Bath City

Police chief rejects claim consultation on Bath’s second secure area is ‘unnecessary’ Bath City News

The public will have a say in plans for a safe zone covering much of Bath despite the council’s chief executive claiming the consultation was ‘unnecessary’.

A £2million contract for the delivery of the so-called Town Center Steel Ring is now announced, but the original request from Avon and Somerset Police was for a much wider area.

Writing in February 2020, then-Chief Constable Andy Marsh recommended an Anti-Terrorism Traffic Control Order (ATTRO) of “permanent but contingent nature” covering the wider area to allow police to restrict road access “as deemed necessary, informed by a security assessment or by intelligence of a terrorist threat”.

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Following a request from the chief executive of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Will Godfrey, Mr March then backed an ATTRO focused on the city centre, acknowledging it is a “very congested site”.

The steel inner ring is progressing, although York Street plans will face a £60,000 public inquiry after Bath resident Hannah Downey upheld her objection. Nearly 200 people responded to the consultation.

Correspondence released before the inquiry from Mr Godfrey to Mr Crew’s successor as Chief Constable, Sarah Crew, revealed that – after the inquiry was launched – he said a consultation on the area broader “could be deemed unnecessary” as it would only work in limited circumstances or on the advice of the police.

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He said consultation “would potentially be detrimental to the rapid implementation of the program and the security risks it would create”, adding: “I would be seeking your input on behalf of members on whether we enact the right to waive to the requirement. , so that we can move forward as quickly as possible.

CC Crew said police chiefs can waive the duty to consult if doing so would compromise the ATTRO, but that test was not passed.

“I do not believe that the circumstances surrounding the ATTRO outside meet the legislative provisions not to publish the proposal, and a lack of publication would certainly not be in the spirit of the legislation,” she said. “This is all the more the case as the ATTRO outdoor proposals do not contain any permanent measures and are likely to be used infrequently.

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“It is essential that we maintain the support and trust of our communities, and that is why, in the interest of transparency and accountability, I advise the council not to waive the obligation to publish the proposals. exteriors of ATTRO.”

Mr Godfrey replied that it was essential to maintain community support and trust and said officers would work with counter-terrorism security advisers to publicize the proposals.

A council spokesperson said: ‘We have and continue to work with Avon and Somerset Police on the safety and security of the town. We regularly seek their input on security issues, including consultation and agree on next steps for the ATTRO outside.

The public inquiry will open on April 26, led by an inspector appointed by the Transport Secretary.

Written statements should be sent to Town Center Security Team, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG. Council’s objections, written representations and evidence will be available for viewing here or at the one-stop shops in Bath, Midsomer Norton and Keynsham.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-23 19:25:40

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