Multi-agency group to look at long-term solutions to anti-social behaviour in Cambridge's Fen Road
Police review hundreds of calls and are seizing cars but say projects with partners are crucial
A special team is to look at the solution to anti-social behaviour in Cambridge’s Fen Road - amid a warning that the current increase in police presence won’t solve the problem long-term.
Fen Road in Cambridge has recently been at the centre of concerns over street-racing, crime and anti-social behaviour. In April, a six-vehicle crash caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Police say they have taken “several hundred” calls and that they are working with witnesses to get to the bottom of who is causing the trouble in the area.
Residents have been reassured that work is ongoing, and that a special group has been set up to address the situation.
In a report due to go before the north area committee next Thursday (June 21), Cambridgeshire Constabulary details how work is progressing, noting that cars have been seized from suspected offenders.
The report, from Insp Paul Rogerson and Sgt Tracy Williams reads: “We have reviewed several hundred previous calls and investigations. Victims and witnesses have been revisited or contacted. We are doing this as we begin to build civil cases against regular or repeat offenders. This has been key to obtaining section 59 (Police Reform Act) seizures of cars.
“As well as traditional police work, we have formed a multi-agency group to look at the longer-term issues, looking at the causal factors behind the behaviour, criminality and communities concern.”
The work undertaken by the group will include forming “cohesion” between the settled and travelling communities, looking at road safety and the environmental design of the area, and “community mapping of resources”.
As well as this, the group will focus on long-term engagement and confidence work, as well as making proactive bids for funding to allow the partnership to start implementing long-term renewal projects.
The report says: “We are also looking in the longer term at how we might continue enforcing ASB and driving offences.
“The current increase in police presence will not provide any realistic longer-term solution, so as part of the long-term planning we will be looking at how we neutralise the current issues by designing them out rather than rely on enforcement.”
The focus on Fen Road was requested at the last area committee meeting. Members of the committee reported concerns about “dangerous”, anti-social and inconsiderate driving, as well as intimidation and criminal public order offences.
Criminal damage, specifically egg-throwing and the use of ball-bearing weapons to smash windows, was also reported to the committee.
Further concerns were raised which covered a wider area of the north of the city, including general anti-social behaviour and the “perception of lawlessness”, including young people gathering in groups and using mopeds off-road.
More by this authorJosh Thomas, Local Democracy Reporter