Could locking up streets at night provide a solution to deterring anti-social behaviour? Brunswick Row in Brighton could provide an opportunity to find out. It will be the first street in the city to be closed at night.
Brunswick Row, a narrow street between London Road and Ditchling Road, has been the scene of drug dealing, sexual assault, disorder and other criminal behaviour.
If environment councillors approve the idea, Brighton & Hove City Council will issue a gating order, which means the street will be fitted with gates at both ends, which will be closed and locked at night.
The city council was given powers to grant gating orders in April 2006 under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, and this is the first such order to be proposed for the city.
Brunswick Row will still be a public highway and will be open during the day. The gates will only be closed at night and only used as long as antisocial behaviour is a problem in the area and after that can be removed.
Chairman of the environment committee, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, said, “This is the first time the council has made use of this power. We have the full support of local residents and Sussex Police and will be working closely with them to take this project forward.
“If councillors approve the plan then we could see an end to this area being used by drug dealers, drunks and other antisocial elements as a short cut between the Level and London Road.”
If councillors give the scheme the go-ahead at the environment committee meeting in Hove Town Hall on Thursday 7 June, then the council’s environment improvement team will start work over the next few months to install the gates and issue Brunswick Row residents with keys.
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