A new initiative is aiming to get everyone working together to make Daventry town centre a safer place for all residents.
Operation Unite will see the Daventry District and South Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership work alongside the police, fire service and local councils to tackle anti-social behaviour and arson.
The operation was first launched in December by the Arson Task Force, a joint initiative between Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, after at least 80 fires were recorded in the town centre over an 11 month period.
Councillor Alan Hills, a member of the community safety partnership board, said: “Daventry town centre is by and large a very safe place, but there are some concerns, particularly around anti-social-behaviour, and this initiative aims to tackle the issue.
“A community is always at its strongest when it is pulling together, so we’re looking forward to working with our partners and local businesses in the coming months to make Daventry town centre a safer, more welcoming place for everyone.”
A survey of businesses carried out after the launch revealed concerns over drunks, shoplifting, intimidating behaviour from groups, and young people climbing on roofs, setting fires and causing damage to premises.
The issues were discussed at a recent meeting of the different partners and an action plan has been drawn up with the aim of working together with businesses to reduce anti-social behaviour and fire setting, ensure waste is disposed of correctly, and to create a safer environment.
Daventry Town Council has committed to fund a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and a community ranger, who will work across Daventry to help tackle any issues as well as providing reassurance to businesses and shoppers, in conjunction with the CCTV system.
The Community Safety Partnership has bought some anti-climb paint and the police are working with businesses to see how best to use it. Businesses will also be offered free advice on fire safety and protection.
Daventry District Council will continue to work with local firms and waste collectors to ensure bins areas are kept tidy and will consider enforcement action where necessary. Letters will also go out to town centre residents reminding them not to use bins belonging to businesses.
The possibility of installing additional lighting behind the shops in Foundry Place will be investigated, and the partnership will also look at ways to support a recent social media campaign to create a new youth club in the town.
The town centre initiative is part of a wider operation which will also aim to tackle similar issues on Daventry’s Southbrook estate, where a day of action is being planned later this year.