Anti-social behaviour in Brent parks set to be tackled with new powers

4 September 2019

 

New powers to combat anti-social behaviour and help everybody enjoy Brent's parks are set to be discussed by Brent Council's Cabinet on Monday (9 September).

The council's Cabinet will be asked to back a report recommending the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) tackling a number of issues. These include drug use, littering, and driving vehicles like mopeds through the borough's green spaces. Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence and could lead to a £100 fine or a penalty of up to £1,000 if prosecuted.

The proposals have been drawn up following extensive dialogue with the community and specialist organisations. During the consultation, people who regularly walk in Paddington Cemetery raised concerns about rule changes meaning they would need to keep dogs on leads. The final paper recommends against introducing this prohibition.

Feedback from St Mungo's, which advocates on behalf of vulnerable and homeless individuals, has also been taken on-board. Under the final recommendations, officers will continue to refer vulnerable and homeless individuals for support in the first instance, rather than taking enforcement action.

Cllr Tom Miller, Lead Member for Community Safety & Engagement, said: "If approved, these common-sense proposals will help everybody to enjoy our parks and open spaces in peace. It will give us the ability to better deal with the anti-social behaviour that residents tell us affect their visits and, I hope, will ultimately make our parks cleaner and safer."

Last year, the Council spent around £45,000 keeping parks free of litter and £200,000 on repairs, with vandalism contributing to the destruction of fences, pathways and grass.