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Councillor on Medway Council: The Issues

Community Safety Issues

John Ward

The whole area of community safety has recently come to greater prominence with the nationwide problems of drugs, the "yobbo culture" and street crime in particular, as well as topics such as off-road motorcycling and dumped and burnt-out cars.

Under the ever-watchful eye of the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Enforcement, Cllr Rehman Chishti, the Police, the council's own Community Wardens and various other agencies and community groups are tackling these subjects and more in a whole range of ways. The council's Wardens have been especially active, gently advising wrongdoers and encouraging better behaviour, in liaison with Ward Councillors. The Wardens can be contacted via the council's Customer First hotline: (01634) 333 333 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. In most cases they will be able to take your enquiry or report directly and have it dealt with by the Team.

Here in Rochester South and Horsted ward, we have worked closely with our dedicated Warden, on a number of issues on and around the Davis Estate and in other parts of the ward. A while back we had a meeting at the Community Centre in Barberry Avenue—one of many contacts between us:

Warden at DECC
More recently, we have had first a shared Neighbourhood Police Officer allocated to this ward and Rochester East, and now our own such Officer—Chris Oliver-Jones—and a Police Community Support Officer, Rowan Cornwall. PC Chris spends his duty time in our ward alone; and PCSO Cornwall spends a large part (though not all) of her duty time here as well. They can be contacted via their office telephone number: (10634) 884 111.

Among the topics we have covered are the problems of drugs on the Estate, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour, and road and off-road safety issues such as boy racers and off-road motorcyclists, and removal of the huge bush on the five-ways roundabout on Shirley Avenue which was not only a problem for motorists but provided a haven for drug-taking in the middle.

Below are some statistics on reported fly-tipping, abandoned vehicles and graffiti incidents per month, that started being provided to us from May 2007. Especially bearing in mind that our ward is big and contains ten distinct communities (some of which overlap into other wards) plus the Laker Road retail and industrial area, the figures are actually very low relative to Medway as a whole. The biggest issue we have, according to these statistics, is fly-tipping.

We currently have monthly figures for May–September 2007, after which the statistics have been supplied on a quarterly (rather than monthly) basis. Here they are in alphabetical order of subject:
2007JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct–Dec
Abandoned VehiclesN/AN/AN/AN/A244358
Anti-social BehaviourN/AN/AN/AN/A662N/A50
Fly-tippingN/AN/AN/AN/A96812839
GraffitiN/AN/AN/AN/A010000
NeedlesN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A2