Parish council paid for security patrols in Yate park as concerns raised over police cover
A PARISH council paid for extra security patrols in a Yate park after complaints over anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.
Details of the problems faced by residents living near Lilliput Park and the limited resources facing police were discussed at a meeting of the Yate Area Community Engagement forum in September.
Dodington ward South Gloucestershire and parish councillor Louise Harris said she was writing to Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford to call for more resources to be directed to policing the area in the light of the problems at the park, off Kennedy Way.
She said: "I've had a huge amount of people contact me, with a lot of complaints about drinking, drug taking and noise.
"Dodington Parish Council paid for extra security patrols when police couldn't cover it over the last bank holiday weekend. It meant residents were paying twice to police their area but I felt it was the least we could do."
The meeting heard that, while the neighbourhood policing team dealt with calls when they were on duty, they could not be available around the clock.
A response team of four officers based at Chipping Sodbury police station was on duty 24 hours a day - but the meeting heard that the area they had to cover had recently been extended beyond the South Gloucestershire boundary to include several areas of East Bristol, including Fishponds and Eastville, where there is a bigger population and more demand for police attendance.
Neighbourhood constable Angharad Baynham told the meeting other neighbourhood teams were available when Yate officers were not working and urged people to carry on reporting every incident, saying: "Every call is important so we can show officers where it is happening."
Cllr Harris reinforced the point, saying: "It's no good just putting it on Facebook or Nextdoor."
The meeting heard two areas where police had been taking action were e-scooters and anti-social drivers.
Neighbourhood constable Sean White said people riding privately-owned electric scooters, which are currently illegal on all roads, paths and public spaces, were being stopped when police saw them.
He said: "A lot of people don't know that they're illegal and at the moment the directive is to educate - but we record their details and give them a warning. If they get caught another time we can take formal action."
This can include prosecution and seizure of the e-scooter.
As well as a recent operation against speeding drivers in Scott Way, reported in last month's Voice, police had also targeted Shire Way, Station Road and Ladden Garden Village, where one driver was visited at home by police after complaints about a loud "popping" exhaust.
An Avon and Somerset police spokesperson said: "Both neighbourhood and patrol officers are based at Chipping Sodbury police station.
"Patrol officers are part of a team able to respond to emergencies 24/7. They start work from their base station and then work flexibly as regards location, directed by the 999 control room which allocates them to incidents based on an assessment of threat, harm and risk.
"Should there be a major incident in Chipping Sodbury, officers would be deployed from across area borders and specialist roles as necessary to ensure the best response.
"Response areas are continually reviewed to ensure the best service to communities across our policing area.
"Neighbourhood officers work closely with the community and partners to identify issues such as anti-social behaviour and find longer-term resolutions.
"This can include creating patrol plans which are then used by both neighbourhood and patrol officers to target hotspot areas when not otherwise allocated.
"As well as patrol and neighbourhood officers, Avon and Somerset Police have a number of specialist resources which can be called in to address specific issues.
"The most important thing is for people to report incidents. This helps officers to build up a picture of issues and allocate resources accordingly.
"Any ongoing incident should be reported either through 101 or 999, rather than by trying to reach a specific neighbourhood officer who may not be on duty.
"Report a crime in progress or incident in which someone is at risk of immediate harm by calling 999, otherwise ring 101."
Other information can be passed on through the police website, www.avonandsomerset.police.uk