New contract for enforcement officers to patrol Peterborough's streets
Enforcement officers from a private firm will continue to patrol Peterborough's streets after agreeing a new two year deal with the city council.
Kingdom Services Group has signed a new deal after handing out more than 11,000 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) since it began operating 18 months ago in Peterborough.
Uniformed Kingdom officers have been patrolling the city centre and an area covering Millfield, New England, Gladstone, Eastfield, Lower Bridge Street and the Embankment since beginning its trial with the council.
Fines have been handed out for seven different offences of anti-social behaviour, including spitting, littering and cycling in Bridge Street.
The clampdown has left some residents out of pocket by £80, but council leader Cllr John Holdich, who has championed the scheme, believes Kingdom officers have had a positive effect.
“There’s been a good response from the public. What they want is for this to go further out in Peterborough and this contract should release money to do that,” he said.
“I get two to three letters a month from people saying they see the difference it’s made and if they can have it in their area.”
The Peterborough Telegraph revealed in August that Kingdom was keeping all of the money which it took in from handing out FPNs. Under the new contract Kingdom takes £45 and the council takes £35 of any tickets issued.
The authority said any surplus it makes will be spent on prevention activities across the city, for example a campaign to tackle dog fouling in a specific area.
In addition, Kingdom officers, who wear body-worn cameras when they are on patrol, have their fines assessed to make sure they are “ethical”, the council said.
The two areas Kingdom officers currently patrol are covered by Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).
A consultation is ongoing about a third PSPO in Woodston which would allow for enforcement of anti-social behaviour including drinking alcohol in a public place.
Adults would also be banned from being present in a children’s playground unless they are accompanying a child of 14 or under, or a person who requires the attention of a recognised carer. If the new PSPO is approved Kingdom officers will begin patrolling it.
The Kingdom deal is separate to plans revealed by the council in June to deploy city-wide parking and environmental crime enforcement teams. Details of the proposal are still being worked on.