Brighton & Hove has been nominated by the Government as one of ten U.K. trailblazer cities in the fight against anti-social behaviour, louts and beggars and now it has to meet tough new targets .
Frustrated at the failure of police and local councils to use new legislation to fight anti-social behaviour the Prime Minister told a recent conference: - “We have listened, we have given you new powers and now its time to use them”
Top priority in Brighton & Hove will be reducing the number of beggars on the streets by 60 % by March 2005.
Other priorities will include dealing with nuisance neighbours and clearing abandoned cars.
Brighton & Hove City Council was chosen to be part of the Action Plan because of the forward-thinking, innovative work already being carried out by the council to prevent anti-social behaviour.
This summer, for example, the city became the first in the country to introduce city-wide powers enabling the police to confiscate alcohol from anti-social drinkers in public places, a move, which is already bringing results.
The council has also established an Anti-Social Behaviour Team dedicated to tackling the sorts of problems which can make life a misery for residents, such a nuisance neighbours, noise and vandalism.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city council's Community Safety Forum, said: "We welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Government to tackle anti-social behaviour - an issue that we know is important to local people.
"We are pleased that it has been recognised at the highest level within the Government that, although there are problems in the city, we are one of the councils really working to deal with the issues and taking positive action to come up with creative, innovative solutions."
Measures to address enforcement of anti-social behaviour have included the council funding ten extra Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOs). PCSOs are deployed and backed up by the police force. They prevent and deal with low level situations, such as begging, before it becomes crime.
District Commander for Brighton Central, Chief Inspector, Lisa Pearcey said: "Officers in Brighton and Hove are already working closely with the council to tackle issues of anti-social behaviour. The council have funded ten of our 20 new Police Community Support Officers to patrol the city streets and provide high visibility policing.
"The police are pleased that the Home Office has recognised the work that has been achieved in Brighton & Hove and that we have the opportunity to work with the Home Office to do even more to tackle anti-social behaviour in our city."
The Action Plan will involve the city council working in partnership with the Government to find solutions, troubleshoot problems and deliver improvements. This 'trailblazing' work will be used a model for other parts of the country.
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