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Employment of Community Wardens team to be considered

Cabinet will consider the Council employing a team of Community Wardens

Cabinet will consider proposals for the Council to employ a new team of Community Wardens, to provide a high-profile, visible and reassuring presence in our town centres, parks and communities – while also funding an additional 10 PCSOs to work in Rhondda Cynon Taf. 

A report to the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, June 22, advises that the Community Wardens would provide a visible, uniformed presence in areas where anti-social behaviour is a problem, focusing on parks and town centres. The team would be in operation for seven days a week, including evening patrols. Their primary duty would be to reassure and help the wider community to create a safer, more pleasant living environment for everyone.

They would assist the Council’s Community Safety Team in its role of responding to reports of anti-social behaviour, and the enforcement of the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which prohibits drinking alcohol in town centres and using other intoxicating substances in local communities.

It is also envisaged that the new Community Wardens would form part of a revamped Environmental Enforcement & Awareness Team, working closely with the Streetcare Enforcement Team. As part of their role, they would be warranted to issue fines for day-to-day environmental offences such as dog fouling or other dog control offences under the Council’s PSPO, including the ban on dogs from all children’s play areas and marked sports pitches maintained by the Council.

It is important to note that the wardens will not replace the police presence or activity in Rhondda Cynon Taf communities – but instead complement existing services, working with all member organisations of the Community Safety Partnership, as well as community-based and voluntary organisations.

Wednesday’s Cabinet report also recommends that Members agree for the Council to fund 10 additional PCSOs. These Officers would be deployed and directed by South Wales Police, but would be a dedicated additional resource to work in Rhondda Cynon Taf. This would be on top of all current PSCOs, and in addition to Welsh Government’s approval of funding for 100 extra PCSOs across Wales.

Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said: “Cabinet will consider an officer report that recommends the Council employs a team of 10 new Community Wardens, to provide uniformed patrols in anti-social behaviour hotspots, focusing on parks and town centres. We know that anti-social behaviour has significantly increased in the pandemic, and the wardens are intended to provide a reassuring presence for residents.

“Their overriding goal would be to help residents feel safe in our communities, but their role would be multi-faceted. For example, they would assist the Community Safety Team in responding to anti-social behaviour, and serve as an additional resource in tackling littering and other environmental offences like dog fouling, currently undertaken by the Streetcare Enforcement Team.

“In increasing our ‘eyes and ears on the ground’, the wardens will be well-placed to ensure close links across a number of other Council services – from CCTV to Youth Engagement and Trading Standards, as well as Elected Members. The team will also help further strengthen joint working with external organisations involved in the Community Safety Partnership.

“The Cabinet report also recommends that Members agree for the Council to provide funding to the police for an extra 10 local PSCOs, who would serve local communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf. This is once again intended to increase the visible, uniformed presence on our streets, and strengthen the invaluable policing in hotspot areas for the benefit of residents and visitors.”

Posted on 17/06/2022