Work to block off recesses on New Beetwell Street in Chesterfield will cost around £40k

New Beetwell Street in Chesterfield.
New Beetwell Street in Chesterfield.

Work to close off recesses and conduct a deep clean along New Beetwell Street in Chesterfield will cost around £40,000, it has emerged.

The spaces in the Pavements Shopping Centre walls will be blocked off so people waiting at the bus stops along the road do not face anti-social behaviour from people loitering there.

Glass partitions like this will be used to block off the recesses along the road.

Glass partitions like this will be used to block off the recesses along the road.

A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesperson said: "The recesses will be closed off using glass partitions similar to one currently at the bottom of the escalator from the Pavements Shopping Centre.

"The total cost of the works, including deep cleaning, is around £40,000.

"This is being paid for by Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire police."

Work is expected to begin the week commencing August 20 and should take around two weeks to complete.

The council spokesperson added: "The work is being carried out in response to complaints from shoppers and residents."

PSPOs hailed

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.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the council, 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."