TIM DREW: Police advise public to ‘be alert but not alarmed’

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Though the judicial system as it applied to anti-social behaviour dominated proceedings at the last meeting of the Central Ward Neighbourhood Panel, other topics including changes to policing in the wake of the Manchester bombing and anti-social driving were discussed.

Inspector Allan Lowe said that the advice from the police to the public was “Be alert but not alarmed” – in other words, for people to go about their everyday business but, at the same time, to be alert to (and to report) any suspicious incident.

More police officers will be patrolling the streets and maintaining a more visible presence, with the emphasis on reassurance and keeping people safe.

Street briefings are to be introduced whereby the police will visit designated streets and encourage residents to raise their concerns. Some of these will involve the Fire Service and the Safer Communities Partnership.

Inspector Lowe also chairs the Joint Action Group, which meets on a monthly basis, identifies crime trends and decides as how they should be tackled; this group also appoints local action teams, which are deployed on an ad hoc basis. Current problems included bike theft, drug dealing in Victoria Park and Rowlands Road, begging and alcohol theft, with Chapel Road (Tesco in particular) being identified as a hotspot regarding the two latter offences.

Jim Stobart of Operation Crackdown asked for all instances of anti-social driving to be reported. 50,000 reports were expected for this year of which half would come from Operation Speedwatch and Mr Stobart emphasised the need for video or photographic evidence.

Formal warning letters are being sent and are proving effective, with prosecution aimed at 25 per cent of offenders. Two common complaints included cyclists being closely passed by cars and deliberate sudden braking.

The Tarring & Gaisford Community Forum will meet on Tuesday, June 13, at the West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring at 7pm.

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