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In the news: Councillors approve plans to empower park wardens to patrol estates

Park wardens will now be patrolling borough housing estates and town centres in a bid to disrupt low level drug activity and anti-social behaviour.

Basildon Council's Enforcement and Public Order Committee met on Wednesday 8 December and approved a draft specification of their duties.

Leader of Basildon Council and Chairman of the Enforcement and Public Order Committee Councillor Andrew Baggott said: "There is no place in this borough for people who deal drugs and cause anti-social behaviour (ASB). Therefore we have taken the decision to provide further support to the police and empower our park wardens to undertake a range of extra duties across a wider area.

"They will be equipped to respond to instances of ASB, issue fixed penalty notices, take witness statements and share information with the Safer Basildon Partnership and relevant services and agencies. All of this is aimed at reducing ASB, improving response times and providing reassurance to the community."

A trial to introduce park wardens began on 1 April this year and has, so far, resulted in 4,643 patrols and 4,588 reported incidents with 518 incidents dealt with.

The team of five includes four wardens and a controller advising them from the team's base.

They wear live Halo cameras and are tracked via GPS to be able to best deploy wardens to areas and potential incidents.

They will now be undertaking a range of general community safety duties including issuing verbal and written warning for anti-social behaviour and fixed penalty notices (FPNs) and enforcement activity.

The areas they will be active has been widened to include town centres in Basildon, Wickford, Billericay and Pitsea. They will also be on 31 estates across the borough in addition to identified parks.

In addition to the regular patrolling, residents are able to report any anti-social behaviour on an anonymous reporting line (a text to 60060) or incidents can be reported on Twitter via @AIBReportit. Wardens will then be deployed to incidents as soon as they come in.

ENDS

Published on Thursday 9 December 2021