Shoppers and businesses were given the chance to get involved in Safer Town Centres when the important campaign arrived in Pontypridd.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership, which coordinates and drives the efforts of a range of crime-fighting partner agencies, launched the campaign in Pontypridd, Aberdare and Tonypandy as a direct response to the concerns of residents and to ensure town centres remain safe, pleasant places to live, work and visit.
Over 100 people visited the Safer Town Centre stand when it arrived in Pontypridd on July 4, picking up essential advice and crime-prevention measures such as purse bells, as well as the latest news and information from the Community Safety Partnership.
There were increased police, PCSO and Community Engagement patrols throughout the town and Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, as well as specific visits to shops and businesses, to get them involved.
With CCTV continuing its watch over the town, protecting visitors and deterring offenders, Safer Town Centres also included specific work to tackle offenders, prevent thefts, deal with illegal parking and check licensed premises to ensure the law was being adhered to and responsible alcohol consumption was being enforced.
Safer Town Centres involved South Wales Police, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Community Engagement, Anti-Social Behaviour, Licensing, Trading Standards, CCTV and Town Centre Regeneration Team and British Transport Police.
All activity undertaken as part of Safer Town Centres is a direct response to the concerns raised by residents, businesses and shoppers who took part in the extensive consultation held to prepare for the campaign, which runs throughout the summer.
Issues identified in the surveys included: retail crime, bad and inconsiderate parking, eco crime such as litter, graffiti and dog fouling, anti-social behaviour, alcohol and other substance misuse, prolific offending and personal safety, such as use of public transport, theft of handbags, purses and phones.
Safer Town Centres has now visited each of the three target town centres and will continue to return to them in turn. Activity to date now includes:
Officers from across the organisations engaging with over 500 members of the public, sharing advice and information, noting concerns and more.
RCT Homes micro-chipped over 40 dogs in response to concerns about responsible pet ownership, stray dogs and dog fouling.
Licensing officers from the Council and the police visiting 12 pubs, four late-night takeaways and two off-licences to ensure compliance with the law, check underage drinking, responsible drinking and license conditions. All were found to be broadly compliant, although one will continue to work with agencies in relation to its CCTV and two were dealt with for trading outside of their permitted hours.
Cllr Paul Cannon, QPM, chair of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Board, which oversees the activity of the Community Safety Partnership, said: “We are proud of our town centres and want them to remain as safe, vibrant places in which people can live, work and socialise.
“They are key to the ongoing regeneration of the county borough and are important destinations for our communities and beyond.
“As such, keeping them safe and ensuring they remain places where people want to spend time is key - from a community safety and a town centre regeneration point of view.
“Safer Town Centres has been designed to enable this to happen and we are proud that this ongoing campaign is based closely on the feedback the public have given us, through our consultation.
“They have told us the town centre-related issues that cause them concern or affect their perceptions of the locations and we are reacting accordingly.”
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