Crime-ridden alleyways to be closed
Eight notorious alleyways which have become hotspots for drug dealing, fly tipping and nuisance motorbikes will be closed under a new Public Spaces Protection Order which will go live from 1 March 2023.
At last night’s (2 February 2023) Cabinet meeting, the proposed byelaw was approved and will come into force next month.
The alleyways that will be closed are:
- Between Bentinck Street and Bramley Court, Sutton
- Between Downing Street and North Street, Sutton
- Between Welbeck Street and Portland Close, Sutton
- Between Bramley Court and Sutton Lawn, Sutton
- Rear of 34-37 Rockwood Walk, Hucknall
- Between Spruce Grove and Beacon Drive, Kirkby
- Adjacent 40 Rosewood Drive, Kirkby
- Between Spruce Grove and Poplar Avenue, Kirkby
Under the byelaw, any person found entering the alleyways could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 and/or face prosecution.
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.
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.”
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.’’
The three gating orders in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have been funded through the Home Office’s Safer Streets scheme, secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire and delivered in partnership with Ashfield District Council and Nottinghamshire Police. The gating order in Hucknall is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner's Safer4All funding.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry 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.”