A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been proposed to cover the whole of Chingford and the north of Waltham Forest, which will come into effect on Friday 1 November if approved by Waltham Forest Cabinet following an overwhelmingly favourable response to a recent public consultation.
The online consultation, held in August 2019, showed significant local support for a PSPO in northern wards of the borough with 415 residents in total responding, 92 per cent of whom were in favour of its introduction. It followed a series of face-to-face conversations between council officers and residents and businesses in spring 2019 where strong support for the introduction of an order was voiced.
Cllr Ahsan Khan, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, will be recommending that the PSPO is introduced to take effect from 1 November 2019 at a meeting of the Waltham Forest Cabinet, to be held Thursday 10 October. The proposed order is one of the key initiatives the council is introducing as part of its new Anti-Social Behaviour strategy for 2019 to 2024, which outlines a multi-agency approach to reduce ASB in Waltham Forest and its impact on communities.
The PSPO will cover Chingford and Highams Park – the whole of the borough north of the A406 - and follows the introduction of a PSPO covering the south of the borough in 2017. PSPOs allow council enforcement officers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for anti-social behaviour (ASB) including spitting, public urination, and street drinking. In the last 12 months, there were 437 enforcement actions in the wards covered by the order. There has been a significant reduction in reports of ASB in the area.
The reduction in criminal activity and ASB in designated areas has been achieved thanks to the innovative partnership between Waltham Forest Council’s ASB team and Metropolitan Police, conducting joint patrols and to enforcing the PSPO in southern wards. This partnership is a key element of the public health approach taken by Waltham Forest’s Violence Reduction Partnership, which works with police, health and education services and community groups to tackles violence and the causes of violence in the borough.
Research shows that tackling ASB and creating clean and safe neighbourhoods where all feel welcome is a priority for the Waltham Forest community. In 2017, 31% of residents reported that they were worried about it in their neighbourhood. Addressing ASB in the borough is a complex matter that requires coordination between many different agencies and local organisations.
Cllr Khan said: “Residents living in Chingford and Highams Park have a fundamental right to go about their day-to-day lives unaffected by anti-social behaviour – be it street drinking, public urination, or littering. I want communities in these wards to know that they have our full support dealing with these issues. This PSPO is an important step as it gives us the statutory powers we need to respond effectively to residents’ concerns.”
Residents who are concerned about ASB in their neighbourhood can report it here via the council website. Additionally, reports of ASB can be made via the police 101 non-emergency number.
You can find the consultation page with details of the proposed PSPO on the council website here.