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PCC Marc Jones has called a multi-agency meeting to develop an action plan to address concerns raised by traders and business owners in the city centre.

  • Last Updated: 15-12-2017 at 15:12

AGENCIES from across Lincoln will be brought together by the county’s crime commissioner to draw up plans to tackle anti-social behaviour, rough sleeping and begging in Lincoln.

PCC Marc Jones has called the multi-agency meeting to develop an action plan to address concerns raised by traders and business owners in the city centre.

Lincolnshire Police has already relaunched Operation Applaud to clear up public spaces and officers are working with the City of Lincoln Council to get injunctions against offenders.

But the problem cannot be solved without a partnership approach from councils, businesses, police and health bodies, said Mr Jones.

He recognized the positive action already underway but said enforcement alone will not provide the answers to a problem, which is not an issue for Lincoln alone.

One of the areas Mr Jones is keen to explore is whether powers can be extended to other agencies as a result of changes made by the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

“The force is already taking action to tackle these concerns but agencies across the city must work together if we are to solve the issues,” he said.

“The people involved in this behaviour often have complex difficulties and we need to make sure we tackle the roots of those problems so they don’t just spring up elsewhere.

“If our community can work together, co-ordinate our efforts and ensure we have a robust and effective action plan then I am confident we can continue to have a vibrant and prosperous city centre.”

Lincoln BIG chief executive Matt Corrigan welcomed the plan.

“Business owners from the city have been raising concerns about growing problems including begging, drug taking and people sleeping rough and we hope the answers will come from a joint approach,” he said.

“This issue now generates more complains than any other and we are keen to be involved and welcome any move to create an action plan which results in organisations working together for a long-term solution.”

Chief Inspector Stewart Brinn, said: “We are very much aware of the issues of begging, street drinking and the use of drugs in Lincoln’s city centre and surrounding areas. We are taking the matter seriously and together with the Police and Crime Commissioner we met with our partners including the city council and Lincoln BIG with a view to solving the issues rather than push this anti-social behaviour to other locations.

“Back in April we relaunched Operation Applaud in which extra patrols are taking place, including in St. Swithin’s Square, and individuals have been arrested where appropriate. We also continue to enforce the Public Space Protection Order at every opportunity which gives us power to ask those who behave in an anti-social manner to leave the area.

“As well as alleviating the problem this enforcement also helps ensure that these people gain access to support services where necessary. We rely on information from the public so if you see any of these activities taking place please report it by calling 101.”

 

For more information contact Jon Grubb from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 07780 953575 or mjgrubb@btinternet.com