Thoughts of seeking to strengthen anti-social behaviour (ASB) laws in parts of Uckfield have been put on the back burner.
Uckfield Town Council this week decided to defer further consideration of seeking Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) which could be used to tackle trouble ‘hotspots’
Councillors again stressed the need for residents to report crimes immediately to Sussex Police so that a full picture of what was going on could be built up.
They repeated what was said at a meeting of the council’s environment and leisure committee last month – our report is here: Uckfield crime – See it – report it
It was town mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, who originally asked the council to consider what it could do to tackle ASB in Uckfield.
But on Monday he proposed deferral of the issue for the time being and informing the police of what was happening.
He said with an improved police presence in Uckfield and more reporting, the council could see what progress was being made.
Cllr Mayhew emphasised that people should report to the police rather than putting the information on social media.
Earlier in the debate, Cllr Ben Cox said what was needed was a plan detailing what should be happening month by month, year by year.
“I think we as a council should put a plan together that we put to Sussex Police and have objectives to go by,” he said.
Cllr Donna French the data the council now had was a “great benchmark” which could be referred to in future. “This is fantastic data,” she commented.
Cllr Helen Firth said she thought people were fed up of reporting things to the police and nothing happening.
“You cannot blame the public for that.
“I have sent loads of photographs through about anti-social parking and it carries on happening because nobody really responds to it,” she said.
During the autumn, police data for Uckfield has been analysed by the council and found most incidents of crime an anti-social behaviour took place in the centre of the town, which includes the railway station.
In the rest of the town, incidents “rarely rose above five incidents per month”.
It was these figures which have led councillors to tell townspeople that they should report all incidents at once to the police: 999 if crime is in progress of the 101 system, which can be done online.
This week’s meeting of the full council was told of other towns in the South East, similar in population size to Uckfield, where PSPOs had been implemented.
Each town had an order in place for a year but “it was found there was no correlation in the crime data recorded for the period after the PSPO implementation, showing little signs of the PSPO working effectively.
Crime levels rise
“Although there were small dips in crime occurrences after the PSPO was put into place, the crime levels begin to slowly rise again after a few months,” a report to councillors said.
“The evidence indicates that with a PSPO in place, we still require the necessary authorities to enforce the legislation and to issued fixed penalty notices when required.
“Without this it would be a challenge to ensure the PSPO would work effectively as a deterrent for anti-social behaviour.”