Anti-Social Behaviour Budget
As highlighted within the previous item (Minute 27 refers) A Member reported that as evidence by the MORI survey, residents rated Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) as the serious issue I need of action in Birkenhead and the Council and its officers were working tirelessly to reduce the reported ASB incidents.
Officers had been working with Merseyside Police and the Fire Authority to create a structure whereby there would be only one command and budget for ASB which would sit under the Police structure.
In relation to the current provision within the Council to tackle ASB, he indicated that there was a designated ASB team who collated referrals from Members, Police and Residents and with prosecutions, there was also a designated Community Patrol Service which was a huge resource that looked after the Authority’s schools, provided an out-of-hours service and responded to ASB incidents in the Borough’s parks. It was hoped that by April 2016 there would be an integrated team under the Police structure which would include all of the relevant officers and agencies.
An update was given on the development of the Wirral Youth Zone for which work had started in December 2015; work was expected to be completed by January 2017. Members had visited a similar Youth Zone which had been established in Wigan and this example of good practice would be replicated within the centre at Wirral.
In response concerns raised by Mrs L Brace in relation to the cost of young people wanting to attend the Youth Zone and the barriers to transport, A Member indicated that there would be a small cost to attend but this would kept to a minimum and would be used to assist with the running costs. In relation to the barriers to transport it was reported that Officers were in discussions with Merseytravel regarding this.
The Chair suggested that the remainder of £30,000 of the Committee’s ASB Budget be placed under the control of the Police, on the proviso that it was used immediately to respond to those ASB hotspots that were identified by Members to take effect by April 2016, when the Police assumed full control of an integrated force.
The Chair also requested that the ASB Unit be asked to report back on whether those hotspots previously identified by Members had been acted on.
Members updated the Committee on a recent visit they had undertaken to the CCTV Control Room in Liverpool which they felt was a fantastic venue with representatives from all emergency services in attendance, monitoring two of Wirral’s CCTV cameras. The unit also monitored systems for other neighbouring Authorities, but it was noted that systems were not monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mr Cambourne, Anti-Social Behaviour Manager indicated that in addition to those systems that were being monitored in Liverpool, Wirral had 112 public space CCTV cameras, which were recorded by a control room based at Cheshire Lines and were monitored on an intelligence led basis.
(1) the remainder of £30,000 of the Committee’s ASB Budget be placed under the control of the Police, on the proviso that it is used immediately to respond to those ASB hotspots that were identified by Members to take effect by April 2016, when the Police assumed full control of an integrated force; and
(2) Officers from the ASB Unit be requested to report back on whether those hotspots previously identified by Members had been acted on.