways from 4 June 2018

March 6th, 2018 by

Learner drivers can take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor from 4 June 2018

From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.

This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

At the moment, you can only have motorway lessons after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.

How the change will work

Learner drivers will need to be:

  • accompanied by an approved driving instructor
  • driving a car fitted with dual controls

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary. It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.

Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.

The change only applies to learner drivers of cars. Learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways.

Trainee driving instructors won’t be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.

Motorway driving isn’t being introduced to the driving test as part of this change.

Making sure road users are ready for the change

The change is being well-publicised so that:

  • driving instructors and learner drivers are prepared
  • other road users know what to expect

The Highway Code rules on motorways will be updated.

Driving near learner drivers on the motorway

As with any vehicle on the motorway, keep a safe distance from a learner driver in front of you. Increase the gap on wet or icy roads, or in fog.

You should always be patient with learner drivers. They may not be so skilful at anticipating and responding to events.

Driving instructor vehicles and training

Driving instructors can decide if they want to use a driving school rooftop box during motorway lessons, based on its instructions.

The car will need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed.

Guidance for driving instructors

 

Learning materials and the syllabus for learning to drive a car are being updated to include motorway lessons.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency won’t give driving instructors extra training on providing motorway lessons.

The driving instructor’s National Associations Strategic Partnership has produced best practice guidance to help instructors.

Preparing drivers for a lifetime of safe driving

The changes are being made to allow learner drivers to:

  • get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
  • get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
  • practise driving at higher speeds
  • understand motorway specific traffic signs
  • understand what to do if a vehicle breaks down on a motorway
  • improve their confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their driving test
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New THINK! campaign marks first anniversary of harsher mobile phone penalties

March 6th, 2018 by

More than 26,000 motorists – including 500 novice drivers who had their licences revoked – have been caught using a mobile phone since tougher penalties came into force.

 

On 1 March 2017, the penalties for the offence doubled from £100 and three penalty points to £200 and six points.

To mark the first anniversary of the introduction of the new penalties, THINK! is highlighting the chances of being caught in a series of adverts which will run on radio, social media, on demand video and in shopping centres, as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

Road Safety GB is calling on drivers to ‘work out for themselves’ that it is ‘totally obvious you cannot do well two things at once’, and therefore using a mobile phone can lead to ‘life-changing or life-ending crash situations’

Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman said:

“The penalties for holding and using a mobile phone while driving have proven to be a strong deterrent, and more and more people are aware of just how dangerous this is.”

“But some motorists are still not only putting their own lives at risk, but the lives of others.”

“Everyone has a role to play to encourage drivers to put their phone away and not use it”while at the wheel.”

 

A further 1,997 motorists were handed fines as part of a national crackdown by traffic officers between 22 and 28 January 2018, which was choreographed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Of those caught, 74% were male.

Mobile Phone poster

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Safer Town’s scheme

January 30th, 2018 by

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez and Safer Cornwall are joining forces to extend the county’s existing Safer Town’s scheme.

There are four Safer Towns partnerships already in existence – in St Austell, Newquay, Truro and Penzance – but from April this will be extended to include Falmouth, Bodmin, Camborne, Redruth, Liskeard and Saltash.

The PCC has committed £50,000 to kick start the extended programme.

Following the successful model which is already operating these towns will have a more focused partnership response to local community safety issues, aiming to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in a coordinated, evidence-based response.

Safer Towns will provide a partnership response to local community safety issues, aiming to reduce crime/anti-social behaviour and will allow for a coordinated response in the local areas.

The work in each Safer Town will be informed by a Local Town Profile and driven through a detailed action plan.  The Safer Towns will be accountable to the Safer Cornwall Partnership.

“I applaud the community safety partnership and its partnership approach to deal with community safety based issues relating to street drinking and drugs and street attachment,” said Ms Hernandez.

“A significant amount of work has already gone on in St Austell, Penzance and Truro involving agencies, town councils and businesses and I am encouraged by the way businesses and charitable groups have joined statutory partners to find solutions.

“I hope the money I am giving will be used by each group to aid practical initiatives and innovation.”

“This investment is focused on particular towns but its benefit will be felt throughout Cornwall.”

Chief Fire Officer Paul Walker, said: “We are delighted to accept this additional support from the PCC for Cornwall’s innovative Safer Towns approach.  At the very core of the safer towns principles are our focus on people and place.

“Through our multi-disciplinary partnership work we are able to bring together a wealth of knowledge, experience and powers to provide a response to what can be very complex challenges.

“This is another example of our close working with partners to address antisocial behaviour and wider community safety issues. I am confident this proven partnership approach will deliver positive outcomes for residents, businesses and visitors to Cornwall.”

Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce, the police commander for Cornwall, said: “The Safer Towns project is an excellent initiative bringing local leaders, Cornwall Council, the police and local businesses together with a common purpose – to make our communities safer.

“We have seen some really positive progress in Penzance and St Austell over the past few months and our local police teams will be fully engaged in this work as we go forward. “

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Criminal cash to fund #BrewsWithBlues – free cuppas with Newquay police

November 28th, 2017 by

The proceeds of crime are being used in a new initiative to bring police closer to hard-to-reach communities in Newquay.

#BrewsWithBlues is a project being run in cafes across Newquay when members of the public are invited to drop-in for a free cuppa with local police. The cost of the scheme is funded by money recovered from the Proceeds of Crime Act.

It was the idea of Neighbourhood Beat Manager PC Alex Allen with PCSO Ben Pessl taking the initiative forward in Newquay.  Alex had become aware of a scheme run in 50 states in the US called ‘Coffee with A Cop’ which proved to be a great way to enable the police to interact more successfully with the communities they serve. The programme has now spread to Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa.

Alex said: “The key to Coffee with a Cop’s growing success is that it opens the door for interactions outside of crisis situations bringing law enforcement officers and community members together. We know that most people still value face-to-face contact and this will be in a relaxing and informal environment. It will improve not just safeguarding but intelligence by building relationships in an agenda-free environment.”

Ben said: “#BrewsWithBlues will be a one team approach and won’t just involve neighbourhood officers but the wider police family from all areas including CID and Response. We will be promoting the many ways we engage with the community including social media and Neighbourhood Alert and will be able to signpost people to services that may be able to help them with particular issues. We will be there to listen to people’s issues and concerns.

“We are initially running 45-minute drop-ins once a week for eight weeks. We are anticipating that it will attract the retired who may feel a little vulnerable, parents after they have dropped their children off at school, migrant workers and some unemployed who may be feeling at a loose end and would welcome somewhere to go on a cold winter’s morning.”

The cafes which are participating are:

  • Driftwood Kitchen on Cliff Road
  • Tom Thumb, East Street
  • Toast Café, Central Square
  • Pavilion Bakery, Fore Street

The dates of the events will be advertised locally in the town and on social media. The project will be launched at the first #BrewsWithBlues event which will be on ???? and is an opportunity for the media to do interviews.

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: