LETTER: Vital that ASB is reported

Coun Malcolm Chandler
Coun Malcolm Chandler
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I was pleased to see the positive response to the pre-Christmas introduction of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to replace the former Designated Place Protection Order in Spalding town centre.

The proactive introduction was in response to concerns of Spalding town users regarding anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the town centre and it has been generally well received.

This new order has included a number of increased powers for the police to deal with the issues raised by residents to South Holland District Council.

Naturally when considering giving the additional powers to the police, consultation with all interested parties took place. Hence inclusion of drinking in a public place, litter, spitting and the other objectionable behaviour brought to the council’s attention.

It was difficult to gauge the extent of ASB in the town as residents seem reluctant to report issues to the police, who have the responsibility of dealing with it , which in turn, records a reduction in reported cases.

Police foot patrols in the town do sometimes take place, which is encouraging. However, it is the residents who are on the streets of our town on a daily basis – if residents do not report issues such as street drinking as they are witnessed, the authorities will not be able to respond to them nor know the full size of the current issues which exist.

It is, therefore, absolutely vital that whenever an offence is witnessed it is reported to the police.

If there is an immediate threat to either person or property please telephone 999. For any other criminal incidents, please contact Lincolnshire police on their non emergency number of 101.

If you find the 101 number busy or you are in a queue for several minutes, I would ask you to please persist and get the facts recorded. Remember also that your district councillors for town wards would like to hear the details which can then be reported by them at the Spalding Town forum regular meetings.

It is only by all the responsible authorities and the public, working together, that these matters can be dealt with. We are fortunate in Spalding as the extent of the ASB has been tackled positively in the recent past as such behaviours have become an unfortunate occurrence in city centres and towns across the country.

The Lords are currently reviewing the licensing laws and one trusts revisions will be considered to see whether any amendments can be included to help in the reduction of alcohol-associated ASB nationally.

In that respect SHDC licensing authority has acted positively to police evidence where it has been shown that licensed premises have been operated in serious contravention of the Licensing Act .

It was important to introduce the new powers before Christmas and the New Year period. However, there were a number of other issues raised in the consultation last year which will be considered along with a review of the new order by the district council later this month. All comments from residents will be welcomed for inclusion in the review. Please let us know your views by contacting the district council on 01775 761161 or by email to community@sholland.gov.uk quoting SENTINEL6199, by February 20.