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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

POLICE PANEL MEETING A clear case of No Overall Control - The woes of being Unadopted...


The PBROTrib has always supported the concept of neighbourhood policing and in these days of shrinking budgets and reduced manning, it has to be said we get the police we deserve, and that gentle reader is why compared to other parts of Peterborough, we actually do quite well In Stanground, Woodston, Fletton  and Cardea.

Our neighbourhood teams are motivated and according to clear up statistics keeping the Courts busy. Our police also seem to know where their regular customers are, and pretty adept in anticipating what they might get up to next.

Which in itself would be excellent, but the meeting heard the premium rate 101 number is well below standard in terms of call response but as you’d expect ‘outside of direct police control and in the hands of an outside firm.” It wouldn’t be the last time to hear the phrase ‘outside of direct police control’ during the evening.


The police are generally on the ball, but now also on the tablet. Gone are the days when reports have to be handwritten and typed out back at Hampton, they can stay out on the beat, tap away at a screen and the paperwork is done. Such is progress, but in man hours saved its equal to 2 extra officers on the beat. Now that is impressive.  

The July 8th meeting was always going to be strange, as the Trib had deliberately whipped up a decent turnout to vote in a new Chair, normally the vote would be taken at the beginning of the meeting and the new chair ushered in, take over the meeting, but not tonight.

Outgoing Chair Christopher York decided to hold on to office right until the end of what turned out to be the mother of all conflicts, just like the later Brazil – Germany World Cup Semi final, Brazil 1 Germany 7.

All one sided and the dice seemed to be stacked against Cardea residents cast in the role of Brazil, as the realisation that they, like Hampton before them, and Park Farm long before Hampton would have to live with the fact that it would be a good six years, possibly longer,  before their roads were fully adopted.

Until that happens the usual litany of obstruction, school run allegedly dangerous parking, builders trucks, contractors plant, supermarket and Amazon artics not to mention budding Nigel Mansells laying down the rubber on the unadopted clearway (Red Route for ex London drivers) and a host of other neighbourhood problems are down, not to the council, or the Police, but PERSIMMON.   

We even heard that Council Leader Cllr Marco Cereste is holding an afternoon meeting at the Town Hall with PERSIMMON as they allegedly wish to change the terms of their onerous Section 106 obligations.

Clearly in the eyes of those who have sunk their savings into a house in Cardea, or South Stanground as it will be renamed, the problems are only just beginning and with PERSIMMON in control, they are allegedly already in breach. So any watering down of the planning obligations won’t be for the good of this new neighbourhood.

Police can only look on, and are restricted in what they can lawfully do. Take school run parking, the allegations are that cars are dropping off kids and revving away at high speed, oblivious to those children who arrive on foot, St Michaels is particularly prone to this, although Morrisons have offered use of their car park to overcome the problem, that of course is all of 30 yards, away so few takers. Has it really come down to this?  

This was always going to be a strange evening, possibly not helped by a well meaning chap employed by the council, who took a full five minutes to put up one of those ugly pop up advertising screens, much clattering of tubes deep sighs, and finally we hear something about the public being stuffed.

Turns out that the PCC, have gone all the way to Dayton, Ohio in the USA and come back with something called an Ape.. (App. Ed App,!) Ah yes that explained the public being stuffed, easy mistake,  its from a geeky outfit at and essentially it’s the new way to contact the PCC instead of using the old fashioned telephone on 747474, when you want….stuff.

Instead of phoning, the MyPeterborough App takes over and sends you something called a push notice, everytime you want something from the council, back will come a push notice.

The average age of the audience was around the late 50 mark, a few were temped to suggest where the push notice could be shoved, but were too polite.. the outcome is the same, your bins won’t be collected for a few weeks, the potholes will be filled with a stack of electronic push notices at every step of the way.     

It launched today, and called My Peterborough, and the man having the trouble erecting the advertising pop up stand Graham Clark stars in a video to promote the new app.

Imagine the scene: a cold windswept Cathedral Square and slowmo of a lonely person gliding past the non working fountains (good production values). Then a whip pan and dissolve, a couple of graphics. Its our Graham, not the voice of the balls, but the voice of the app. The MyPeterborough app.

It is however, running at the WRONG SPEED and our Graham can only be heard by a few sitting, almost on top of the small laptop speaker. Again no PA, mics or hearing loops for the top table, eventually the laptop co-operates and our Graham gets his message out at the right speed. Not nearly so amusing..   So give Graham a hand, sign up for the MyPeterborough app. And make his day, or he’ll bring the video around…

The cabaret over, it was down to business, a brisk run through the police clear up stats and then Farriers Court comes up again as an issue, you’ll recall the residents are being hemmed in by a renegade garage, parking clients cars sometimes for days on end. The PBROTRIB covered this story  and all seemed to have been sorted…apparently not.

We mentioned the 101 outsourced police contact number. It’s handling some 800-900 calls daily.  Reports from around the neighbourhoods reveal that Fletton rec is being overrun with daytime drinkers. They seemed to have moved on fom another spot. A bag of used needles found near a school but the PCC don’t operate outside of office hours. And it needs a Sharps Box to safely dispose of them. Police suggested that in this case, a 999 call would be OK if the 101 service is playing up. Police of course would be looking for the source of supply and finding of a bag of needles could possibly means the source is physically nearby.
The skateboard park was mentioned, some anti social behaviour reported but nothing serious. Minimotos, Scramble bikes, are still a problem but police have been busy seizing bikes and reporting – some uninsured- riders. Ideally PERSIMMONS should be represented at these important meetings, just four times a year and good PR if they get it right.
Feel free to send this blog directly to the boss in London. Persimmon is a listed company. The have shareholders to keep happy clearly as Cardea dominated tonights meeting. Persimmons should have been protecting their clients who have invested in Cardea by buying houses, It is the very least they can do.      


Councillors report that Licensing Reports from Police have been lacking as a result all kinds of retail outlets are selling alcohol some on a 24 hour basis. Graham Robinson is the Police Licensing Officer, and it is his task to ensure where Police have reservations about an application to sell alcohol, the council is so informed… but seemingly not over the last few months.  


The daytime drinkers are back in Palmerston Road, police do periodic sweeps but they drift back when its all clear. Minimotos, Scramble bikes were all covered. Southern Sector Police are going to be busy, and will report back on 7th October at The Grove, when the new chair Ray Bisby will be in the hot seat.  We wish him luck! 

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We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

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