Whether it’s Dry January, Veganuary, taking more exercise or spending more time with friends and family, it’s great to be working working towards a goal. For me, that goal will be to continue to develop our Prevention and Enforcement Service to improve the quality of life of people living and working in Peterborough.
Before I look ahead to 2018, I want to just tell you about some of the successes we had last month. Christmas is always a busy time for our service, and December was no exception. We ran a couple of really successful campaigns over the Christmas period, including our taxi marshalling service. The scheme, which ran on Friday and Saturday nights in the lead up to Christmas, made a significant contribution to improving the safety of Peterborough at night.
The Safer Peterborough Partnership is determined to crack down on alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and violence and we know the scheme helped to reassure people that they could find a taxi safely after they have enjoyed their evening out. We had lots of excellent feedback on the scheme and we are looking at ways of continuing the service in 2018.
Last month also saw the first batch of prosecutions at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court for those people who have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice which has not been paid. We issue Fixed Penalty Notices to those who break the conditions of the Public Space Protection Orders, which are in place in the City Centre and Millfield. You might have seen some of our officers patrolling these areas over the last few months. The orders prohibit littering, spitting, cycling on Bridge Street and other similar environmental offences, and ensure that these areas remain safe and litter free and can be enjoyed by everyone.
We issued a lot of tickets last year and, for me, a success of 2018 would be to see the number of tickets issued reduce as people become more aware that environmental crime is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in Peterborough.
The first two weeks of 2018 have seen a focus on parking issues which affect the city, particularly in some of our new housing developments. I know this is a difficult issue, most new housing estates tend to have parking for one vehicle, but many households have more than one car, which means people have tend to resort to parking on the road. This can cause problems for neighbours but also causes problems for fire engines, ambulances, large vehicles like the council’s dustcarts and buses to get through.
The Local Authority can only issue penalty charge notices (PCNs) to vehicles parked in contravention of civil contraventions, this covers most parking offences such as a vehicle parking across a driveway or on yellow lines, but does not cover every scenario. We are constantly looking at measures to improve the situation but I would appeal to all drivers to be co-operative and considerate of others when parking.
The team have also been working with communities in Paston to reduce anti-social behaviour that is occurring there. We have officers who specialise in reducing anti-social behaviour, who have been working closely with our Youth In Localities team, to understand what the issues in the area are and how they can be resolved.
Next month I’ll be back to update you on our strategic priorities for 2018 and beyond, based on what you told us in our public consultation. I’ll also bring you news of our upcoming Safeguarding month and how you can get involved.