Crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield

Chesterfield town centre.
Chesterfield town centre.

Police, councillors and other voluntary organisations have launched a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre.

Measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, known as Public Space Protection Orders, were introduced in December after they were planned and agreed by the Chesterfield town centre summit chaired by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa.

In the first four months of operation, authorised council officers and police officers have issued 74 dispersal notices, requiring people to leave the town centre for 48 hours.

Most of these have proved to be “successful” with only nine of these breached resulting in a £100 fixed penalty notice.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s leader, said: “We know that people have concerns about anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre.

“We introduced these measures after consulting with local residents and town centre businesses to ensure people who live, work and socialise in our great and historic town centre feel safe.”

The measures:

Enable the police or other authorised enforcement officers to make anyone found drinking alcohol on the streets within the town centre hand over open or unopened alcohol cans or bottles

Ban any activity or behaviour which causes nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress to another person

Ban loitering around cash machines, shopping centre entrances, shop entrances or car park ticket and payment machines to beg for money

Ban urinating or defecating anywhere that is not in a public toilet

Ban putting up or using a tent or other temporary structure without the landowner’s permission

Ban leaving any personal belongings unattended.

The measures were introduced as a result of the Chesterfield Town Centre summit, which meets to look at issues affecting the town centre.

Plans have been approved for work to be carried out to the bus stops on Beetwell Street outside the Pavements Shopping Centre which will help prevent loitering and anti-social behaviour in this area. Work on this project is due to be carried out in the coming months.

As well as enforcement, the summit considers longer-term options to provide support for people to find access to housing and treatment for underlying issues such as drug or alcohol dependence.

Councillor Gilby added: “We are aware that there are many reasons why people may be on our streets and we are keen to help people get out of the cycle of committing anti-social behaviour.

This is why we will be working closely with partners on a new group which looks at providing enforcement where necessary but also providing help for people to get the support they need.”

The partners involved include Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Police, Derbyshire Probation Trust, health agencies, homeless charities, church groups, East Midlands Chamber and Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

If you see anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre, please report it to Derbyshire Constabulary on the non-emergency number, 101.

In case of an emergency, or if you are in danger, call 999.