Penzance is to get a dedicated anti-social behaviour caseworker for the first time as part of an ongoing bid to tackle problems in the town.
At a meeting this week town councillors agreed to jointly fund the 12-month pilot with Cornwall Council who will manage the case worker.
The case worker will be responsible for tackling persistent anti-social behaviour offenders in West Penwith and be based at the new Safer Penzance town centre hub set to open in Causewayhead in the spring.
Currently the town is covered by an anti-social behaviour case worker whose geographical area spans from Land’s End to Camborne but this new post will be focused solely on West Penwith.
The dedicated caseworker will focus on gathering evidence and building cases to take to court for enforcement orders such as the Criminal Behaviour Order which prohibits offenders from anti-social behaviour.
The caseworker will also carry out additional patrols in the town centre and deliver more early intervention and prevention work enabling them to refer offenders to local support services.
Latest reports from the Safer Cornwall partnership - made up of Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and other partners - show that 1,046 anti-social behaviour incidents in Penzance and its immediate surroundings were reported to the police over the last 12 months.
Compared with other large, Cornish towns, Penzance has the highest rate of reported anti-social behaviour at 53.4 incidents per 1,000 population, compared with an average of 33.7 across the other large towns, and 22.3 for Cornwall overall.
Cornwall Council has welcomed the plan for new anti-social behaviour case worker who is due to be appointed within two months.
Sue James, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We have already found with our team of anti-social behaviour case workers in towns across Cornwall that they play a key role in preventing and tackling anti-social behaviour.
“Having a dedicated case worker focused solely on Penzance will be instrumental in reducing the town’s anti-social behaviour and will help to improve the quality of life for everyone.”
Between September and November 2018 Devon and Cornwall Police’s Neighbourhood Team in Penzance conducted 87 high-visibility patrols days and made seven arrests for public order offences.
Safer Penzance continues to encourage people to report all incidents and concerns as they occur as it gives the police the opportunity to respond and deal with the incidents.
In addition these reports are used as evidence to support action and prosecution against those causing ASB problems in the town.