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Rise in anti-social behaviour near Tamar Bridge

Rise in anti-social behaviour near Tamar Bridge

Published by Emma Carton at 11:15am 28th February 2020. (Updated at 2:04pm 28th February 2020)

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

People living near the Tamar Bridge had raised concerns about safety after reporting items being thrown from the bridge including a pig's ear, traffic cones and fire extinguishers.

A report on the welfare of residents near the bridge is set to go before the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee next week (March 6th).

The bridge and ferry are operated jointly by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council and councillors will be asked to note a report on the issue.

Concerns about safety were raised by residents during a recent consultation held by the committee regarding proposals to alter parapets on the bridge.

The report going to the committee states that it was residents of Lower Fore Street in Saltash who particularly raised concerns.

Details about anti-social behaviour reports have been included in the report from 2017 to 2019 to show what has been happening.

It states that this has "particular focus on incidents occurring on the bridge structure where objects may have been thrown over the parapets or where residents may have been actively targeted".

A total of 48 anti-social behaviour incidents were reported during the time period with 22 happening on the bridge itself.

Among the incidents reported was one where "children had gained access through a private resident's garden to tombstone off the Saltash Tower pier".

The report states that eight incidents were reported to have targeted residents and nine involved teenagers or groups of young people:

"Of the 16 incidents involving items being thrown or verbal abuse "10 occurred at the Saltash end (9 falling into Lower Fore Street residents' gardens, 1 falling onto Old Ferry Road), 5 occurred at midspan (objects landing in water) and 1 occurred at the Plymouth end (object landing on the Wolseley Road beneath)".

The report adds: "Objects thrown from the structure included stones, plastic drinks bottles, a pig's ear and trotter and a number of road cones, signs and fire extinguishers (obtained by persons forcibly gaining entry into contractor works zones located on the South Cantilever).

"Tamar Crossings staff are not aware of any injuries or significant damage caused by objects that have fallen from the bridge".

Report to Cornwall Council

Other items thrown from the bridge include signs, a sand bag, a pot of glue, an old shovel and a litter bin.

Other anti-social behaviour incidents recorded included "a heated row between a couple, walkers reporting joggers refusing to give them space and 2 incidents where engineering staff have calmed pedestrians who wished to access work zones".

The report also includes information regarding reports of concern for welfare (CFW) - "events where a person presents themselves at the crossing and by their appearance and/or behaviour is perceived to be vulnerable or at risk of further harm".

It states that from 2017 to 2019 there were 267 CFW events which resulted in four deaths and four serious injuries.

Improvements being planned to help reduce the number of anti-social behaviour incidents include better lighting, more information and signage, enhanced CCTV and monitoring and improving street furniture.

The report will be considered by the joint committee when it meets next Friday, March 6th.

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