Cllr Andy Meakin, Antonio Taylor, Community Safety Manager, with two Ashfield District council CPOs
Eight alleyways notoriously used for drug dealing, fly-tipping and nuisance motorbikes will be closed under a new Public Spaces Protection Order.
During a recent Ashfield Cabinet meeting, the proposed byelaw to restrict public access in these hotspot areas in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Hucknall was approved and will come into force on March 1.
The three orders in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have been funded by the Home Office’s Safer Streets scheme, which was secured by Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry. The one in Hucknall has been paid for using the Commissioner’s Safer4All funding.
Commissioner Henry has worked in partnership with Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire Police to deliver these orders to protect the communities affected by criminal behaviour.
She said: “I am delighted to hear that the final decision on the order has been successful.
“Working in partnership on projects such as this is an important part of tackling anti-social behaviour and helping residents, business owners and visitors feel safer.
“The approval of the orders shows the people of Ashfield that we will listen and take action to help with the issues that matter most to them.”
Residents reported a total of 836 incidents to the police alone last year from drug misuse, criminal damage, groups congregating and fire setting from the alleyways in question.
The new order and installation of gates will restrict public access and prevent crimes taking place in the locations.
Under the byelaw, any person found entering the alleyways could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 and/or face prosecution.
One resident told the Council how bad the situation had got.
They said: “Over the past few years we have had constant drug use and selling of drugs taking place, off road bikes riding through, and groups gathering here to smoke and drink alcohol.
“Although the alleyway is cleaned by the Council, it is only a matter of days before it ends up in the same situation; quite frankly it has become a living nightmare.”
The alleyways that will be closed are:
1. Between Bentinck Street and Bramley Court, Sutton
2. Between Downing Street and North Street, Sutton
3. Between Welbeck Street and Portland Close, Sutton
4. Between Bramley Court and Sutton Lawn, Sutton
5. Rear of 34-37 Rockwood Walk, Hucknall
6. Between Spruce Grove and Beacon Drive, Kirkby
7. Adjacent 40 Rosewood Drive, Kirkby
8. Between Spruce Grove and Poplar Avenue, Kirkby
Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Executive Lead Member for Community Safety and Crime Reduction, said: "Gating these alleyways will improve the lives of the residents who live near and around these anti-social behaviour hotspots.
“The amount of responses to the consultation demonstrate how necessary it is to restrict access to these alleyways that cause misery to residents.
“We have listened to the residents impacted by issues within the area and we as a Council are committed to making the lives of Ashfield residents better, that is why I am glad to support these plans and get them approved.’’
Antonio Taylor, Community Safety Manager for Ashfield District Council, added: "Ashfield is seeing major economic growth and investment and, as part of this, we want to see the District continue to remain an attractive, welcoming place for all our residents and visitors.
“The new byelaw that comes into effect next month supports this agenda and will provide respite to local residents who have experienced anti-social behaviour in these locations.’’
Posted on Friday 10th February 2023