Safer St Austell partnership shares action plan to tackle St Austell residents’ concerns

24 July 2020 Posted by

The Safer St Austell partnership has adopted a proactive ‘enforcement and engagement’ approach to tackling anti-social behaviour in St Austell.

In addition to its established programme of work, the Community Safety Team has triggered an intensive 6-week, multi-stranded response to reports of an increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB), drug litter and open drug-taking in and around the town centre.

All ASB powers and tools at the ASB team’s disposal have been considered and those appropriate have been and will continue to be used, including additional patrols by the ASB caseworkers, outreach workers from We Are With You, local supported housing providers and local security teams.

So far this month (July), 15 ASB warnings have been issued, and individuals given the opportunity to engage with support services before enforcement action is considered.

The local police inspector has secured additional force support in the short-term to target the current issues, which include concerns around county lines drug operations.

Using intelligence received, the police are working to disrupt this activity in order to tackle the problem which is affecting several towns across Cornwall and is a national issue.

We are also holding additional multi-agency meetings to discuss the individuals of concern within the town, with an action plan to ensure those individuals are positively engaged with support, and where necessary that appropriate enforcement action is being taken.

We are in the process of identifying a building where ‘We Are With You’ – who are commissioned by the Council and partners to deliver free and confidential advice, information, support and treatment for drug and alcohol problems – can deliver services. We are also purchasing two additional needle disposal bins for the town and more waste collection patrols are taking place.

There have also been concerns raised that the number of rough sleepers accommodated in St Austell in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been disproportionally high.

The Council has delivered additional accommodation provision across Cornwall, in partnership with Cornwall Housing Limited and We Are With You, for people who are sleeping rough or are at risk of sleeping rough, and this has included 12 additional bed-spaces in St Austell. Across Cornwall an additional 367 households have been accommodated in direct response to Covid-19. Only four people were moved to St Austell from the de-commissioned Covid-19 accommodation provision at holiday parks and they were moved into accommodation with 24/7 staffing and on-site support appropriate to their needs.

Two of the people placed have already received offers of move-on accommodation.

Everyone who has been accommodated receives a holistic housing and support assessment with appropriate move-on pathways that will lead to settled accommodation.

Where someone has not come into accommodation, the Council continues to deliver assertive outreach , in partnership with other agencies, to provide support and encourage them to look at a range of housing options.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for environment and public protection Rob Nolan said: “As is the case in a number of towns in Cornwall, there are individuals in St Austell who require intensive support. COVID-19 has made it an incredibly difficult time for many, and more so for the most vulnerable people in our community.  There are also rumours and misinformation to contend with.  We encourage everyone to continue to support the local donation boxes and report any safeguarding concerns through to the police.”

Residents are encouraged to report any concerns using the following means, as these trigger the most rapid response, and are more effective than any other means

  • If you see someone sleeping rough, contact Streetlink via www.streetlink.org.uk or 0300 500 0914 (or 999 if they need urgent medical assistance). This trigger the homeless outreach service.Individuals sleeping rough can contact the Cornwall Housing Options Team on 0300 1234 161 or drop into an Information Service (formerly called One Stop Shop).
  • If people experience anti-social behaviour, email 101@dc.police.uk or call 101 for non-emergencies and in an emergency call 999. This triggers an ASB response.
  • If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
  • For concerns about rubbish such as glass and needles on the street, call Cornwall Council Refuse and Recycling on 0300 1234 141 or email refuseandrecycling@cornwall.gov.uk  This triggers drugs and alcohol outreach and police as well as waste collection.

Safer St Austell members include Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, St Austell Town Council, community drug and alcohol service We Are With You, Harbour Housing, Cornwall Housing Outreach and the local Business Improvement District.

There are an estimated 2,616 Opiate and/or crack cocaine users in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (PHE) of whom 62.5% are in treatment, by comparison to the national rate of engagement of 46% (one of the highest penetration rates in the country).

However, there remain those who are treatment resistant and our more entrenched rough sleepers. For those residents, we are one of the few areas of the Country that still deploy specialist outreach workers to target and assertively engage those not in treatment. However, this does take time. Our outreach resources have been particularly stretched throughout the emergency Covid pandemic response, maintaining face to face contact, and providing treatment  and now, over the easing of lockdown. However, this week, the Government has made an additional grant to Bristol, Bournemouth, Cornwall and Dorset to provide additional specialist alcohol and drug services to rough sleepers experiencing these issues, which should increase the capacity available in the short term. In the meantime, additional outreach provision is being put in place for the interim.

 

 

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: