Safer neighbourhood priorities agreed for St Albans district
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Safer neighbourhood priorities have been agreed for St Albans, Harpenden and London Colney for the next four months at the latest Priority Setting Forums.
Speeding is the new safer neighbourhood priority for St Albans, replacing the previous neighbourhood priority of purse dippings in the city centre. Your St Albans safer neighbourhood team will be focusing more attention on the areas you have identified as causing the most concern – they are the A1081 Harpenden Road, Beaumont Avenue, Cell Barnes Lane, St Albans Road, Beaconsfield Road and King Harry Lane.
Purse dippings have decreased significantly following Operation Keepsake, a dedicated mix of uniformed and plain clothed officers who have spotted and arrested people for thefts or distracting people outside ATMs.
The two other neighbourhood priorities of begging, street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the city centre and anti-social behaviour in the Alban Way remain unchanged.
To address the begging and street drinking, neighbourhood officers regularly patrol the rose gardens and St Peter’s Street with colleagues from intervention to deter street drinking, begging and ASB. They have seized dozens of bottles of alcohol which were being consumed in breach of the designated Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). We have also removed people who were drunk or disorderly from licenced premises and continue to work with St Albans City & District Council and night shelters to support those wanting help with their addictions.
The other neighbourhood priority to remain is tackling anti-social behaviour, moped use and crime on the Alban Way. The team has been carrying out regular proactive patrols from Sopwell to Clarence wards with Operation Scorpion colleagues.
The neighbourhood priorities for Harpenden have remained the same for this period – they are speeding in Sandridge, Wheathampstead, Harpenden & Redbourn; thefts from motor vehicles and ASB in local parks.
The local team has been carrying out regular speed enforcement supporting the PCCs Drivesafe scheme on roads including Redbourn Road, Marford Road, Lower Luton Road and Brewhouse Hill.
Several people have been summonsed to court for excessive speeding. They can expect to be fined, given points on their driving licence or be disqualified from driving. Dozens of awareness letters have been sent to speeding drivers and section 59 warnings issued during speeding operations.
Officers have made several arrests for theft from motor vehicles and vehicle interference, which remains a neighbourhood priority. The team has also run around 40 operations actively trying car door handles. Hundreds of cars have been left insecure, often with valuables inside. They have fitted anti-number plate theft screws, used catalytic converter smart water marking kits and given out ‘faraday bags’ to help prevent keyless thefts of motor vehicles.
Remember to remove all your belongings and securely lock your vehicle!
The other priority of tackling drug and alcohol use and associated ASB in local parks remains and the focus is now in Rothamsted Park, previously Redbourn recreational ground. This follows an increased number of calls and reports from the public and partners. They have disrupted ASB by seizing alcohol and issuing warnings. We have seen a reduction in criminal damage and ASB since the introduction of CCTV cameras by Harpenden Town Council.
London Colney neighbourhood priorities have stayed the same to give them more time to tackle the anti-social use of vehicles at Starbucks, North Orbital Road in Chiswell Green and vehicles racing on the A405 and A414 as well as speeding, mobile offences and HGVs using restricted roads.
The issues at Starbucks have reduced following intervention from your neighbourhood team but regular proactive and covert police patrols continue. They have issued several Section 59 warnings, prohibiting drivers from using vehicles in an anti-social manner for 12 months. If they continue to, their vehicle could be seized. They have issued several banning notices and two Community Protection Warnings. Lack of compliance could result in a Community Protection Notice and a breach may lead to an arrest or up to a £2,500 fine.
To deal with the speeding and traffic offences, over 20 drivers have received traffic offence reports this year – which means they could be fined, sent on a driver’s improvement course or summonsed directly to court for excessive speed. Several targeted operations have already taken place to speak to drivers and they have liaised with company bosses over HGVs using Colney Heath roads as a cut through. However, it remains a daily issue.
Thanks to feedback from residents, St Albans, Harpenden and London Colney Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) have set their next round of local policing priorities for December to April.
SNTs consist of officers and PCSOs and work alongside local partners, to focus on solving long and short-term neighbourhood issues, such as anti-social behaviour, speeding, criminal damage and drug related crime. They are in addition to the 24/7 response officers, who deal with emergency calls, and the teams of detectives in the local crime unit, who investigate the more serious crimes.