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Dedicated patrols reduce antisocial behaviour at Firstsite
9:29am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
A GALLERY has been given dedicated daily security paid for out of the public purse.
In October police received ten complaints about antisocial behaviour around the visual arts facility at Lewis Gardens, off East Hill and Queen Street.
The response, together with Colchester Council, was to position officers or council wardens at the site every day.
In November there was one complaint about antisocial behaviour following the increased presence.
Sgt Sue Richardson, of Colchester police, said: "This is another great example of partnership working.
"The police officers, PCSOs and zone wardens have done a fantastic job and have gone a long way to ease the burden of antisocial behaviour in the town centre.”
Patrols will continue on a regular basis.
The site, when opened, boasted inclusive public spaces around the outside for everyone to enjoy like a mini London South Bank.
But soon objections about skateboarders and youths began filtering through to the police and council.
About £10,000 was spent installing metal studs on the edge of small walls.
One of these was ripped off and thrown through a large window at the gallery before the crackdown.
Visitors, staff and nearby residents also complained about youngsters
hanging around outside.
They have been accused of being intimidating, daubing graffiti and causing criminal damage.
A team of ten Colchester Council street wardens were tasked to patrol the public area in front of the gallery from 8am to 4pm on weekdays with the support of the police.
The presence has been scaled back.
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