blank
Connect with us

Police and Crime

Council consults on plans to introduce extra anti-social behaviour powers

Published

on

SWANSEA Council is to consult residents and businesses on plans to introduce new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in some areas of our city.

If approved it would mean trained council officers and police would be able to confiscate alcohol in the street and have additional powers to tackle issues such as drug-taking and drunkenness in the city centre, the Marina and parts of Morriston.

Known as Public Space Protection Orders, or PSPOs, they can be introduced in areas where anti-social behaviour needs to be brought under further control.

A six-week consultation on applying them to the city centre, including the upper High Street as far as Dyfatty lights, the Marina area, Woodfield Street in Morriston and a section of St Helen’s Road goes on until January 25, 2021.

It’ll be followed by a report that will go to Swansea Council’s Cabinet for a decision on whether to go ahead with some or all of them along with details of how they will be implemented.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism said people are fed up with anti-social behaviour and want something done about it.

Between July and September this year alone there were 493 complaints to City Centre rangers about anti-social behaviour and in the 12 months to June this year South Wales police reported more than 1,100 anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crimes in the city centre and marina area.

Advertisement

Cllr Francis-Davies said: “We recognise people’s concerns. They should not go to the shops, visit friends or go to work feeling worried about being intimidated or threatened because of anti-social behaviour.

“Swansea is better than that. By using these additional powers to the ones the police already have, the Council will  be able to do even more to support visitors, businesses and their staff to enjoy our city at its best.”

Swansea City Centre Rangers (Image: Swansea Council)

Alyson Pugh, Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, said a PSPO will give the council and police extra powers to deal with anti-social behaviour on our streets such as drinking, drug-taking and other activity where it is having a negative effect on an area.

The consultation document shows exactly where it’s proposed the PSPOs will go.

She said: “It means we will be able to confiscate alcohol from people drinking on the streets before it becomes an issue, issue fixed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour and take other proactive action to tackle the problem.”

Ty-Nant Tunnel between The Strand and High Street and the Service Lane at the bottom of St Helen’s Road have become areas of concern due to anti-social behaviour. 

Cllr Pugh said the proposals would help nip long-standing issues in the bud by closing the tunnel and controlling access to the service lane for legitimate use only. Work to upgrade the Jockey Street tunnel to provide a better alternative route for getting back and forth from The Strand and High Street will also be undertaken.

Advertisement

“We already know there is good support for PSPOs from the police and businesses concerned about the impact on trade from anti-social behaviour. Although a lot of work has already been done to address these problems, more needs to be done.”

Andrea Lewis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Homes, Energy and Service Transformation said PSPOs have been introduced by councils across the UK and elsewhere in Wales such as Newport and Monmouthshire as part of a package of measures to tackle anti-social behaviour.

She said: “We have to do all we can to reduce the blight of anti-social behaviour in places like the city centre and the Marina.

She added: “It’s also important to recognise that if they’re introduced, PSPOs are not aimed at the homeless or rough sleepers; people who often have complex problems and deserve our support to help them manage their lives.

“We already have established mechanisms in place with the excellent outreach services who are working hard locally to support vulnerable people. This year the council has spent £5.6m on supporting the homeless with medical and social care as well as finding them a place to live. We are investing around £1m to increase the number of one-bedroom flats we own so there are more permanent homes available to those who need them most.”

To find out more and join in the consultation please go here: www.swansea.gov.uk/PSPOs

Advertisement

(Lead image: Woodfield Street in Morriston – Geograph / John M)


Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Dyfed Powys Police

Eight assaults EVERY DAY on Welsh emergency workers in first six months of 2021

Published

on

By

Eight assaults every day were committed against Welsh emergency workers during the first six months of this year, new figures have revealed.

More than 1,360 assaults were committed in the six-month period from 01 January 2021 – 30 June 2021.

They included kicking, slapping, head-butting and verbal abuse, and ranged from common assault to serious premediated attacks involving grievous bodily harm.

At least 21 incidents involved a weapon.

With Christmas fast approaching – the time of year when assaults traditionally spike – emergency workers are asking the public to treat them with respect.

Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a fraught time for all of us, but that’s no excuse to assault an emergency worker, who are normal human beings just trying to do a job.

“The run-up to Christmas means more people are out enjoying the revelry, and with alcohol consumption comes an increase in assaults, both physical and verbal.

Advertisement

“There were 60 verbal attacks alone on our ambulance control room staff in the first six months of the year.

“We know it’s distressing when you’re waiting for help, but abusing our call handlers is not the answer – if anything, it could potentially delay help.

“On the road meanwhile, crews might have no choice but to leave a scene if their safety is compromised, and that’s not helpful for anyone, especially the patient.

“The debt of gratitude we owe to our emergency workers has never been greater, so we’re asking the public to work with us, not against us this Christmas.”

Almost half (47%) of assaults in the six-month period took place in South East Wales; Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Bridgend are among the most prolific local authority areas.

Advertisement

Offenders aged 26-35 account for the highest portion of offending (24%), while a third of incidents involved people under the influence of alcohol.

May 2021 saw the highest volume of assaults (281) as the hospitality industry re-opened in Wales after the second Covid-19 lockdown.

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, there have been at least 36 incidents where an emergency worker has been deliberately coughed at.

Assaults on police account for two thirds (67%) of the total number, averaging 152 victims every month in the six-month period.

Claire Parmenter, Temporary Chief Constable at Dyfed Powys Police, said: “Assaults on police officers continue to increase and this is completely unacceptable. 

Advertisement

“Assault is a traumatic offence that causes great distress to anyone, and it is no different when the victim is an emergency worker.

“In September, we saw a man handed a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years after he violently attacked two of our police officers who had gone to his aid.

“Concerned for his safety, they gave him a lift home – and in return both were physically injured.

“The psychological impact on both officers is something they will take time to recover from.

“In the same month alone, three officers carrying out their duties suffered injuries in an unprovoked attack at the hands of the man they were trying to arrest.

Advertisement

“Despite the offender’s efforts, the officers were able to arrest him although they were left with injuries.

“The offender appeared in court the day after his arrest, where he was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

“Assaults such as these stay with the victims for the rest of their careers, and none of my officers and staff should have to go to work serving the public and be afraid of being assaulted.

“With the upcoming season of goodwill, please respect and protect our emergency workers.”

Although fewer in number – 22 incidents over the six-month period – March 2021 saw an unexplained rise in assaults on fire service colleagues, especially in South Wales.

Advertisement

Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway QFSM from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our emergency services work hard every day keeping the public safe and should not have to deal with abuse.

“Attacks on crews while protecting our communities and keeping people safe is completely unacceptable.

“Our blue light services come to work to serve and protect the public and the impact of such assaults can lead to life-changing consequences for those involved.

“This type of behaviour is, of course, carried out by a very small minority, and we once again thank our communities for their continued support in working with us this festive season to stay safe.”

Under the Assault on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act, the definition of an emergency worker includes police, fire and ambulance staff, as well as prison staff and NHS workers.

Advertisement

Judith Paget, Chief Executive of NHS Wales, said: “Our emergency workers provide life-saving and life-changing care every day in often difficult circumstances.

“Our NHS staff are preparing for a challenging Christmas period so now, more than ever, they deserve to be treated with respect.

“Any form of attack on our emergency workers is completely unacceptable and we are doing everything we can to work with NHS Wales employers and our partner agencies to eradicate physical or verbal assaults on staff.”

Last week, UK Government announced that it was introducing a new law that will mean a mandatory life sentence for those who kill an emergency worker in the course of their duty.

The Ministry of Justice said it would aim to pass ‘Harper’s Law’ in England and Wales – in memory of Thames Valley Police PC Andrew Harper, who was killed in the line of duty in 2019 – as soon as possible.

Advertisement

The With Us, Not Against Us campaign was launched in May 2021 by the Joint Emergency Service Group in Wales to try and reduce the number of assaults on emergency workers.

Continue Reading

Dyfed Powys Police

Parents warned of pitfalls of buying e-scooters this Christmas

Published

on

By

road street vehicle travel

Thinking of buying an e-scooter as a gift this Christmas? You may want to rethink that idea.

Dyfed-Powys Police are reminding people that privately owned e-scooters are illegal to ride on public roads, pavements, parks and cycle paths.

Anyone caught doing so risks being issued with a £300 fine, six penalty points on their driving licence and having the e-scooter seized.

E-scooters can only be used on private land with the permission of the landowner.

Chief Inspector Thomas Sharville from Dyfed Powys Police’s Specialist Operations Department, said: “I would remind anyone considering purchasing an e-scooter as a Christmas gift that it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle paths.

“Their speed and silence can pose a significant danger to other road users and pedestrian safety, especially vulnerable pedestrians.

“Please consider a more suitable, and safer, gift for your loved ones

Advertisement

“Retailers may be happy to sell one to you but it could be seized the moment you attempt to use it in a public place.”

For any driver or motorcyclist that has passed their driving test in the last two years getting caught using an eScooter could result in a driving disqualification and the need to re-take both the theory and practical driving test.

Trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in some parts of England, but people are warned that they should only be used within the local area hosting the trial.

(Lead image: Varla Scooter / Pexels.com)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

South Wales Police

Man jailed for stealing 98 year-old’s income and driving her into debt

Published

on

By

A man has been jailed today after fraudulently taking his 98-year-old victim’s income over a period of two years.

Alun Davies, 67 years old, from Ravenhill in Swansea was placed in a position of trust after the victim, 94 years old at the time, was deemed not to have capacity for her own finances.

Instead of using her finances to pay for her care, Davies cancelled her direct debits that paid for her sheltered accommodation and care provisions, and took sums of the money for himself every week.

This left his victim at the point of eviction and in debts of over £36,700.

Through the joint investigations of South Wales Police and partners, Davies was brought to justice and has today been sentenced to three years in prison for fraud.

Detective Constable Joanne Pudner from South Wales Police, the officer in case, said: “This exploitation of an elderly, vulnerable woman in her time of need truly show the unscrupulous nature of Mr Davies’ crimes, and I’m glad that today’s sentence means that he has been brought to justice.

“The Client Property and Finance Unit of Swansea Local Authority that made the complaint on behalf of the victim and are now acting in her best interest to pay back the outstanding debt. This is a perfect example of how partners can work together to keep people safe, and bring perpetrators to justice.”

Advertisement

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News