Gipsy Hill Councillor Jenny Brathwaite is also Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Environment and has been pushing Lambeth council to go further in getting tough on flytippers and dog mess and has introduced on-the-spot fines for people who make our streets dirty and unpleasant. Here Jenny writes with an update on how Lambeth Labour is getting tougher on street mess:
Lambeth residents tell us all the time that clean streets are a top priority. Nobody wants to live in a neighbourhood blighted by litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling and although the majority of our borough is in a good state, we know that more can be done.
At the last election we stood on a pledge to take tough action to make our streets cleaner and tidier. That’s one of the reasons why we are introducing a new ASB team with the power to issue on the spot fines. We want to send a clear message that spitting, littering and dog fouling is completely unacceptable.
People will say we are doing this to raise money but that’s not the case. The idea is that the team, wearing high-viz uniforms showing clearly who they are and what they are doing, should act as a deterrent. Anybody fined will think twice before dropping a sweet wrapper or dumping a mattress again.
The new team will build on the enforcement action already in place. Figures released by Lambeth council also show that last year over 500 fines were issued relating to illegal waste dumping, 142 for unlicensed street trading, nine for urination, five for spitting and 11 as a result of Lambeth’s pioneering approach to legal highs.
Lambeth became the first London borough to ban legal highs by implementing the newly created Public Space Protection Order last August. Since then, enforcement officers and local police have confiscated thousands of legal highs, particularly Nitrous Oxide – or Laughing Gas – canisters.
The use of CCTV across Lambeth and the partnership between the council and police has helped in the successful arrest and prosecution of criminals, including those involved in a drive by shooting and a series of sexual assaults. Intelligence gathering and sharing has led to the removal of weapons from the streets. Several CCTV operators have been commended in recognition of their role in making Lambeth safer.
Volume-wise Lambeth is in the top five London boroughs that deal with licensed premises and in 2015, dealt with around 1500 premises licensed to sell alcohol in the borough. Council officers work alongside police licensing and Lambeth is strict about awarding licenses and refusing or revoking them.
There were two successful court applications made for Criminal Behaviour Orders against prolific and persistent offenders of aggressive and intimidating behaviour in the Gipsy Hill ward.
The actions we take and the work we do with partners including the police demonstrate Lambeth’s commitment to keeping the borough’s streets safe.
Anti-social behaviour, in all its forms, damages local businesses and communities and costs us money to clear up. Our community safety, CCTV, licencing and enforcement officers deserve huge credit for the work they do – often painstaking and time consuming and these results are a tribute to all of them.