I can hardly believe it, but it is almost a month since I attended the first police City Centre Tasking meeting since the police were reorganised. The area it covers is the main City Centre retail/business district, along Broad Street/Brindleyplace, and Southside.
At that first meeting I was the only resident representative – something I hope will change! Nevertheless I was able to put forward the points of view of several residents, and a managing agent who wrote on residents’ behalf.
This has had some significant results, with the police reacting within a day to improve liason with concierges in Southside, where the police reorganisation had inadvertently damaged close cooperative links and had reduced local visible presence. Some other issues raised may take longer!
Now I need to know what residents would like me to raise in the next meeting on Friday 11th June – please send me any comments by 10am on Friday!
More about the Tasking Meeting….what it is, and issues so far….
What is the Tasking Meeting?
It is intended to help the police and other participants to understand and resolve on a day-to-day level whatever the issues are that bother residents, security staff, businesses, and other organisations around the city centre. Attendees try to work out the best way to tackle them together, and all attendees are expected to help and participate in initiatives in whatever ways are appropriate, not just to come along to complain. The main meeting will meet monthly, sub-groups as appropriate. Actions, or ‘Tasks’, will be tracked.
Bigger, more strategic level, issues that cannot be handled in this ‘local’ ‘on-the-ground’ fashion will be escalated to the Safer City Centre Forum. We also have a City Centre Neighbourhood Forum representative on this, so there will be continuity following up issues of concern to residents.
Some of the issues from the first meeting
The topic that appeared to be of most concern to the widest number of participants was aggressive begging. Some beggars appear to be very organised, moving from venue to venue at the busiest times for each – at the end of theatre performances for example. The demanding behaviour of the aggressive minority can cause people to feel threatened. Instead of treating the problem in a piecemeal fashion in each location, it is now being targeted jointly by all the concerned organisations cooperating together. Once enough evidence is collected ASBOs may be the result (14 have already been issued fairly recently, and it is hoped more can now be pursued).
The biggest issue this time for residents was that of disorder and noise in the areas near to late night entertainment areas, particularly in the side streets off Broad Street and in Southside. We made the point that by concentrating policing almost entirely in the immediate neighbourhood of clubs and other venues, police were simply allowing trouble to move to residential streets and walkways nearby. In Southside police have increased liason with concierges. Near Broad Street Residents, Police, Councillors, and the Broad Street BID, are meeting to help decide next steps.
I also raised all the other points raised to me. Many thanks!