Agenda and minutes

Community Safety Sub Committee - Monday, 3rd April, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, Beds, LU7 1HD

Contact: Committee Officer, tel 01525 631920, email: 

No. Item



Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.


Apologies were received from Councillor Bowater (substituted by Councillor Kharawala).





(i)            The Localism Act 2011 and the Code of Conduct requires Councillors to declare any pecuniary interests, other registrable interests or sensitive interests in items on the meeting agenda, which are not already included in the Register of Interests. Members may choose to declare interests already listed in the Register for clarity and transparency.


(ii)          For disclosable pecuniary interests, Members must leave the room and not participate in discussion or voting, unless a dispensation has been granted.


(iii)         For other registrable or non-registrable interests which directly relate to the financial interest of a Member, a relative or close associate, councillors may speak on the matter only if members of the public may also speak at the meeting. Thereafter, Members should leave the room and not participate in discussion or voting, unless a dispensation has been granted.


(iv)         The Council/Committee/Sub-Committee is asked to consider approving any requests for dispensations to speak/vote on any agenda item in accordance with the Dispensations Procedure.




Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting. 


Councillor Dodwell declared a personal interest as a member of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel. Councillors Dodwell and Bowater declared personal interests as volunteers with the Street Watch initiative. Councillor Berry declared a personal interest in one of the incidents referenced on the CCTV reports.




To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 3 (e) (f) (g) and 3(h).


There were no questions from members of the public.





(a)          The Sub-Committee received the draft minutes of the Community Safety Sub-Committee meeting held on 16 January 2023.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Community Safety Sub-Committee meeting held on 16 January 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed accordingly.


(b)          Updates from the previous minutes were received. 


Minute reference 132/CS Operation Dodford: the Sub-Committee noted that the latest Operation Dodford report did not include crime and antisocial behaviour statistics and a request was made to have these included in future reports along with comparison figures to other towns.


Minute reference 133/CS CCTV & Deployable Cameras: a concern was raised regarding the installation of electric vehicle charging points in the car park at Linslade Memorial Playing Fields. It was confirmed the initiative was subject to installation of ticket machines to allow for monitoring and enforcement of car parking.


Members were also informed of the damage to the recently installed charging points in the Baker Street car park which both police and councillors agreed should be followed up.





(a)   To receive and note a report from Groundwork regarding previous funding allocated to projects with young people (attached).


(b)   Further to discussion at the previous meeting, to receive a report regarding potential funding for engagement with young people and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein (attached).



Additional documents:


(a)          The sub-committee received a report from Groundwork regarding the previous funding allocated to a 12-week project with young people.  Up to 214 children had attended the various projects and outreach sessions offered by Groundwork (an average of 17 per session) which included boxing, basketball, tennis and multi sports sessions in the parks.  Cooking activities were also included which ensured the young people had access to a healthy meal and enjoyed the activity of preparing the food for themselves. 


This multi-agency project was agreed to have been positive and valuable.  Concerns were raised about the impact on young people now that sessions had ceased and it was hoped that a multi-agency approach would continue. Chief Inspector Goldsmith confirmed he had requested a full community profile report on Leighton-Linslade which would provide evidence to help inform future projects.


(b)          The Sub-Committee considered a recommendation made by the Cultural & Economic Services Committee meeting of 13 March 2023 to provide funds up to a maximum of £8,000 from Community Safety earmarked reserves for the purpose of supporting additional in-house outreach provision by TACTIC over the summer months.  If approved, more detailed information on the provision would be circulated in due course.




(i)     To note the report.

(ii)   To endorse the recommendation made by the Cultural & Economic Services Committee at its meeting on 13 March that up to a maximum of £8,000 be drawn down from the Community Safety earmarked reserve (9042/920 - £26,841 as at 28 February 2023) for the purposes of supporting additional outreach provision by the in-house Teenage Advice – Teenage Information Centre (TACTIC) service.





(a)         To receive an update report from Bedfordshire Police in respect of Operation Dodford, crime and antisocial behaviour for the period January - February 2023 (to follow)


(b)         To receive and consider recommending to Council approval of the Operation Dodford S.92 grant agreement for 2023-24. (attached)


Additional documents:


(a)          The Sub-Committee received a report on Operation Dodford additional policing activity during the period January – February 2023.


Concerns were raised regarding the persistent shoplifting within the town and the work undertaken by Police to take these offenders to court who then were given a fine and allowed back into the community where they continued to offend.    It was suggested a specific letter be written to the Member of Parliament highlighting the need to address national issues in the court process as this undermined the work of the police in arresting offenders. It was reported that the police were working in partnership with the Central Bedfordshire community safety team, CCTV team and the Shop Watch scheme to share intelligence and act quickly in respect of shoplifting.


A concern was also raised regarding street begging and whether information could be made public about more effective ways to provide support other than giving cash to individuals.


RESOLVED to note the report.


(b)          The Sub-Committee received a draft Section 92 Grant Agreement for Operation Dodford additional policing activity for the period 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024. A couple of minor updates were required to the document.


RECOMMENDED to Council approval of the Operation Dodford Section 92 grant agreement for the year commencing 1 April 2023.




To receive the CCTV monitoring reports from Central Bedfordshire Council for November 2022 – February 2023 (attached).



Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received reports of recorded CCTV incidents in Leighton Buzzard for November 2022 – February 2023. These reports were publicly available and published monthly on the Central Bedfordshire Council website but were based only on the information available to the local authority and not what might have subsequently happened in relation to captured incidents.


Following discussion with the CCTV Control Room, it had been suggested that additional cameras might be valuable at various parish locations. 


In addition, it was suggested that enhancements could be made to an existing CCTV installation.


The cost for each camera installation would be approximately £7,500 with a potential £18,000 available in earmarked reserves.


Whilst supportive of additional town centre cameras, the Sub Committee agreed that protection of council buildings and assets should be its priority.




(a)          To note the CCTV reports.

(b)          To request the Town Clerk to seek more detail regarding costs for new or upgraded CCTV cameras as outlined above, as well as control room capacity for monitoring and information on the impact of crime/antisocial behaviour in the locations discussed, for consideration at a future meeting.





Street Watch patrols continued to take place on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with Speed Watch patrols taking place at least monthly. Shop Watch had relaunched with shops being issued with radios to enable them to work together with the police and share information which should have a positive impact on the Town Centre.


A concern was raised regarding the problems being encountered at one of the town centre charity shops, with threatening and anti-social behaviour towards the volunteers working at the shop.  Any physical evidence should be passed onto the police and a PCSO would be regularly attending the premises to assist and monitor the situation. 


RESOLVED to note the information.





The Sub-Committee may consider it appropriate to consider the following resolution should they consider that any discussion would be prejudicial to the public interests:that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information. The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding:  Operational Policing (if applicable)



RESOLVED that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information.  The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding: Operational Policing (if applicable). 





The Sub-Committee was given a verbal update on operational policing in the town and how issues were being addressed by the Community Support Team.