Rob Hill, assistant director for Community Safety at Peterborough City Council:
It’s been another busy month for the Prevention and Enforcement Service and we have been focusing on lots of new challenges.
Over recent weeks the city has seen an increase in discarded needles. This is of course concerning, but we are already on the case to tackle the problem. We have always been very quick to remove drug related litter but despite this at times we do see spikes in activity. I recently took a walk around one of the hotspot areas with a number of partners including councillors, health officers and community leaders to see for ourselves the issues the community is facing.
It’s at times like this that the Safer Peterborough Partnership comes into its own - it’s an impressive cog-machine bringing together agencies across the city to work with communities to fight issues together.
Our plans include working with Aspire Drug Service and other health colleagues to educate drug users to ensure they dispose of their drug litter responsibly. We have also utilised our Community Payback Scheme to clear up the ‘hotspot’ areas - for those of you that don’t know, Community Payback is a positive scheme for offenders who undertake supervised work within our communities as part of their sentence. We will continue to work together to stamp out this problem, but in the meantime here’s some guidelines on what to do if you see a discarded needle.
Do not touch the needle. Report it to us at Peterborough City Council straight away - 01733 747474
Give a clear description of the location - maybe take a photo to help you describe the area.
We are also seeing an increase in rough sleepers coming into the city. Sadly Peterborough is not alone in this - in fact, as you have probably seen on the news it’s a nationwide issue and a priority for us. We don’t want to see anyone forced to live on the streets and we are not only continually working to support people into settled accommodation but we also strive to keep them safe whilst sleeping rough. We are very lucky to have two fantastic full time Rough Sleeper Outreach Workers who make it their business to know all the rough sleepers in our city. They have been successful in helping to support and advise many rough sleepers into accommodation.
As a local authority we have a statutory obligation to house anyone with a local connection with the city and Outreach Workers ensure that anyone who this applies to can access this service if they wish. For sleepers without a local connection we work with our partners such as The Haven Night Shelter, Axiom, The YMCA and many more to offer emergency accommodation, so that no one need sleep rough in our city.
The cold and wet weather is an added cause for concern for us, so through the winter months from December to March we work with Light Project Peterborough to offer emergency accommodation to all rough sleepers in Peterborough. Rough sleeping is, and will continue to be, a challenge to us, but rest assured our officers will continue to be proactive in helping and supporting people off the streets and into improved conditions.
Dog on Dog Attacks.
You may recall in a previous article I talked about dog on dog attacks and the perception that there is nothing you can do if your dog is bitten by another. If your dog has ever been attacked by another dog you’ll know what a terrifying experience it can be.
Seeing your well loved pet being attacked is not only scary, but it’s dangerous to us as the handlers, particularly if children are involved.
Well here’s news - you can do something about it as we now have a dedicated page to report dangerous dog attacks.
For information about how to report an attack and how both ourselves and the police will respond, please check out the Peterborough City Council Website (www.peterborough.gov.uk) and visit the advice page by typing ‘Dangerous Dogs’ into the search bar.