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Crime and fear of crime and the perceptions of safety on the
streets in the parish is a constant concern although in recent
years the anti-social aspects have reduced somewhat. This is
very much an area demanding a multi-agency approach involving
the police, emergency services and emergency planning officials
together with village organisations and residents. Such an
approach is also needed for promoting safety in the home
especially in an area that has an increasing number of elderly
residents who may be at risk of burglary, deception-type crime
and even risk of fire.
Whilst crime levels and the fears of crime are low there are
hot spots of such within the village. Evidence of the crimes
committed in the last twelve months is though included in
Appendix 2. There is a perception of a lack of police presence
and as a result of neighbourhood policing changes there is no
longer a regular mobile police presence where residents can seek
advice or make their concerns known. The area has an emerging
active Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the village.
West Bergholt is served by the Local Community Meetings
initiative (LCM) and multi-agency problem solving groups,
working alongside the local community to address crime,
anti-social behaviour and quality of life issues.
A recent development which is being pursued is the recruiting
of a Special Constable for the village who can deal with a
variety of issues such as anti-social behaviour and traffic and
An emergency plan for the village has been drawn up to support
Colchester Borough and the emergency services. Snow clearance
volunteer teams are in place and the Parish Council maintain
equipment and salt supplies for use by volunteers.
Traffic and road safety related matters are the chief concern
of residents as evidenced by the public engagement and
consultation exercises that have been carried out both for the
Parish Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan.
The issues are classified as follows:
A Traffic Safety Group has been set up to understand and help
towards finding solutions to the above issues. The Group has
drawn up a Traffic Safety Plan for the village and which has a special focus on the
400-place school which causes general issues of safety for young
students traveling to school but also an ever-growing problem of
illegal, anti-social and dangerous parking at school drop off
and pick up times. The focus is on a programme of Engagement,
Encouragement, Education, Enforcement and Engineering. There are
many initiatives under way across all of these fronts including
the introduction of new 20mph speed limits and waiting
restrictions. The group has been active recruiting a team of
volunteer parking monitors to occasionally patrol a few areas in
the village to curtail poor parking. There have also been a
series of articles on the Parish website and local Facebook
page, such as the one below.
A "sign the pledge" stall was also manned at the annual
Village Fete where residents promised to drive carefully and
park considerately. Regular liaison with Heathlands School takes
place to help understand problems better, to help promote the
School Travel Plan and to find initiatives to improve safety
village has a very active Community Speed Watch group (CSW) with
resource and equipment being shared with Eight Ash Green. The
CSW group is recorded as being in the top five most active
groups in Essex.
• Relatively low levels of crime.
• An existing traffic and safety group and strategy.
• Snow-clearing volunteers.
• Emergency Plan.
• Community Speed Watch.
• Parish Council able to respond to emergency with
• Facebook Hub a good warning mechanism.
• Strong community spirit.
• Speeding and parking issues.
• Large primary school results in many younger
students walking around the village at peak time.
• Oversubscribed school leads to increased parking
• Lack of street lights may lead to a perceived
feeling of vulnerability.
• Lack of regular police presence.
• Elderly population vulnerable to bogus callers and
from dangers around the home and at times of inclement
• Trip hazards caused by poor footway condition.
The Essex Neighbourhood Policing role is constantly changing.
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) roles have been cut.
Dedicated PCSO's have to be 100% funded by the community.
Alternate policing methods could be considered. Volunteer
Special Constables are being recruited with full powers of
arrest matching those of regular police officers. A further
example of the volunteer sector meeting community needs of today
and the future. Occasional antisocial behaviour occurs and local
police presence would help control such behaviour. A Traffic
Safety Plan (TSP) for the village which concentrates on the
roads around the school and the junction of New Church Road and
Chapel Road. Appropriate expansion of the TSP should be a
consideration for all new building development sites.
the objectives relate in part to the use and development of land
and wider community aspirations both Planning and Community
Ambitions have been developed.
Community Safety Planning Policies
Designing Out Crime
All areas of new development are to be designed so as
to reduce the incidences of crime and fear of crime.
New Road Layouts
Design of new road layouts that discourages
indiscriminate parking and promotes a safe pedestrian
and cycling environment will be supported.
Community Safety Community Ambitions
Neighbourhood Watch schemes including Speed Watch and
Farm Watch will be encouraged and supported.
Road safety issues will be highlighted through regular
monitoring of issues and plans of action developed with
the relevant agencies. Particular attention will be paid
to areas around the school, the Co-op and other areas of
high pedestrian footfall.
Anti-social and other behavioural issues will be
monitored and reported to the authorities and measures
developed with the Police and the Community Safety
Partnership to reduce their incidence.
Crime and fear of crime will be monitored, and
remedial actions discussed and devised with the police
and other community safety groups.
Where new streets are proposed, these should be 20 mph
speed limit zones