Well, what a year we have had in the Prevention and Enforcement Service. We’ve delivered some big initiatives that we know from public feedback are having a real positive impact, writes Rob Hill, assistant director for Community Safety at Peterborough City Council.
Here are just a few highlights.
We introduced new Public Space Protection Orders and enforcement officers to tackle littering and anti-social behaviour. We’ve issued over 5,000 fines and are starting to change the behaviour of those few who bring down the look and feel of our city.
We’ve targeted fly-tipping and not only are we bringing prosecutions, we’re also educating and preventing this issue through other means. We have delivered community freighter schemes across Peterborough and reports of fly-tipping have reduced in recent months.
The quality of rental accommodation is being improved through the introduction of the selective licensing scheme. This was widely publicised including on BBC One’s Housing Enforcers show. It supports landlords to raise standards and tackles those who provide unacceptable and dangerous living conditions for tenants.
Although it is good to review, there is much work to be done and we are continually looking to the future. The service will continue to adapt to meet public demand and address the things that matter most to you and I will update on you on some of these new initiatives in my next column in the New Year.
Over the Christmas period, there’s a few things I’d like to make you aware of that are happening to keep everyone safe.
Drink-drive incidents occur throughout the year, but as we know there’s always a marked increase at Christmas due to the parties and celebrations going on around the country.
Over the festive period selected pubs and clubs across the county have agreed to provide free draught soft drinks to designated drivers. All you need to do is ask for an “I’m DES” wristband from a member of staff at participating venues. A full list of venues can be found at https://www.cprsp.co.uk/campaigns/i-m- des-christmas- designated-driver/.
It’s also important to remember before jumping in your car the morning after a night out that you could actually still be over the limit. It takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body. It takes on average one hour per unit of alcohol to leave the body and a large glass of wine or a pint of strong beer is about three units. Surprised? It’s just not worth the risk - give yourself a good space of time before driving. Enjoy yourselves, but be responsible, don’t risk it and stay safe.
We are receiving more and more reports of people selling counterfeit goods in the city centre. Whilst this may look like a cheap way to buy gifts, these goods are usually untested and can be harmful to us, particularly beauty products and perfumes.
Our trading standards officers have intercepted some unscrupulous sellers this month and have succeeded in securing convictions against these individuals. This includes the high profile court case reported in the Peterborough Telegraph last week of Terrance Donovan, who was jailed for three years last week for fraudulently importing and selling large quantities of counterfeit designer merchandise featuring brands such as Rolex, Hublot and Patek Philippe.
My advice to you is if someone is offering goods for a fraction of the store cost it is likely to be too good to be true....stay clear!
Quick reminder to think theft prevention over Christmas. Don’t leave expensive gifts under trees in full view of windows - keep bags and presents close to you when out shopping and keep cards and cash discreet when paying for things. Common sense stuff, but worth a reminder as we don’t want to make theft easy for criminals!
Final message from me, on behalf of the police, fire, council and prison staff who make up the Prevention and Enforcement Service........Have a fantastic holiday and a happy new year...keep safe and enjoy our wonderful city!