Alison Hernandez

£750,000 bid being made to make Torquay safe as well as great!

Jim Parker

Torbay Council is looking at package of measures to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre, especially at the top end of the town at Castle Circus.

A bid has been worked up with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for £750,000 aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour which has plagued the area for a number of years as well as tackling violence against women and girls in public spaces in town centre.

If successful, it could mean an increase in CCTV coverage and 24-hour street lighting as well as supporting initiatives in the local night-time economy to enhance the safety of women and girls.

The application has been submitted and the council will discover in June if it has been successful.

Christine Carter
Christine Carter

The Town Hall has begun working with partners over recent months looking at improving the Castle Circus area following ongoing concerns about ASB.

This is a collaboration between the council, Devon and Cornwall Police, the OPCC and wider partners to look at solutions.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has made £200,000 available to tackle ASB and drug taking in Torbay and is assisting the bid for additional government funds for the area.

The council has also applied for three years of funding under the Rough Sleeper initiative to address the problem across Torbay.

The council’s outreach team works with rough sleepers to help them off the streets and into accommodation. It also works to prevent homelessness in the first place.

Castle Circus, Torquay Credit: derek harper/geograph.org.uk
Castle Circus, Torquay Credit: derek harper/geograph.org.uk

Two town centre officers regularly patrol Torquay, Paignton and Brixham town centres. They signpost vulnerable people to help and challenge anti-social behaviour where it’s occurring.

Christine Carter, cabinet member for corporate and community services, said: “We’re committed to making Torbay a safer and more pleasant place to live, work and visit. We all want to feel safe when we’re walking around.

“We will continue to work with partners to find the best ways to do this.”

Deputy council leader Darren Cowell said: “Now that lockdowns have finished and the weather is getting better, people will understandably want to be out and about in our town centres in the evenings more. It’s vital they feel safe, particularly women and girls, which is why we’re applying for this funding.

“If successful, we hope to introduce a number of safety measures, which will sit alongside the partnership work we’re already doing to reduce anti-social behaviour in our town centres.”

Ms Hernandez said: “ASB is one of four priorities identified in my police and crime plan because it impacts so many people.

“It can lead to community tensions and have a significant effect on people’s health, wellbeing and their daily quality of life. The police, local authorities, other agencies and our communities need to work together to find solutions and stop persistent and severe ASB from blighting our communities.

“I have committed to putting funding in place to back these efforts and will continue to draw on resources wherever possible to support this work.”

A Torquay town centre survey asking the public for their feedback was carried out as part of the process.

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