Scrutiny of Dispersal Zone Designations in Cambridge

Sunday, February 25th, 2007. 9:51pm

Councillor Bruce,

I am writing to you as I believe you are the Chair of the Strategy Scrutiny Committee.

Can you let me know if the Council Leader’s decision to make an area of Cambridge including Mill Road, Parker’s Piece, Christ’s Pieces, Midsummer Common, Brunswick Gardens and Riverside a designated area under Section 30 Subsections (3) to (5) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 from the 3rd of January 2007 for six months has been reported to your committee. (I can’t see it on the agenda of your 10th January 2007 meeting. )

The agenda of the Strategy Scrutiny Committee on  Monday 11 April 2005 suggests decisions of this nature used to be reviewed by your committee.

I looked into this having seen the notices which have been placed around the designated area’s boundary in recent weeks. I was hoping to find out why the area of Midsummer Common designated under the act does not include the public toilets or the area in which half of the City’s redepolyable CCTV cameras have recently been deployed within 100m of each other.

I believe (From memory having read it on a lamppost in the Autumn) the previous designation which applied to Midsummer Common / Jesus Green (There was no map – just place names) was only for evenings in the winter months; I was interested in finding out what had changed, and why, and am wondering if there is still effective democratic oversight of the authorization of such police powers by the council?

Many thanks,

Richard Taylor.

Update: The council leader has told me only new zones are scrutinised, expansions and renewals are not. This is clearly not good enough in Cambridge as zones expand considerably and are being constantly renewed when they are supposed to be temporary measures.

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