Published on 14th September 2020

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane has held an urgent meeting with elected representatives and members of the community to develop a plan to tackle increasing levels of anti-social behavioural in Chester.

PCC David Keane called the meeting in response to concerns about a group of individuals in the city claimed to be responsible for ‘aggressive begging, street drinking, drug dealing, drug taking and even one recent example of full sexual intercourse’.

A letter from CH1 Chester BID, Chester Residents Association Group (CRAG) and PubWatch, sent jointly to the PCC’s office, Chester Constabulary and Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), outlined the concerns of local residents.

The meeting brought together the city’s MP Chris Matheson, local councillors, Chester’s local policing commanders and resident and business groups Chester BID and CRAG to discuss how to tackle the issues.

The group agreed to develop an action plan to work with the wider community to put in place tools to tackle the issues and to meet regularly to ensure Chester remains safe for those that live and work in and visit the city

PCC David Keane, said: “It is devastating to see the impact this anti-social behaviour is having on the city, its residents and local businesses. Chester is also a significant tourist destination in our region and a thriving commercial centre with a local economy which is trying to recover from the effects of coronavirus.

“The behaviour of this small group of individuals could discourage people from visiting the city centre so it’s vital we act now to put measures in place to keep residents and visitors safe.

“I want to reassure the Chester community that Chester Local Policing Unit is actively patrolling the city centre and will issue Community Protection Notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders against persistent offenders.

“However, anti-social behaviour is not something the local police team can tackle alone; that’s why I brought together key partners including MP Chris Matheson and local councillors responsible for community safety to discuss how we can work together to address the issues.

“Those involved in the anti-social behaviour suffer from a number of complex issues which require long-term support from different agencies for them to be addressed.

“I am confident that by working together and providing the support required, we can make our city safe.”

Chris Matheson MP added: "I would like to thank all those who attended what was a very constructive meeting.

“Community safety is always the number one priority, and I am pleased that we have an action plan in place to deal with these issues.

“We must also remember that whilst policing is one aspect of the action being taken, it is also about supporting those who may need help to address underlying issues, and we have dedicated local agencies who will be working to provide this."

Chief Inspector Steve Griffiths added: “I totally understand and appreciate the impact that anti-social behaviour has on those who live, work and visit Chester city centre. Here at Chester Local Policing Unit we are doing everything we can to tackle the issue with a dedicated team of officers working closely with our partners to try and address the issue.

“I want to reassure the public that community officers are out on patrol within the city everyday doing what they can to keep the people of Chester safe.

“Over the past year, the Partnership Problem Solving Team which includes staff from the Local Authority working alongside police colleagues, has issued more than 20 Community Protection Warning Notices, successfully applied for five Criminal Behaviour Orders against persistent offenders and secured one closure order at an address linked to anti-social behaviour.

“In addition to this, our detectives have carried out a number of proactive operations aimed at identifying, prosecuting and removing those involved in the supply and distribution of drugs from the streets of Chester.

“This work is very much ongoing we are fully committed to using all the tools available to us to tackle the problem.”