He’s back! – It’s “Ask Sandy”, our council leader rested from his cruise around the Caribbean on his luxury yacht, now safely berthed at Ramsgate Marina.
“This morning, as I write, someone or some group has taken considerable effort to knock over the palm tree pots along the seafront. We've heard a great deal on the council's efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour but reader comments on this site suggest that the "customer service" needs improving in regard to both availability and response.
Given concerns that the local police presence is also in the process of reduction, and the overall sense of a growing culture of random violence across the island, what can the council do, if anything, with local elections not far away, to address a problem that is high on the list of local concerns?
Let’s clear something up first – I’ve certainly not been lounging around on my yacht in the Caribbean over the last few weeks. If only I owned a yacht! I’ve been in Thanet, enjoying the wonderful summer and all the great events here.
Now on to business. Anti-social behaviour. It’s something we hear a lot about and the impression seems to be that there’s a quick fix to this problem, something that can be provided by local Councils and the police. That’s not the whole picture though. I know some people will say this is a cop-out, but the truth is to tackle anti-social behaviour, there’s a third party that is perhaps the important in this and that’s the local community. Without your support, we’re not going to get anywhere on this problem.
The first thing is making sure that we’ve got the information to tackle the problem and we know that doesn’t always happen at the moment. Some people are too scared to report incidents and some feel that they’ll be passed from pillar to post when they do report it.
That’s why we’ve introduced a new number to report ongoing problems of anti-social behaviour that’ are blighting your community. You can call our Anti-Social Behaviour reporting line on 577 888. Give us as much information as you can about what’s affecting your quality of life in your neighbourhood and, provided you leave your contact details, one of the officers in the new Safer Cleaner Thanet Unit will call you back and work with you to resolve the problem. Calls to this number will be logged and monitored for progress by the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Coordinator, so you will see results.
The new unit’s been created to be the central point of contact and to coordinate the response to anti-social behaviour, but we need information to take action. Let’s take the example given about the palm trees on the seafront. Our Safer Cleaner Thanet Unit would want to know which seafront is being talked about, when the incident happened and if it was reported to the police. Without this information, we’re not going to stand a chance of finding out who was responsible. That means an unsolved case and the Council picking up the bill for any damage.
So let’s all work together on this. If everyone supplies us with as much information as they can, then we stand a lot more chance of being able to take action and tackle the problem.”