10:26AM, Thursday 22 March 2018
Councillors called for evidence that anti-social behaviour in the Royal Borough is rising while discussing plans for the introduction of more community wardens.
The council looks set to recruit six new wardens and a team leader to tackle issues including drug taking, urinating in public and aggressive begging in town centres.
A report, discussed by members of the Crime & Disorder Overview & Scrutiny Panel on Tuesday, says the council has received an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour from residents, businesses and visitors in the past nine months.
But Cllr John Story (Con, Sunninghill and South Ascot) questioned whether these claims were backed up by ‘meaningful numbers’.
David Scott, head of communities, enforcement and highways, responded: “There’s been a range of different sorts of anti-social behaviour reported.
“These span reports around drug taking in public, urination and defecation as well as aggressive and persistent requests for money.
“What we have is a range of both complaints and comments, many via emails and verbal comments to community wardens.”
If approved, the number of community wardens will be expanded from 18 to 25 with all staff being trained under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.
Wardens will have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for offences including cycling in pedestrianised zones, unauthorised busking and drug taking.
Mr Scott added: “The first point of call is for community wardens to seek co-operation and solve issues without the need for formal action.”
The new team will cost £253,000 but the council is funding the expansion by using money freed up by changes made to its Greenredeem scheme.
Cabinet will decide whether to approve the expansion at a meeting tonight (Thursday) at Maidenhead Town Hall.
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