Topsham PACT priorities set

FOUR issues were set as priorities at Topsham s partners and communities together meeting. Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour problems, parking, cycling on footways and speeding, were all made priorities at the meeting held in Matthews Hall last Thurs

FOUR issues were set as priorities at Topsham's partners and communities' together meeting.

Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour problems, parking, cycling on footways and speeding, were all made priorities at the meeting held in Matthews Hall last Thursday, October 22.

Partners and communities together (PACT) is a method by which the police and partner agencies engage with community members to identify matters of concern who then try address them.

The meeting was chaired by Percy Giles, Topsham's police community support officer, and was also attended by PC Kevin Wetherell, councillors Andrew Leadbetter, Rob Newby and Mark Starling.


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PC Kevin Wetherell opened proceedings by talking about crimes which had taken place in the town since last July.

Mr Wetherell, who said there had been a number of incidents in that period, added: "I think it is quite clear we have peaks in the summer with the level of crimes, particularly in August.

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"A number of these took place after the carnival, some of which, sadly, were assaults.

"We've had a spate of vehicle crimes - seven in September of which five were theft from vehicle cases. I would urge people, therefore, not to leave anything of value in their cars.

"In response to such incidents, we used a police bait car in the town. This had a number of valuables purposely left inside and was fitted with cameras to try and catch any criminals."

Mr Wetherell said there had been several peddle cycles stolen and three incidents this month which included a purse theft and a drink-drive offence.

"With Christmas just around the corner, I would remind people to be extremely careful of how much they drink before thinking of driving."

PCSO Percy Giles then explained to the audience what had been done to try and address the last set of priorities made last June - speeding, parking and a greater police presence.

In terms of speeding motorists, Mr Giles said he had regularly been out on Topsham's streets using a police speed indication device.

"This is a non-enforceable advisory machine which has a large monitor to indicate drivers' speeds as they approach. It is an education device and has been ever-so effective."

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter was asked by a member of the audience how long it would be before people would know the outcome of proposals to introduce speed reduction measures in the town.

He said: "After the public consultation which was held in Matthews Hall, the matter is now due to be discussed at a highways committee meeting next week.

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