Police renew crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Exeter
A MAJOR crackdown on anti-social behaviour is set to be launched by a new-look Exeter neighbourhood police team.
Inspector Andrew Webber, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing in the city, revealed that changes were being finalised that would see each of his teams aligned with city council wards.
This will start to be rolled out next month and Insp Webber said top priority was to curb anti-social behaviour.
He said: "Everywhere we go the same problems keep getting brought up. Graffiti and vehicle crimes are particular areas that need targeting. We are having a reorganisation that will get teams working in areas they need to work in. They will link up with councillors and communities in a much clearer way. For example, if there is a graffiti issue in a park both the police and the local authority will attend. Things will be linked together and we will be able to react quicker."
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Insp Webber said powers that could be used included a dispersal order to cover all the parks. "We have Section 30 dispersal orders in place in Wonford and St Thomas and they do work well," he said.
"In the longer term we need to get an order that will cover all the local parks, which can be hotspots for anti-social behaviour. These things will take time but we need to all work more closely to generate tangible results."
Insp Webber said the latest statistics showed crime had fallen across the city, but this has exposed hotspots.
He said: "What are we trying to achieve in Exeter is make it as crime-free as it can be and create a vibrant atmosphere where businesses can flourish and the public can feel safe. But crime figures relating to the night-time economy have not decreased as we would have liked and are proving very stubborn. The violence relating to alcohol feeds into the home, as well as the street, and is taking resources away from community priorities. I want a full debate on how we tackle the evening and night-time economy. There has been a disconnect between all the parties, including businesses, residents, licensees and ourselves."