Partners launch a collective vision for a safer Torquay

Partners came together at Torquay’s Livermead Cliff Hotel this week to commit to a project to tackle antisocial behaviour and violence in the town.

Street Focus Torquay has been launched after Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez secured £1m to pay for hotspot policing in 16 postcode areas around Devon and Cornwall, with Paignton town centre and the Castle Circus area of Torquay included in the funding bid.

The hotspot money will pay for extra uniformed patrols, and Torbay Council, Devon & Cornwall Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner have committed to a series of longer-term improvements and investments to tackle drugs and violence in Torbay.

A breakfast launch event was followed by a tour of the Castle Circus area by police and partners, who spoke to businesses, street attached homeless people and members of the public about the project.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner community engagement vehicle was placed outside the town hall and provided a hub where members of the public could give their thoughts on the issues in the town and receive help and advice.

The Commissioner has pledged to provide additional funding for a business crime alert scheme, match fund additional wardens, work with partners to take over disused shop fronts and provide a vehicle to the force to use as a mobile police station.

Devon & Cornwall Police will provide additional ASB patrols, use a ‘Clear, Hold, Build’ approach which forces including Merseyside Police have deployed successfully elsewhere, deploy six new officers into Torquay town centre this summer and increase police visibility in the town.

The council is to enforce a new public spaces protection order which gives the council and police extra powers to move people on and confiscate alcohol and is considering funding additional street cleaning.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “For far too long this part of Torquay has suffered from antisocial behaviour, drug abuse and violence. As a Torquay resident I am sick of it and I know our residents and visitors are too.

“We have an opportunity to work together to make some real, long-term change but no one agency can do it alone – it is vital that we work as a single team and remain committed to this project over the longer term, try new ways of working and act with pace. We must be united in a shared goal of making Torquay safer and inspiring pride in our town.

“We need fresh thinking and the public’s ideas so if you have a suggestion to make this area safer we want to hear from you.”

Anyone wanting to meet the Commissioner’s team can do so when their public engagement van returns to Castle Circus, Torquay, from 9am to 1pm on Thursday, June 13, and from 9am to 3pm on Saturday, June 15. The Commissioner’s office can be contacted on 01392 225555 or by email on opcc@dc-pcc.gov.uk.

A new website – www.street-focus.co.uk – has been set up to act as a repository for the project and will be updated in the coming weeks.

Crimes can be reported using the 101 service in a non emergency, at a police station near you (check online at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk for locations and opening times) or by calling 999 in an emergency. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously at crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.

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