Discussions on the ward provision of Community Rangers and crime reduction initiatives.
4.1 Matthew Ward presented the brief history of the Community Safety scheme in the ward.
· In 2005, Community Rangers were initially funded when residents perceived that there was a lack of police presence in the ward.
· Changes in Police structure introduced Safer Neighbourhood Teams, with which came the introduction of Police Community Support Officers, PCSO’s.
· So, the ward now benefited from Community Ranger Patrols and higher levels of visible police patrols, working in partnership to address Anti-social behaviour (ASB)
· Reports from Community Rangers were regularly received, informing of where patrols were made and what incidents of note occurred.
· Residents were able to report incidents on a free phone/local phone number.
· The Community Ranger manager would attend ward committees to address issues and report back to residents.
· Residents continued to prioritise the Community Ranger Patrols to received ward committee funding.
· Currently Kingdom Security have taken
over the company (formally Group Response).
· No free phone number has been available for residents to report issues.
· Reports have NOT been received by NMU to show patrol data.
· CYC Procurement has been asked to obtain quotes from security companies.
4.2 Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward allocated £4.500 towards Community Safety scheme for this year and one invoice for £365 was paid already.
4.3 Meeting was asked for ideas regarding the future of the scheme and possible options were given by Neighbourhood Management Officer:
· Continue funding patrols but tender a new company.
· Allocate funding to Police initiatives for the ward.
· Eg. ‘Target Hardening’ - Shed bars, garage security measures, improved security at Leeside Park, Nelsons Lane and Chapman's Pond.
At this moment Clls Semlyen has asked the meeting if the current contract should be cancelled.
The majority have agreed to that idea.
At this point the discussion has started and following questions and concerns were raised.
Q Do we need patrol company, or better support the Police?
Q We were promised report on how usable the patrol is. We had no report, therefore are unable to say how useful they were.
Q How does the procurement process works?
A At this moment we have to decide if we retain the community patrol or no. It was out of our control when Kingdom Security took over Group Response. Procurement has to go through process of gathering quotes from companies that are interested in providing that security service.
Q Do other wards have similar Community Safety scheme?
A There were five wards funding that scheme, however Westfield has recently decided to withdraw.
Cllr Reid has commented that Community Rangers were funded by the ward committee for the number of years and it was good for residents to have alternative phone number to ring to report ASB. Community Patrols were different and used to provide additional service to the Police.
Matthew Ward has red the letter from Inspector Iain Surrell regarding Community Safety scheme.
Following questions and comments were raised.
Q Have we paid Kingdom Security three months salary and not seen them on the streets?
A We are trying to get information from them regarding their activity in the ward over past few months.
Resident has commented that local company who know the area should be hired.
Q Is the patrol entitled to enter the school grounds?
A The school grounds are looked after by own security.
Q Could we use the company that is already employed by the school? If they are reliable and know the area that would be good choice.
A I will have to check which company is looking after school grounds.
Resident has commented that there were ASB issues near Chapman’s Pond and the Police responded promptly to his calls. I think that the Police services will suffice and there is no need for additional community safety patrol.
Resident has commented that when there were some disturbances at Acomb Wood he tried to ring the Police, but could not get through, therefore he rung Mayfair who attended promptly.
Q Will the garage locks provided through target hardening be provided for residents who were victims of burglary before? Having community patrol could deter the burglars.
At this point Cllr Semlyen has asked the meeting if the current contract should be retendered.
20 residents have voted for the idea.
Cllr Semlyen has asked the meeting if the Police patrols are sufficient enough and there is no requirement for additional community patrols
7 residents have voted for that idea.
Following questions and comments were raised at this point.
Q Could we fund local company to provide that service?
A We will feed that back to procurement.
Q Can we possibly trial the company before signing the contract?
A We will have to check that with procurement.
Q We cannot make the decision on behalf of whole ward. Why should we be making that decision?
A This is a public meeting and therefore appropriate for such decisions to be taken.
Q What will happen now regarding the patrol?
A We will feed back the outcomes of today meeting to procurement, they will continue the process of selecting three quotes from companies interested in providing that service.
Q What is the specification for the patrol?
A We have the specification document which was used while working out the contract with Community Rangers. The document is available for members of the public to see.
Cllr Reid has commented that the contract was very good; it gave City of York Council a lot of flexibility, and allowed to make enquiries regarding the progress.