Leicestershire Police will provide an update on policing priorities in the Ward.
Sergeant Robert Rollings (Leicestershire Police) introduced himself to those present. Apology for absence of the second lead officer for the inner section of the Castle Ward was noted.
Sergeant Rollings summarised the priorities for the Castle ward, noting that robbery, drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and bike theft had seen an increase in the past month.
It was noted that various operations targeting prioritised concerns were ongoing and funding was being sought to assist the operations underway. Uniformed and plain clothes officers undertook regular patrols in areas of high concern for robbery. Drug detection dog patrols were used to tackle drug dealing and possession of controlled substances, which had led to good results from stop and search operations. It was noted that rental properties and Air B&Bs were a cause for concern for drug use and production.
Operation Goshawk, an operation targeting hotspots for violent crime in the city by ensuring resources were placed in the most effective places at the most effective times, received good results and since received additional funding.
It was noted that most of the youths of concern at the centre of the anti-social behaviour issue had been identified and were noted to live outside of the city. Patrols had increased and engagement with the families local to the areas the youths reside in had been ongoing.
The cycle theft operation was ongoing and led to a number of arrests, which would be continued over the next year. It was noted that Leicestershire Police would be holding bike registration and marking events, free for members of the public, which would log the registration number of a bicycle to an online database for police access, as well the provision of tamper proof stickers, which research had noted an 83% decrease in theft on recipient bikes.
Collaborative work with Leicestershire Police and Leicester City Council in assisting the homeless, disadvantaged and sex workers was ongoing, with two dedicated police officers and a community support officer working with the public to reduce reoffending, with the aim to help progress into stable work and accommodation. Support was noted to be available for the public in disadvantaged situations and focus was placed on encouraging those into the support network available.
It was noted that a displacement of sex work issues had moved to the area of Narborough Road, Princess Road and Kent Street, although members of the public noted that street prostitution was still an ongoing issue elsewhere at a reduced rate. Warnings were provided to users of street prostitution, which may lead to prosecution.
Leicestershire Police BEAT surveys were being held regularly at the Clock Tower, St Georges Retail Park and Curve Theatre. Further details could be found online on the Leicestershire Police website.
It was noted that a new police inspector, Nadia Rana, had taken office.
Sergeant Rollings was thanked for his attendance and report.
Members raised concerns about continued drug dealing issues at Lee Circle car park, as well as the older areas of London Road and Highfields. It was noted that while two new CCTV cameras were placed at Vestry House on Humberstone Gate, the entire CCTV system required an upgrade.
A member of the public enquired whether the outskirts of the city centre in the Castle ward had similar priorities to the city centre.
ACTION: Sergeant Rollings noted the question and agreed to take back the comments to second lead officer for an update at the next meeting.
Members of the public raised concerns about cycle theft and speeding cyclists on New Walk, which typically wore all black and lacked bike lights. E-scooter users were also noted to be an issue. It was noted that the e-scooter operation had concluded but there would be more operations in the future.
A member of the public discussed a public and police collaborative project decided prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, to visit local student houses and provide education to students about local issues. It was noted that the project had been halted and further discussion would be required to discuss how to proceed, which may regress to leaflet posting.