Reading Borough Council (RBC) have published a series of community information leaflets about reporting crime and nuisance and one on unauthorised encampments which explains the powers that councils and the police have.
There are leaflets for 10 areas with content tailored for each including:
- south Reading,
- Whitley Wood,
- east Reading.
All four leaflets have the same section about how to report:
- crime including drug dealing and anti-social behaviour,
- noise from building sites, businesses or noisy neighbours,
- litter and dumped rubbish.
Then for Katesgrove, south Reading and Whitley Wood there is an explanation of the powers that the police have to deal with motorised scooters and mini-motorbikes.
For east Reading this section is replaced with information about how to complain about poor student behaviour and Reading University’s street support scheme. At the community forum held in January by the University, residents pointed out the ineffectiveness of this pilot scheme to deal with the problem and the vice-chancellor Professor Van de Noort said that the university might use the money to sponsor Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) instead.
#NeverOk – a street warden’s experience. Video (c) Reading University via Youtube.
Although all four leaflets cover problems with parking and speeding, the information given varies from area to area. In Katesgrove residents have been asked to contact Katesgrove Community Association to participate in a project such as ‘Community Speedwatch‘.
In east Reading information is given about domestic CCTV rules and the recommendations of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner to respect the privacy of others whereas in Whitley and Whitley Wood there is a paragraph about burglary prevention and in Katesgrove bike security.
The south Reading leaflet has a short section on safeguarding vulnerable adults and where to get advice. Katesgrove and Whitley Wood have a contact number for issues and concerns about council housing.
RBC does not always see the communities we live in the same way that residents do. In 2018 RBC published the results of a community safety survey which showed the top three priorities for each area of Reading.
|Ward||Teenagers hanging around||Rubbish and litter||Vandalism and grafitti||Drug use or dealing||Public drunkness and rowdiness|
The council decided the local issues they would consider for action were:
|Area||Priority 1||Priority 2||Priority 3|
|Katesgrove||drug dealing and use||flytipping and litter||groups hanging around|
|Redlands and University||speeding||flytipping||burglary and rough sleeping|
|South Reading||motorbike and vehicle nuisance and speeding||drug dealing and use||speeding|
|East Reading||flytipping and litter||drug dealing and use||speeding|
At the time, we asked RBC neighbourhood initiatives manager Chris Bloomfield why this was the case, he said:
The table ‘considered for action’ is based on the very first question [in the community survey] which allows respondents a wide range of topics to choose as their top three priorities for their local area. I believe there were something like 30 different options to choose from. The table listing litter, etc purely focuses on antisocial behaviour (ASB) issues only and has always been something we look at additionally in order to feedback to our ASB team.
The leaflets might not match the priorities as you see them in your area, but they do contain a bewildering array of useful phone numbers, websites and organisations to contact.
Katesgrove councillor Sophia James, lead councillor for neighbourhoods and communities, said:
This set of leaflets is a really useful resource for residents across the borough. Each leaflet contains information relevant to that community and gives tips and advice on how residents can help the Council and Police tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. There are lots of telephone numbers and email addresses which will enable households to contact the right people if they have any concerns.
The leaflet on unauthorised encampments clearly explains the role and responsibilities of the Council and Police in these situations and answers a lot of common questions on the subject.
The leaflets can be downloaded from the Reading Services Guide webpage for each of the organisations by following the links below.
- Katesgrove Community Association,
- South Reading Safer Neighbourhood Forum (south Reading and Whitley Wood),
- East Reading Safer Neighbourhood Forum.
Printed copies are available at libraries, the south Reading Community Hub, community centres and are being distributed through community organisations.
- New Community Leaflets to Help Crackdown on Crime and Nuisance
- RBC crime web page
- Reading Services Guide
- Reading University may fund new PCSOs to deal with student misbehaviour
- Community safety survey suggests 23% of Reading believes the town is a high crime area