Issue details

AHWB.029.2021 - Installation of Alley Gates for Don Street and Brooke Street

Section 59 of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014, provides that a local authority may make a public spaces protection order if satisfied on reasonable grounds that two conditions are met:

The first condition is that—
(a) activities carried on in a public place within the authority’s area have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, or
(b) it is likely that activities will be carried on in a public place within that area and that they will have such an effect.

The second condition is that the effect, or likely effect, of the activities—
(a) is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature,
(b) is, or is likely to be, such as to make the activities unreasonable, and
(c) justifies the restrictions imposed by the notice.
The alleyways to the rear of both Don Street and Brooke Street within the Town Ward, have for a number of years been facilitating continual anti-social behaviour including alcohol and drug misuse where drug paraphernalia is being discarded. The area is also a magnet for use by sex workers, nuisance youths and adults, and has regular instances of criminal damage, fly tipping and reports of burglaries and attempted burglaries. Due to its proximity to the local Homeless hostel, these locations also serve as a congregation area for those tenants, again causing harassment, alarm and distress to local residents due to behaviours witnessed.
This has had a fundamental effect on the wellbeing of the local residents which has resulted in a decline in the community spirit, ultimately effecting their quality of life.
Residents report that they feel intimidated, fearful and appalled when using the alleyways prior to the Covid19 pandemic and voiced these concerns via the local Ward Councillors, reported to both the Communities Area team and the Environmental Enforcement team and also to South Yorkshire Police.

Due to this the alleyways are an area where residents avoid, no longer being a social environment where neighbours would converse whilst placing their bins out or indeed where
they can feel safe and take pride in anymore.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with residents spending more time at home, these feelings of concern have continued and indeed escalated, with those perpetrators responsible for these types of behaviours noticeably attributing to the further decline of the alleyways, through continuing to visit the area even during National lockdown periods.

The area itself is affected due to its geographical location which is set back from any other residential areas and could be described as an island. There are only 3 residential streets within this boundry those being Don Street, Brooke Street and Parkinson Street. Both Don and Brooke back onto each other with Parkinson being removed from the other two bar being linked at a junction.

As a result of the set back design of the isolated estate so close to the Town Centre, it is an ideal location for drink, drug, sex work abuse as well as fly tipping.

The residents of the area have been reluctant to report incidences due to, in their view, the slim likelihood of perpetrators being caught and in particular during the Covid 19 pandemic when they have known services have been stretched. The restriction of access to this alleyway would remedy these problems almost immediately. The alleygates would not only help in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour but also reduce further costs to the Local Authority and South Yorkshire Police. Although Doncaster Council Officers and their partners South Yorkshire Police have continued to conduct regular covert and high visibility patrols to help alleviate the problems, which arise in the area, issuing fixed penalty notices and clearance orders, the longer-term restriction of access to the alleyways would remedy these
problems almost immediately.

The installation of alley gates at this location will also help to greatly reduce the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour for local residents; in turn, this will raise the community confidence of those residents who live within the area the alley gates will cover. This will in particular support improved wellbeing outcomes for the several elderly and vulnerable residents who have suffered in recent years due to the steady decline in the local area, with it no longer looking or feeling like the community they have lived in for many years. It will instil a refreshed level of confidence in services and help reduce the overall fear of safety currently witnessed.
As part of the Public Space Protection Order Consultation required, residents were asked for their views and concerns in relation to the implementation of this scheme, and through this process significant support for this proposal has been found.

The funding for the alleygate installation is being met from existing Council budgets which have already been earmarked to cover the costs required. It is fair to say there would potentially be minor costs down the line linked to broken locks however; this would be managed from existing Community Safety budgets. Community Safety colleagues have also confirmed that if there is a fault with the gates within 3 years of installation, this is covered through the Contractor’s guarantee. If the damage to the gates is excessive due to vehicle damage as an example, then the insurance claim process would be followed. Ultimately, if all
those elements will not cover the cost to repair or replace damaged dates, then arrangements would be made to have them removed.

See attached Officer Decision Record for further details.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 13/10/2021

Decision due: 11 Aug 2021 by Director of Improvement Adults, Health and Wellbeing

Contact: Phil Holmes, Director of Adults, Health and Wellbeing (DASS) Email: phil.holmes@doncaster.gov.uk.

Decisions