Security threat of unattended items in centre

Homeless posessions left in St Peter's passage. EMN-170815-172959009
Homeless posessions left in St Peter's passage. EMN-170815-172959009
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Unattended items are to be removed from the city centre “in the interest of safety and security.”

Peterborough City Council said the risk of a terrorist attack needed to be reduced following recent incidents in Manchester and London.

And the authority countered suggestions rough sleepers may be adversely affected by the policy, stating that any impact is “likely to be minimal” as items will only be removed when they are considered abandoned.

A council report states: “The local authority continues to receive complaints and concerns from businesses and city centre residents relating to unattended items including sometimes hazardous waste.

“Approval of this policy will allow for council officers to respond effectively to complaints from the public and businesses in the city.

“This will in turn improve fire safety, reduce security threats and improve the physical appearance of the city.”

The report adds: “Unattended items may also pose a security risk which cannot be overlooked, particularly in light of the recent terrorist events in Manchester and London.

“Whilst the police assessment of the risk of a terrorist incident occurring in Peterborough remains low, we nevertheless cannot be complacent and need to take all reasonable steps to reduce any risks.”

The council said it will speak to rough sleepers about the policy before it is implemented. Items which are considered abandoned will be removed by the council’s waste management contractor Amey for collection and storage at its depot in Fengate.

A note will be placed where the items have been taken to inform their owner and advise them where the items can be collected from. They will then be stored for a month.