NEW PARTNERSHIP FUNDING FOR BOSCOMBE COMMUNITY SAFETY PATROL OFFICERS
Dorset Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) and Bournemouth Borough Council have entered into a new partnership to extend the funding for the Community Safety Patrol Officers (CSPOs) in Boscombe.
This has enabled the CSPOs to continue their ground-breaking work in Boscombe through to March 2016, as well as extending the area they patrol and putting more CSPOs on the ground.
The CPSOs and Community Safety Wardens work closely with police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs), local retailers and residents to reduce crime, improve community safety and provide reassurance.
The first year of the scheme was funded by Bournemouth Borough Council and the second year is being supported with equal monetary contributions from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Bournemouth Coastal BID.
The wardens maintain a permanent focus on a specific area without the possibility of being re-deployed to incidents, which is typical of the role of a uniformed police officer or PCSO.
The wardens patrol in uniform in a specific geographical area. During 2014 the area covered the central shopping area of Boscombe, within the borders of Hawkwood Road and Centenary Way, which include the Royal Arcade, Sovereign Centre and bus station.
Community Safety Wardens are authorised by Dorset Police’s Chief Constable, Debbie Simpson, to use limited police powers, allowing them to deal with issues that the local community have highlighted. Issues range from street begging, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and people drinking alcohol in designated ‘no drinking zones’.
Wardens attend structured weekly briefings with Dorset Police to ensure they are aware of the week’s current priorities and locations. In addition to this, the wardens have daily contact with Safer Neighbourhood officers whilst on patrol.
Body worn CCTV is part of the wardens’ uniform. The footage has provided valuable information regarding individuals involved in drug use and drug dealing and will provide the evidence to support future Community Protection Notices.
Since late May 2014, the two wardens have attended 1300 incidents and used their accredited powers on 1124 occasions. Reported retail crime, commonly known as shoplifting, has reduced by 13 per cent from 250 crimes down to 217 crimes. ASB has seen a reduction trend since the introduction of the scheme with calls to the police reducing from 159 per month to as low as 60 calls per month.
Boscombe Regeneration Police Inspector, Chris Weeks, said: “The CSAS wardens have integrated into Dorset Police and have had a positive impact on reducing crime and ASB. In addition, the retail community in Boscombe precinct consider the scheme to be a positive and welcomed addition.
He added: “Funding by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Bournemouth Coastal Bid will ensure the benefits of the scheme are experienced by a wider community with crime and anti-social behaviour continuing to reduce.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I welcome the valuable contribution that CSAS wardens are making to help improve community safety in Boscombe. They are a huge support to police officers, PCSOs and the Safer Neighbourhood Team and provide that extra reassurance to local retailers and residents.”
Paul Clarke, Chairman of the Coastal BID added: “The feedback from businesses is that the CSPOs have had real success in helping to improve the shopper experience in Boscombe. They have worked well with Dorset Police and have had a positive impact on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB).
“Businesses have definitely welcomed this initiative and consider it to be a positive addition to the town. The Coastal BID is thrilled to become one of the three funding partners for the forthcoming year.”
Boscombe Councillor, Jane Kelly concluded: “We are delighted with this new partnership, allowing the excellent work to continue in Boscombe.”