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Calls to tackle antisocial behaviour in Cornish village

Calls to tackle antisocial behaviour in Cornish village

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:01am 13th October 2019. (Updated at 11:14pm 13th October 2019)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A new group set up to improve safety in a Cornish port says it needs more help to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Keep Charlestown Safe was set up my members of St Austell Bay Parish Council in response to a spate of incidents in the harbour village.

But after holding initial meetings with the police and other authorities the members say that not enough is being done to help.

Parish councillor Richard Hallows, who is leading the group, told the parish council today that more than 60 people had come forward to help the group who said they had experienced and reported damage, violence and antisocial behaviour.

He said: “We had a meeting at St Austell Police Station, we had representatives from the licenced premises. On my personal level I was disappointed with the response from the police.”

Cllr Hallows said he felt the police “don’t seem to hold themselves accountable for it”.

He said many in the group were still concerned about the “high concentration of licensed premises in the village” and the impact they have.

charlestown harbour LDRS

Keep Charlestown Safe is now set to increase its communication and publicity in the village to encourage more people to report incidents. Cllr Hallows said they wanted to speak to anybody who had witnessed antisocial behaviour or was aware of any breaches of licence conditions.

He said Cornwall Council had said in the past that it could not take further action as there was not enough evidence.

Cllr Hallows said: “I find it very strange to think that there isn’t enough evidence. There are this number of people who turn up to a parish council meeting, which are not the most exciting things, but it demonstrates the level of concern.”

The parish councillor said police had explained that their resources were limited and they had more problems in St Austell. He said that while he understood that he felt there was a need for people in Charlestown to also be protected.

“I don’t feel particularly well supported by the enforcement agencies,” he added. “That is the hurdle we have to get over.

“We will keep pushing for the agencies to provide the resources for Charlestown.”

charlestown

However he said he was hopeful that the next meeting with police next week could be more productive.

"We have been banging on about more help and support for Charlestown – we haven’t even got a PCSO. We have got to keep the pressure on.

“The antisocial behaviour here is constantly compared to St Austell as it is worse in St Austell and that is what is always thrown back at us when we ask for help.”

Parish council chairman, Bill Leach 

Cornwall councillor for the area, Tom French, said he would also be continuing to press for more help for Charlestown.

He said it was important that anything done was not just a “talking shop” but that there was action taken.

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