150 anti-social behaviour logs for Falmouth family leads to joint action being taken by police and Council

On 14 October 2019, Truro Magistrates Court granted four injunctions on three family members and another individual, banning them from acting anti-socially in Falmouth and entering the Penwerris and Trescobeas wards.

Three family members and another individual became subject to Injunctions from Truro Magistrates after the court heard “overwhelming evidence” of the anti-social and criminal behaviour exhibited by the group of four in the Falmouth area.

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The injunctions ban the individuals from:

  1. Entering the area known as Old Hill Estate, Penwerris and Trescobeas wards 
  2. Using or engaging in abusive, insulting, offensive, threatening or intimidating language or behaviour in any public place in the town of Falmouth 
  3. Threatening or engaging in any violence or damage against any person or property in the town of Falmouth 
  4. Encouraging any other person to engage in any of the acts described in 2 and 3 above within the town of Falmouth 

The group came to attention particularly in the Old Hill Estate as Falmouth Police started receiving logs regarding robbery, violence, drugs & anti-social behaviour amongst some of the many complaints in 2018 which were linked directly to the group.

Due to their tirade of terror in the estate, no one would come forwards to give evidence for fear of repercussions.

In a period of just over a year, police received over 150 calls directly relating to the group causing all manner of nuisance and disorder in the Penwerris and Trescobeas wards of Falmouth.

Due to the rising frequency and seriousness of incidents a decision was made by Police, Cornwall Housing Ltd and Cornwall Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Team [ASB Team] that a closure of the family’s home was necessary to try and stop the persistent nuisance and disorder linked to the address. 

Considerable work was undertaken by agencies to collate evidence and gain the trust of the local community to come forwards and give anonymous statements to use the Civil Closure Procedure which was successfully granted on July 04 2019. 

The closure notice closed the entire property down and was hoped to bring an end to the issues in the area, but sadly the group chose to continue with their behaviour.

Calls started to come in on an almost daily basis regarding the group, incidents called-in included; walking the streets of Old Hill estate brandishing weapons, slashing tyres of cars (including police vehicles), threats of violence, drunken behaviour in the street and threats to burn people’s houses down. The Police and the ASB Team were left with little choice but to seek further court action to deal with the group and try to bring an end to the saga.

Over a three month period, officers from Falmouth Police Station, the Council's ASB Team and Devon & Cornwall Police Force Legal Team worked tirelessly to gather existing and new evidence to support an application for an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, using legislation from the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.  The Act allows local councils, Police and other statutory agencies to apply to the court for an order which can contain Prohibitions and/or Requirements. 

Breach of the order carries a sentence of a supervision order or, as a very last resort, a civil detention order of up to three months for persons under 18 years of age and civil contempt of court with an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison for over 18s.

Story posted 31 October 2019