Councillor Gledhill presented his first report as Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour and highlighted the following services included within that portfolio:
• A key behaviour being Anti-Social Behaviour and how the Council supported the Police dealing with this.
• Secured funding for three years to enable five Police Officers and one Sergeant to be based in the Civic Offices.
• Worked closely with the Police, through the Community Safety Partnership, to help tackle certain crimes.
• CCTV evidence had been used in the past year in co-operating with Police in Operation Raptor.
• Operation to combat motor bike and quad bike activities.
• Environment Enforcement team had been built from the Clean It Cut It Fill It initiative and the Council would continue to take action on those that blighted the borough.
• 15 New Police Officers will be based in Civic Offices.
• Trading Standards team expanded their remit to include the operation of the Product Safety at Ports and Borders.
• Public Protection that alongside Trading Standards were Licensing and Food Safety.
Councillor Lawrence, as Deputy Chair on the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee requested an update on the injunction on unauthorised encampments in the borough. Councillor Gledhill stated Thurrock Council had gathered evidence to apply to the High Court for an injunction in accordance with the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, prohibiting the setting up of unauthorised encampments within the borough. This application had been submitted in December 2018 however an appeal from London Borough of Bromley v Persons had been submitted, which could have an impact on how injunction applications were considered going forward. Council Gledhill stated that legal advice at this time was to await the outcome of the appeal prior to submitting Thurrock’s application.
Councillor J Kent questioned the increase in crime and how the latest figures confirmed that the situation was getting worse and asked could residents have some comfort that crime would be down in a year’s time. Councillor Gledhill stated that he could not say this within a year but confirmed that £1m had been invested in extra Police Officers. With 15 extra Police Officers based in the Civic Offices and that this time last year the 24 Police Officers would not have been patrolling the streets. Councillor Gledhill stated that prevention was critical to reducing crime being committed and that residents took on the responsibility to start reporting any crime.
Councillor Spillman questioned whether the CCTV used for evidence gathering was live and was it the Police or Thurrock Officers that got involved with the monitoring and evidence gathering. Councillor Gledhill stated that CCTV was live and monitored from Tilbury where evidence would be shared to support crime incidents and assist emergency services and CCTV footage could be used to supply information for further investigations. It was proposed that a review of CCTV be undertaken.
Councillor Pothecary raised a concern on gang related violence in Thurrock where young people were part of gangs who had moved from London and questioned how the Youth Offending team were made aware of such individuals. Councillor Gledhill stated the issue went beyond Thurrock and that Members of the Essex Leaders had written to the Mayor of London and stated that every time an individual, either homeless or troubled families, had moved into another area that London Borough should make contact. Councillor Gledhill stated that the process did not work and relied on Agencies letting the Council know of such individuals.
Councillor Kerin welcomed the CCTV that had been installed in Seabrooke Rise and requested that the portfolio holder engaged with members from the Seabrooke Rise Association on where future CCTV should be installed. Councillor Gledhill stated that information from residents was vital so that the Council could engage with the Police.