Sections of New Beetwell Street in Chesterfield to be 'blocked off'
Further action is being taken to tackle yobbish behaviour on New Beetwell Street in Chesterfield.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said work has started to 'block off' the recesses in the Pavements Shopping Centre walls so people waiting at the bus stops along the road do not face anti-social behaviour from people loitering there.
The work is being carried out in response to complaints from shoppers and residents.
Measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, known as Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), were introduced by the council in December.
In the first four months of operation, authorised council officers and police officers issued 74 dispersal notices, requiring people to leave the town centre for 48 hours.
Most of these were successful with only nine breached, resulting in a £100 fixed penalty notice.
Coun Gilby said: "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."
According to a council report, PSPOs in the town 'appear to be having the desired effect'.
The report states: "Since the introduction of the PSPOs, calls for service and reports to the community safety office have dropped significantly.
"In addition the authority is receiving positive feedback from retailers and members of the public.
"For example the East Midlands Chamber, through Business Watch, reported 'some of the retailers have seen a vast improvement in the last two or three weeks. They feel this is probably due to the PSPOs being in place'.
"We have been able to identify a core group of individuals who are not responding to the interventions.
"These individuals will be targeted with injunctions and other interventions while still being offered support from local homeless agencies to turn their lifestyles around."
Longer-term solutions sought
According to the council, action to find longer-term solutions to issues is being delivered by a range of partners through the Chesterfield town centre summit chaired by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa.
As well as enforcement, the summit considers options to provide support for people to find access to housing and treatment for underlying issues such as drug or alcohol dependence.
Coun 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.
"By working closely with partners, we are providing help for people to get the support they need."