Monday, September 04, 2006

A Safer Cleaner Thanet?

A new, dedicated team has been set up to tackle anti-social behaviour in Thanet, along with a new phoneline for people to report problems affecting their community.

The Safer Cleaner Thanet Unit is hosted by Thanet Council and draws together a range of organisations, including Kent Police, Kent County Council, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, voluntary groups and the business community. The Unit will targeting problems like vandalism, intimidation, harassment, dumped rubbish and graffiti. Incident diaries will also be given out to those experiencing persistent problems, which may mean that people don't have to give evidence in court. The team works closely with other groups, such as housing associations, local voluntary organisations  to work on problems that local people identify.

A new anti-social behaviour hotline has also been launched. Residents can call in the strictest of confidence on 01843 577 888 to report problems, giving as much information as possible about incidents, such as dates, times and places. Calls will be allocated to individual officers from the new Unit, who will then call the person back, providing they leave their name, address and telephone number, and follow the incident through on their behalf. This means that people will have one point of contact and will be able to find out what progress is being made on the incidents that are reported.

Cllr. Ingrid Spencer, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Services, said: "We know that people want to feel safer and we also know that anti-social behaviour is a major issue throughout the country.

Here in Thanet, we're aiming to try and deal with the problem by establishing this unit, but let's be clear, this is a first step. To tackle anti-social behaviour, there's another group that we need to get on board and that's the community.

"The only way that the Safer Cleaner Thanet Unit can get results is by getting more effective information from the public. They're a vital part of dealing with this whole issue. They're the ones who can supply the details we need about the ongoing issues that are impacting the quality of life in their community. If you're not sure if a problem is affecting other people in your community, then why not ask around in your neighbourhood? The more people who are watching out for problems and reporting them to the new team, the more chance there is that we will be able to get results."

She added: "With the new hotline, there's now one place to call in complete confidence with all your details of the problems you're experiencing. We know that some people worry about reporting issues and that's why we've introduced this new number. We'd obviously prefer people to leave their details, so that we can discuss the matter further with them, but if you want to report incidents anonymously, our team will still follow them up."


Anonymous said...

Having tried over the last few years to get TDC to do something about all these problems its been like hitting my head against a brick wall.
Unless they have totally new staff running it then it won't be any better now.
The institutional denial of service at TDC is too well established to change unless the entire staff changes, and that just isn't going to happen.
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks and this is true with TDC.
I do wish I could be more positive but that would be a product of hope over experience - and there's been too much bad experience with TDc and their much publicised new initiatives which fail to deliver what they promised.

Dane Valley Ted said...

I have been saying exactly the same thing for a long time.
As for teaching an old dog new tricks,there are some things they are good at,

Rolling over-They do that at every planning commitee.

Laying Down-They appear to do that instead of work.

Playing dead-Got that to perfection

Fetch-Good at that,Get an (expert)in so they can blame them for the failure of yet another scheme.

Scratching-plenty of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours",


Digging-Deep enough yet, Latchford?

Begging-For another chance,I do not think so!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ted - its the TDC elections in less than 6 months.
Its certainly time for a change, trouble is the other electorally viable party didn't do too well last time with some crazy schemes.
We need the TLF (Thanet Liberation Front) to take over, sack those bad council staff (that's just about all of them) and start afresh.
Isn't going to happen, I reckon that Ezekiel et al will get in again on the basis that the electors have no confidence in Blair's Government and will therefore vote Conservative as a protest in any election which comes along.

James Maskell said...

Sorry to correect you Anonymous but the elections are in less than 8 months, not six. 3rd of May next year...

Carry on...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that James, you are well rite, me maffs ain't too good as i only went once when i was at the Ramsgate Skool.
Are you going to lead the TLF James?
I'll buy you a beret to wear Citizen Maskell.
You are too young to remember Citizen Smith but there are others on here who will remember.
Or a similar independent party?
I thought I might stand for the Old Codgers Party, or the Disgusted of Margate Party.......probably couldn't do any worse than the current Salmestone incumbents.
We look to you James to lead us from this land of strife to a promised land, flowing with milk and honey etc.

Anonymous said...

I am annoyed to see that TDC is involved at our expense in matters that are to do with policing. It is the job of Kent Police to police and the job of Sandy's 'boys & girls' to clean.

Having had recent dealings with a member of a team 'contracted' in to deal with some of these issues, I must say that the whole incident from fly-tipping discovered and reported to statement taken from me ,to caution given to offending party, was less than 10 days. It is however costly and and is a short term contract. How much has TDC forked out for these efficient guys?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.13 - I have also dealt with these contracted enforcement officers.
They were very efficient and have never been TDC employees in the past, they have come from elsewhere.
Therefore they do not have the denial of service culture that has infected TDC employees and which I believe is sadly incurable.

Unlike you I am a believer in the Town Police concept, its actually how the police started out here as in many towns but got taken over by county and national government.
They will be great as a presence and deterrent and for dealing with lowlevel antisocial crime.
In time maybe they can get a bit more training and powers of arrest and then they will be taken more seriously.
Its good just having an official presence on the street, it must help deter the hoodies etc.

But we need them in the evening and at night too, not just during the day.

You must agree if we had an officer of some description on every street corner there would be no crime in Thanet. Obviously that is not affordable but we can strike a balance between cost and effectiveness.

We do not need highly trained and expensive full police officers wasting their time on petty antisocial crime. let them deal with serious stuff - and they are quite good at that.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment about 'the Magnificent 7' hired by TDC to clean up the Isle! One I had dealings with was utterly scathing about how things were run down here. Policing is expensive as you need 3+ men/women to keep 1 on the deck at all times. A price worth paying as far as I am concerned when you consider the cost of cleaning up and repairing simple vandalism. The Town Police could be partly self-financing by all fines etc being paid to TDC!

James Maskell said...

I know of Citizen Smith, though I wasnt around when it was being shown. Im certainly not like him! I wont be an Independent next year.