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Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods WCAC

Meeting: 16/11/2023 - West Central Area Committee (Item 26)

26 Policing and Safer Neighbourhoods WCAC pdf icon PDF 918 KB


The Committee received a report regarding policing and safer neighbourhoods’ trends from the Police Representative, Sergeant Misik and the City Council’s Harm Reduction and ASB Manager, Sarah Steggles.


The report outlined actions taken since the last reporting period. The current emerging issues/neighbourhood trends for each ward were also highlighted (see report for full details). Previous local areas of concern and engagement activity noted in the report were:


             i.         Drug dealing and associated anti-social behaviour, including threatening behaviour and safeguarding of young people.

             i.         Road safety focussing on delivery mopeds and electric scooters illegally used on public highways, particularly those vehicles at night without lights.

            ii.         Street begging; and

           iii.         Supporting the new police campaign expected on drugs with focus on frequent users and the nighttime economy.


In response to Member’s questions Sergeant Misik and the ASB Manager said the following:

      i.         Confirmed that patrols continued to take place along Histon Road, Windsor Road and the Histon Road recreation ground; enforcement work had recently been undertaken.  Would encourage members of the public to keep reporting any anti-social activity and criminal behaviour.

      i.         There had been very few public complaints concerning incidents on Gresham Road as confirmed by the reporting statistics. It appeared the calls were from the same individual on this matter. Confirmed that criminal damage had taken place.

     ii.         Police engagement had increased with the YCMA on Gonville Place to gain an understanding of their residents and what risks, if any, there could be to public safety in the surrounding areas. The anti-social behaviour had moved from the front of Parker’s Piece to the quieter streets behind the building. The Anti-Social Behaviour team at the City Council were also working with the Police on this issue.

    iii.         Noted the comment that e-scooters were of widespread concern amongst the public and was not just linked to high accident areas. Ad-hoc enforcement had been undertaken on this issue. There was now an increase in staff with three extra student officers so could make this issue a priority.

   iv.         There had been a reduction in rough sleeping due to an increase in winter provision, but there were individuals still sleeping outside.  For some, their behaviour was so anti-social, that they could not be offered accommodation; enforcement work would be undertaken with one individual in the hope that they would accept the help to change their behaviour rather than face the prospect of prison.

     v.         Concerning an increase in noise from vehicles, a Special Constable was currently undertaking training to use dedicated equipment to measure which vehicles had been altered, such as the exhaust to cause a noise increase. It was vital that this issue was reported online by the Public to map where the problems were.

   vi.         Confirmed that the Police worked closely with Housing Associations (HA) in the City and surrounding areas and that issues were reported to the Police from the HA. If the City Council ASB team received a report from a HA tenant this would be reported to the relevant HA. They were then offered an opportunity to attend the Council’s problem-solving group with their cases. Would also link into the Police.


Members of the public put forward the following questions:


1.    What is being done to enforce the law regarding the use of privately owned (non-Voi) powered scooters on roads, pavements and public spaces in Cambridge? I understand that limited resources are stretched and wonder if some traffic wardens/community safety staff could be deployed to help with this?


1.    Is there any control over the increased use of mopeds and powered bicycles being driven across Jesus Green, Midsummer and Stourbridge Commons by Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats?


Sergeant Misik advised that enforcement was undertaken on ad-hoc basis, The matter had been discussed in the previous item ‘actions arising from the minutes’.


2.    Can the current situation at the proximal end of Gresham Road leading to Parkers Piece be given priority attention?

This involves ASB and criminal behaviour and intimidation.

  • drug dealing on footpath day and night.
  • drug usage on the footpath day and night leaving potentially dangerous debris to be picked up by residents.
  • extensive Graffiti on private property - ground level and at high level (due to height is not removed by local council department) - currently classed as criminal damage.
  • groups of youths with face coverings gathering and disturbing residents late in evening with shouting/ banging on doors/throwing glass bottles at garden/house walls


Sergeant Misik advised that this matter had been discussed earlier when raised by Cllr Martinelli. Would highlight that it was now an offence to be in possession of nitrous oxide. Had recently linked the use of nitrous oxide to a resident of the YCMA who had been evicted due to having it in their room.


The ASB Manager advised that a staff member from the ASB team had undertaken a site visit with two ward councillors and residents in the area. A resident had also kept a diary on the anti-social behaviour. The same Officer was working with the YMCA and external partners looking at the activity of young people in the area.


Members recommended the following priorities. 


                      i.           Drug dealing and associated anti-social behaviour, including threatening behaviour and safeguarding of young people, also focusing on frequent users and the nighttime economy.

                      i.           Road safety focussing on delivery mopeds and electric scooters illegally used on public highways and open spaces, particularly those vehicles at night without lights.

                     ii.           Street begging.