Council considers employing community wardens to clamp down on anti-social behaviour
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
The council is considering bringing in community wardens in Rhondda Cynon Taf to help residents feel safer in their communities
A cabinet report ahead of a meeting on Wednesday, June 22, recommends employing a team of community wardens to provide a visible, reassuring uniformed presence in areas where anti-social behaviour is a problem, focusing on parks and town centres.
The council is also planning on funding an additional 10 Police Community Support Officers to work in Rhondda Cynon Taf – deployed and directed by South Wales Police
This would be in addition to the Welsh Government’s commitment to fund another 100 PCSOs across Wales.
The council’s street care enforcement team is responsible for enforcement, through issuing on-the-spot fines, of certain day-to-day environmental crimes and offences, including litter dropping and dog fouling, and around the council’s public space protection orders (PSPOs).
The idea is that the new community wardens will also be able to carry out enforcement activities around PSPOs as part of their role.
They would be able to issue fines for day-to-day environmental offences such as dog fouling or other dog control offences under the council’s PSPO, including the ban on dogs from all children’s play areas and marked sports pitches maintained by the council.
The team would be in operation for seven days a week, including evening patrols.
The wardens would also support the council’s community safety team is which responsible for working with partners to respond to reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB) by individuals or in communities.
The report said enforcement of the PSPO in relation to anti-social behaviour related to use of drugs and alcohol in communities and town centres is a key priority and the community wardens will strengthen the council’s proactive approach in terms of compliance with the PSPO.
The report said: “It has been widely reported and acknowledged that problems linked to, and caused by, ASB have increased over the past few years, especially during the period covered by the recent Covid-19 pandemic.
“In order to help combat such problems, the Welsh Government has previously approved funding for an extra 100 PCSOs across Wales and the council is seeking to enhance that provision with an additional offer of funding another 10 PCSOs solely dedicated to supporting the communities of RCT.”
The report said the main duty of a community warden will be to provide reassurance, assistance and help to create a safer, more pleasant living environment for all.
The wardens will undergo rigorous training to ensure they can effectively and proportionately use the council’s enforcement powers, the report added.
The wardens will not replace the police, or any other kind of wardens but complement existing services and work closely with PCSOs and local neighbourhood policing teams, the report said.
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