Meet Penzance’s new anti-social behaviour case worker at drop-in sessions

Residents in Penzance now have another way to report anti-social behaviour problems in the town at new drop-in sessions starting this week.

They can speak to a police officer and meet the town’s first, dedicated, anti-social behaviour caseworker at the weekly sessions which take place at Penzance One Stop Shop, St John’s Hall, from 10am to midday every Friday starting June 28.

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The scheme is part of Safer Penzance’s ongoing bid to tackle issues in the town.

Latest reports from the Safer Cornwall partnership – made up of Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and other partners – show that over the last 12 months recorded crime in the town has reduced by 7%, with the greatest reduction seen in theft offences.

Police say anti-social behaviour has increased by 10% which they are attributing to better reporting after local agencies’ work to increase awareness of the importance of reporting crime.

Priorities identified for the town include anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug use, domestic abuse, community engagement and provisions for young people

Safer Penzance continues to encourage people to report all incidents and concerns as they occur as it gives the police the opportunity to respond and deal with the incidents and assign the necessary resources.

In addition these reports are used as evidence to support action and prosecution against those causing problems in the town.

Dorian Thomas has recently been appointed as Safer Penzance’s new anti-social behaviour caseworker, a 12-month pilot role jointly funded by Penzance Town Council and Cornwall Council.

He is tasked with tackling persistent anti-social behaviour offenders in West Penwith with a focus on gathering evidence and building cases to take to court for enforcement orders such as the Criminal Behaviour Order.

Since starting his new role earlier this month Dorian has carried out additional patrols in the town centre and delivered more early intervention and prevention work to refer offenders to local support services.

He said: “My role is focusing on Penzance as a whole and the wider community and helping deal with any behaviour that causes harassment and distress. I am also working closely with businesses and talking to them about anti-social behaviour and how it links to crime.

“I would encourage anyone with concerns over crime or anti-social behaviour to talk to us at our drop-in sessions at St John’s Hall which have been set up specifically so anyone can come in and report crime as well as find out what we’re doing to reduce it. We need everyone to do their bit in reporting problems so that we can make Penzance safer together.”

Penzance Town Councillor Will Elliott said: “Penzance Town Council is glad to be working with Cornwall Council to support the new role of an anti-social behaviour case worker. We all believe that this is going to make a real difference in Penzance – both preventing anti-social behaviour in our town and giving the public a familiar face who is readily accessible to them, and who they can regularly speak and report issues to. None of this would have been possible without Safer Penzance bringing everyone together, and talking to one another.

“It’s important to highlight that while this new role shows that the Councils are listening, and are trying new things to counter the various issues associated with anti-social behaviour – it is still vital that members of the public report any actual instances of anti-social behaviour or other offences to the relevant authorities, such as the police, as well.”

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “Anti-social behaviour case workers play a key role in preventing and tackling problems in towns across Cornwall.

“Having a dedicated case worker focused solely on Penzance is going to make a real difference to reducing the town’s anti-social behaviour and help to improve the quality of life for everyone.

“We want to thank Penzance Town Council for working with us to support this new pilot role which, if successful, could be extended to other towns across Cornwall.”

To report street drinking, anti-social behaviour or crime please ensure that all incidents are reported to, and logged with, the police by calling 101 (non-emergency) or emailing or ring 999 if you have serious immediate concerns.

Plans are ongoing to set up a Safer Penzance hub in the town centre later in the year.