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PCC welcomes council's new powers to improve community safety


The PCC presenting the certificate of accreditation to Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council, with Somerset Policing Area Commander Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie and Cllr Felicity Baker, North Somerset Council

Council and police officers in North Somerset have taken on a broader range of powers as part of their joint community response initiative.

North Somerset Council is now a 'Community Safety Accredited Organisation' under the Police Reform Act 2002.

This means some council officers have been granted a limited but targeted range of police powers.

The council's community response officers now have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for disorder, cycling on a footpath, dog fouling, graffiti, fly-posting, littering and dog control offences.

Officers also have the power to require someone to give their name and address because of anti-social behaviour, to surrender alcohol if they are drinking in a designated place or are under 18, to remove abandoned vehicles, stop vehicles for testing, or stop cycles.

Police community support officers (PCSOs) will also be given equivalent enforcement powers to help resolve street scene, environmental and anti-social behaviour issues that are currently dealt with by the council.

More than 90 officers from the council and the police have attended multi-agency training on the new powers.

"Both council and police officers can now share and access information between each other to enhance community safety across the district," said Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council.

"These new powers will strengthen our partnership working and enable officers on the ground to resolve a wider range of issues for the community."

The certificate of accreditation was presented to Cllr Ashton by Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Somerset Policing Area Commander Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie at the launch of this week's community response week of action.

Sue Mountstevens said: “This is a fantastic initiative which provides a visible and accessible authoritative presence across the communities of North Somerset. A broader range of powers for both council and police officers will support them, not only in their role of keeping residents safe and feeling safe, but also ensuring North Somerset is a great place to live, visit and work.

“I am a great supporter of neighbourhood policing and acknowledge that to be truly effective we must continue to be committed to working together more closely. The new powers will complement the existing great work of local neighbourhood teams and partners, while offering community reassurance across all local areas.”

Ian Wylie said: "Our aim in bringing together the powers of front line council officers and PCSOs is to make it easier for our communities to raise issues and easier for our staff to take action in response.

"We have been working closely with the council for many years to make sure North Somerset is a safe place for residents and visitors alike. This new accreditation for the council will help us maintain and develop this approach."

The community response week of action is aimed at highlighting the partnership work being done to improve community safety in North Somerset. It includes a roadshow tour of the district giving people the chance to raise any concerns they have with council and police officers.​


Posted on Tuesday 15th September 2015
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