Safety partnership cuts crime in Penzance

Residents in Penzance are seeing a reduction in crime following the work of local agencies to improve community safety and tackle anti-social behaviour.

The Safer Cornwall partnership has been working on the Safer Penzance Delivery Plan which aims to tackle community safety issues, improve public reassurance, reduce the risk of harm to the community and protect vulnerable groups.

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The partnership is made up of Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, National Probation Service, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company and NHS Kernow.

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

One year ago Penzance was seeing highly visible crime, anti-social behaviour and nuisance issues in the town centre on a daily basis.

Since that time Safer Penzance has put significant focus and resources in tackling the problems.

Cornwall Council has funded an additional Addaction Outreach worker in Penzance for 12 months and jointly resourced a dedicated anti-social behaviour caseworker with Penzance Town Council.

The number of police and anti-social behaviour patrols in town has increased together with regular engagement with business owners and more early intervention and prevention work to refer offenders to local support services.

Partners have also worked closer together to step up enforcement and awareness-raising of how and where to report concerns.

In addition, there are weekly drop-in sessions at Penzance One Stop Shop, St John’s Hall, for people to report anti-social behaviour problems, a new Cold Weather Provision Night Shelter set up for rough sleepers last winter, and swift responses to reports of needles being found.  

As a result, recorded crime in Penzance over the past year has reduced by 15%, with the greatest reductions seen in theft offences, criminal damage and violence as shown in the latest figures from the Safer Cornwall partnership.

Initially, following local agencies’ work to increase awareness of the importance of reporting, reported levels of anti-social behaviour in the town increased. All of the additional work and resources put in to tackle the problem is now starting to show an improvement, with the latest figures showing a reduction of 17%, particularly in anti-social behaviour linked to street drinking.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “We are pleased to see that the hard work of the Safer Cornwall partnership in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Penzance is paying off.

“We want to thank Penzance Town Council for working with us to support Dorian’s role which is making a real difference in the town and helping to make Penzance safer for residents and visitors.”

Penzance Police Sector Inspector Rebecca Le Cheminant said: “I do not underestimate the ongoing work that police and partners have put into this. It proves a team effort among agencies and the wider public can work to make a real difference to Penzance. It is good to see some tangible results, as work on this initiative continues."

Penzance Town Councillor Will Elliott said: “Thanks to the hard work of Safer Cornwall, and all of the brilliant agencies who have been involved in making it such a success – we have seen crime fall in Penzance. I’m sure that I am not alone in noticing that over the last few months Penzance has been much safer, giving people the confidence to properly enjoy our beautiful town.

"Penzance Town Council is proud to be a part of such an important group making a real difference towards a safer Penzance. On top of Safer Cornwall’s work, the extra 141 police officers announced for Devon and Cornwall by central Government earlier this month should make sure that we see a trend of falling crime in the months and years to come.”

To report incidents of anti-social behaviour visit www.dc.police.uk, where you can access the police’s online contact methods – WebChat and Crime Reporting Form.  These are available to use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Alternatively, non-emergency crimes can be reported by emailing the police’s 101 Email - 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101.

If you are unsure which service you need, AskNED the online non-emergency directory can help. Visit www.dc.police.uk/AskNED enter your question, select your location and AskNED will provide you with the answer.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999.

Posted 24 September, 2019