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Mystery over suspension of council Asbo team members
THREE staff in the Swindon Council team which deals with community safety and anti-social behaviour have been suspended following undisclosed allegations.
The employees are part of the 18-strong Swindon Community Safety Partnership and have been off work on full pay during the investigation. The council will not say what the allegations are.
The partnership, based at Wat Tyler House, in Beckhampton Street, works with public safety agencies, including Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, to reduce crime, the fear of crime, anti-social behaviour and substance abuse.
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “Three people have been suspended from the team which deals with community safety and anti-social behaviour, following allegations that have been made.
“This represents a sixth of the total number of staff in that area. The staff involved were suspended in October and November and arrangements are in place to provide cover for their work.
“The suspensions are normal procedure in the light of the nature of the allegations, and do not represent an assumption of guilt. The matter is being dealt with as part of the council’s disciplinary procedures. We cannot say more at this stage.”
The Adver understands the staff are on precautionary suspension. It is not yet known when the issue will be resolved.
Richard Palusinski, the head of community safety at the partnership, said the team was still delivering the same level of service by sharing the workload of the suspended officers.
The suspension was highlighted to the Adver in an anonymous email signed ‘Swindon Council Watch’.
Vera Tomlinson, the cabinet member for a safer and stronger borough, declined to comment.
According to its website, the partnership launches practical initiatives and supports national and international campaigns.
It uses legal tools, including Anti Social Behaviour Orders, to make neighbourhoods better. The partnership backs schemes to support victims of domestic violence and organises neighbourhood safety teams, allowing residents to identify community safety concerns.
In a statement explaining why the allegations cannot be disclosed, a council spokesman said: “The allegations are under investigation. Thought has been given in respect of the public interest in disclosure of the allegations, against the rights of the employees. In this case we have determined, in compliance with section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the rights of the employees take priority."