Friday, February 1, 2019

News: ASB continues to decline in Rotherham town centre

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The number of incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) continues to decline in Rotherham town centre since the introduction of the borough's first Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), but many think more still needs to be done to address safety concerns.

The order was introduced in September 2017 in the town centre and Clifton Park after the Council said that it continued to receive complaints about a minority of people who behave in an unacceptable way.

A PSPO introduces a number of prohibitions to address the anti-social behaviour of individuals visiting these areas. By outlining these prohibitions it makes it clear what kind of behaviour is acceptable in the town centre.

A Council paper reviewing the order highlights that ASB incidents continue to reduce, a continuation of previous patterns. There were 539 incidents of ASB in the year after implementation of the PSPO, averaging 45 incidents per month. This is compared to the 668 ASB incidents reported prior to PSPO implementation, averaging at 56 incidents.

This shows an average reduction of 11 incidents per month, around 19%.

However, a spike in incidents was seen in October 2018, where numbers returned to those recorded in October 2016. This may be linked with the commencement of dark nights. A spike in April/May 2018 could be attributed to Rotherham United "playing extra games, being promoted, and the celebrations that followed, coupled with the advent of the World Cup and the exceptionally warm weather that was experienced."

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Conditions for the PSPO were drafted in direct response to the concerns raised by the public, partners, businesses and councillors. They include: behaving in such a way or using language that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to another person; drinking alcohol other than in a licensed premises or event; spitting and using or carrying illegal drugs.

Any individual in breach of the PSPO is subject to a £100 penalty. Those that failed to pay this would be liable for prosecution. There have been 85 breaches of order (mainly alcohol related) but only ten of which have been paid. 69 of these tickets have resulted in (or are waiting) prosecution.

The Council paper states: "Overall the analysis shows there has been a reduction in the average number of ASB incidents per month since the implementation of the PSPO. However, volumes were on a reducing trend since the start of the data period (October 2016) and therefore the full impact of the PSPO is not as clear-cut as it appears, as the trend towards reduction had already commenced."

Police and Council officers are said to be generally positive in relation to the additional powers as they allow them to positively deal with lower level offences.

The paper adds that feedback, from councillors, management, businesses and others, suggests that further enforcement resources are required in order to have a more significant impact in the town centre area.

As reports of ASB fall this could exemplify the gap between perception and reality in respect of community safety issues, mirrored by the findings of the 2018 Borough Wide Lifestyle Survey.

The paper adds that "hot spots" around the town centre will be targeted but there are worries that reducing budgets will reduce levels of enforcement.

Images: South Yorkshire Police

2 comments:

Graldhunter February 1, 2019 at 12:32 PM  

It couldn't be owt to do with nosediving town centre footfall could it, lol 😂

Anonymous,  February 1, 2019 at 12:47 PM  

Yeah not surprising,even scumbags are turning there back on town centre!

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