17 November 2017

Councillors debate tougher approach to anti-social behaviour

The city council is set to launch a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ approach to tackling the city’s on-going anti-social behaviour problem. 

Anyone, including businesses, who commits an offence like playing loud music, dumping rubbish in gardens or regularly repairing vehicles on the road or pavement, will first be given a written warning letter to change their behaviour. 

If they fail to comply, they will be issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) fixed penalty up to £100, or find themselves in court facing a fine of up to £2,500 for individuals and £20,000 for businesses.

The council would also have the power to carry out clean-up work at a property without the owners or occupiers permission, including clearing unsightly gardens, and then hit the offender with the bill. 

This will include private landlords and tenants who dump old fridges, beds and mattresses at a property once the property is vacated.

Cllr Emma Daniel, Chair of the council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities Committee, said: “We are determined to stamp out anti-social behaviour in our wonderful city, and Community Protection Notices are another tool we may use. 

“They are designed to stop a person aged 16 or over, business or organisation committing anti-social behaviour that ruin a community’s quality of life.”

A CPN can be issued by a local authority officer, a police officer, a police community support officer (PCSO) or a delegated social landlord.

The plan will be debated and voted on at the next meeting of the council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities (NICE) committee on Monday 27 November, then at the Policy, Resources & Growth committee on Thursday 30 November.

Cllr Daniel added: “Anti-social behaviour is a blight on our city and can ruin communities and people’s lives. In dealing with ASB, the council should consider all the options available.”

CPN’s are part of the Government’s Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 which brought together 19 previous powers into six, making them quicker and easier to obtain and use. 

An appeal against a CPN can be launched by complaining to the local Magistrates Court within 21 days of the notice being served, but this could result in a heftier fine if found guilty.