Portsmouth council recruits new squad to tackle city crime

Commercial Road in Portsmouth
Commercial Road in Portsmouth
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PATROLS by a team of council-backed crimefighters will soon hit the streets of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth’s council has approved plans to recruit a new squad of high street wardens for the city.

Councillor Donna Jones

Councillor Donna Jones

Their main role will be to tackle anti-social behaviour and environmental crime like fly-tipping, which has blighted parts of the city in recent weeks.

Revealing the news, Councillor Donna Jones said the team would be key in helping protect the area.

The city council boss said: ‘I am delighted that Councillor Robert New, cabinet member for community safety, has recently approved the recruitment of a team of high street wardens to work to keep the city safe, clean and tidy and provide advice and support.

‘The team will patrol the high street areas of the city and deal with environmental crime and anti-social behaviour in these areas.

‘They will also be supporting and advising businesses on other issues and will look to work with agencies such as the police to address issues in these areas.’

The news comes after Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan demanded more action was taken to clamp down on crime and protect businesses.

In a letter to Cllr Jones, he asked if more could be done to utilise the city’s expansive CCTV network to assist police in hunting for thieves and criminals.

The Labour MP and city councillor said he had become increasingly concerned about the number of businesses and homes targeted by burglars and said action was needed.

As previously reported, he said: ‘Having spoken to a number of small business owners, it is clear that more must be done to clamp down on these offences and provide the basic security required for our local economy to prosper.’

Responding to Mr Morgan, Cllr Jones said the city regularly worked with police and routinely allowed the force access to its 142 public space cameras and five mobile cameras – a link which has been on-going for 10 years.

She added an extra 10 ‘redeployable cameras’ were to be used in ‘hotspot areas’, a project the council has been working on since last year.

Cllr Jones wrote: ‘Portsmouth City Council has been working in strategic partnership with Hampshire police for a number of years to prevent and tackle the types of crime recently experienced across the south of the city.

‘The police daily access our state-of-the-art CCTV control room in the Civic Offices to carry out operations and review and retrieve footage obtained by our cameras.’

The Tory council chief said she met with police on a monthly basis and said the situation was under ‘constant review’.