Agenda item

Safer Woking Partnership - Community Safety Plan OSC24-018

Reporting Person: Camilla Edmiston


The Committee welcomed Camilla Edmiston, Community Safety Officer, and Ed Lyons, Borough Commander of Woking Police. 

Officers confirmed that following the organisation restructure there was provision for a part-time Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Officer but that the position was currently vacant and way yet to be advertised.  Housing Services also had a vacancy in its ASB Officer role.

Depending on the type of ASB, different authorities had responsibility.  Ed Lyons explained that many of the issues reported to the police were the responsibility of local authorities.

Officers considered that CCTV was in operation across the Borough, including in Byfleet, but recommended that if any Members had concerns, they contact the CCTV Manager.

Ed Lyons considered that the Safer Streets funding, received in 2021, had been used effectively.  Prior to the funding there had been 50 sexual offences along the canal area over 3 years.  After safeguarding improvements, including installation of CCTV, improving visibility by clearing foliage, and supporting Basingstoke Canal Watch, there had been 0 sexual offences in the previous 2 years.  Police were keen to maintain the guardianship.  The Borough Commander highlighted that the work was an example of the benefits of the Joint Action Group (JAG) which brought together partners to coordinate efforts to increase public safety and reduce crime.

The Borough Commander emphasised the benefits of partnership working and noted that working directly with schools aided Prevent efforts and lowered the risk of exploitation.

The Committee was informed that graffiti concerns should be addressed to the Neighbourhood team.  On graffiti along Basingstoke Canal specifically, it was noted that this had been addressed through the safer streets funding and partners would be engaged to respond to any current instances.

Ed Lyons affirmed that partner organisations would be held to account and that any cuts did not put the public at risk.

The Borough Commander considered that police had not publicised reductions in crime sufficiently to help the public feel safer.  It was noted that burglaries had reduced 22% in the last year and sexual offences by 40%.

In response to a query on staffing Ed Lyons noted that there had been significant recruitment within the organisation over the last several years.  The neighbourhood team had 11 police constables, 2 of which were specialised in youth support.  The team also had 5 Police Community Support Officers and recruiting a sixth for a full complement.

Restorative justice was used by the Police, but national rules governed what activities could be performed.

The Borough Commander welcomed Councillors reporting issues on behalf of residents but reiterated that the public could always contact the police directly.

Ed Lyons was asked if there was expected to be an increase in crime following the decision by the Council to shutter public toilets in the Borough.  The situation would be monitored and responded to where necessary.  Kevin Foster confirmed that the Council would continue to meet its responsibility to maintain the assets and their safety.

A concern was expressed with parking around school drop-off and pick-up times endangering children.  Officers considered the issue to be the responsibility of Surrey County Council as it was connected to highways and education but agreed to request data from the County Council.  Camilla Edmiston recommended that a nomination be made to the JAG to consider investigating the concern.


the report be noted.

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