The council is considering a proposal aimed at improving the quality of life for residents in West Ealing by making it a ‘protected’ zone. But it wants the views of local people first.
A six-week public consultation began today (Monday, 14 November), asking residents what they think of Ealing Council putting a legal order in place in West Ealing to help ensure the law-abiding majority of people feel safe to use and enjoy public spaces.
It would give powers to the police and council enforcement officers to help them to deter trouble – and to deal with persistent problems ‘on the spot’.
Several local groups that help vulnerable people in the area have already been consulted on the ideas being proposed, including Ealing RISE Drug and Alcohol Service and St Mungo’s homelessness charity.
Councillor Ranjit Dheer, the council’s cabinet member for community service and safety, said: “Anti-social behaviour can intimidate people and prevent them from enjoying public spaces such as parks or playgrounds.
“Statistics, reports and complaints have all pointed to West Ealing becoming a hot spot for these types of problems.
“Before we put this proposed order together, local organisations dealing with people suffering from substance misuse were consulted – including Ealing RISE, St Mungo’s and public health teams; and we also received advice from Youth Justice and spoke to residents’ associations and a number of local businesses. The contents of the proposed order were revised several times following their feedback.
“The most common complaint from residents’ associations was littering of drug paraphernalia and the impact this has on children.
“When the council’s safer communities team visited several local companies they all pointed out the negative impact on their business of street-drinking and associated congregation in certain spots.
“Therefore, they were all very happy with the idea of seeing more police presence in the area, which is what this order would effectively mean.
“It is about making sure public spaces are welcoming, and not about restricting access to them. The idea is to discourage unwelcome behaviour from happening in the first place but, if a problem persists, the order would make sure it can be dealt with effectively.”
The proposed order was drawn up with the aim of complementing a number of other schemes currently operating in West Ealing.
Key driving forces behind certain crimes and types of anti-social behaviour in West Ealing have been identified by research carried out by the safer communities team. It has highlighted the wide availability of cheap, high strength alcohol in the area; and groups of people congregating around late night, fast food restaurants.
In one project, officers have therefore worked closely with other agencies, including the police and RISE, to target specific individuals regularly involved in this kind of trouble – to either penalise them or get them help, as appropriate; and, in another project previously piloted in Southall, the team has also been working with local businesses that sell alcohol or have late licences. By working with these businesses it has helped make sure they are complying with the law and operating safely and legally.
To find out more and have your say, fill in an online consultation form by 5pm on Friday, 23 December 2016.
If you would like to request a paper copy of the consultation form, call 020 8825 5994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org– and make sure the form is returned by 23 December 2016.
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