ATCM Violence and Vulnerability Conference

The ATCM’s Place Management Conference on 17th April 2018 focused on violence and vulnerability in towns and city centres. NABMA’s Peter Turvey attended on behalf of the organisation and provided these notes from the presentations.

  1. Introduction – Ojay McDonald (ATCM)
    With towns and city centres now on the front line of terrorist attacks and vulnerable to gangs and anti-social behavior associated with street begging, the event had been organised in response to a survey of ATCM members asking them for feedback on priority areas for solutions.
  2. Violence and Vulnerability Unit – Simon Ford (Southend Council)
  • County Lines – gangs now travelling from their home patch to exploit other areas, primarily for drug dealing.
  • Over 700 County Lines are known in the UK, with at least 23 operating in Southend.
  • Children are being used as drug mules and carrying weapons, mobile phones etc.
  • Often meet in free WiFi areas, such as, fast food outlets and transport hubs.
  • Gangs threaten and use vulnerable people, such as, homeless and beggars.
  • The Violence and Vulnerability Unit provides online training. 
  1. WAVE – Ian Graham and Tony Jarred (Met Police Officers) 
  • WAVE is Welfare And Vulnerability Engagement team from the Met Police.
  • Introduced to deal with crime that occurs from the night time economy.
  • Mainly focused on alcohol and drug use.
  1. Security vs Liberty – Panel Debate 
  • Prevent vehicle access to external events.
  • Permanent restrictive features should be considered as an investment for future events.
  • Stratford Upon Avon spent an additional £25k on security for their 2-day River Festival event.
  • Essential to have good collaboration between the Police and local businesses.
  • All events should have an evacuation plan.
  1. Counter Terrorism Policing – Met Police 
  • Around 2000 web sites relating to terrorism are taken down every week
  • ACT Awareness eLearning available on the NaCTSO website.
  1. Diverted Giving – Catherine Turness (Winchester BID) 
  • Donations given directly to beggars has a negative impact.
  • Encourage donations to central points, such as, tins in local businesses.
  • Tag line is “Spare change means Real Change”. 
  1. Business on the Beat – Panel Debate
    Local businesses be encouraged to engage with their local Police.

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