A CONCERNED group of Gainsborough residents have spoken out against West Lindsey District Council’s anti-social behaviour rules - arguing that ‘public safety is undermined’.
The Trinity Action Group are strongly opposed to the authority’s rule about nothing being done about incidents of minor anti-social behaviour until at least three complaints have been made - WLDC call this the ‘community trigger’.
Group chairman and owner of the Streat Cafe on Trinity Street Ian Mills said that the rule raised serious concerns for public safety and called for ‘better value for money’ from the council.
“If residents have got to wait for three people to come forward to report a particular incident, then it could put people off from reporting it all together,” said Ian Mills. “The trend is that people don’t report minor things and so these things will just be left to keep happening. The council just aren’t providing the protection that the people on the streets need.”
He continued: “I know that they aren’t flushed with money and have to be careful with how they spend it, but they still have to deliver a certain degree of protection to the public.”
Ian says that many local residents are concerned that if minor issues of anti-social behaviour are ignored, they could escalate into something much more serious.
“There’s a huge distrust growing among people that we aren’t getting what we pay for from the council,” he said. “Council tax is quite expensive and they aren’t delivering the goods.”
Ian added: “There needs to be action at an early stage before things get out of hand and these things just aren’t happening.”
A WLDC spokesman responded by saying that they deal with all anti-social behaviour reports as they come in, dependant on the risk of each individual situation - working with partners such as housing groups and the police, to try and solve the problems as quickly and smoothly as possible. They argue that the community trigger is ‘an additional mechanism to give power to individuals, the community and businesses to challenge the agency dealing with the ASB, if they feel that that not enough action has been taken to implement partnership working to solve problems and develop solutions’.
Coun Alan Caine sits on the West Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership;. He said: “The trigger invites members of the public to contact us if they have reported ASB three times in the previous 12 month period and feel they have not received a satisfactory service.”
“I believe this pilot reinforces our drive to deliver opportunities for community action and to improve community resilience. We at West Lindsey are passionate about working with communities to deliver ‘real’ community led services.”