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Anti-social behaviour is dropping in Redhill, so why isn’t it in Crawley?

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It’s been four months since Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s first Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) came into force in Redhill town centre, and the council has already seen a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area.

The PSPO gives the council and police additional powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in Redhill town centre by prohibiting specific activities that negatively affect the local community. Distinctive blue and white signs list the behaviours, which include acting in an anti-social manner, harassing or being verbally abusive.

The council’s partners, including the police, say that the PSPO has been an effective tool to deter rather than to punish.

Statistics show that across the whole of 2017, Redhill had a total of 415 reported cases of anti-social behaviour. Crawley had over seven times this many.

Although 3041 is a staggering amount, it’s important to remember that Crawley has a far larger population than Redhill. Therefore, when these numbers are put into perspective, anti-social behaviour is just as prevalent in both towns.

Reports of anti-social behaviour in 2017:

Redhill – 23.81%
Crawley – 23.96%

Taking this information into consideration, some will be asking: “Does this mean we’ll soon see PSPOs in place around Crawley?” or “Do PSPOs actually work?”.

With Redhill seeing this drop which seems to be linked (unconfirmed) to PSPO’s, it is a wonder then why Crawley is not following suit and why there is not a drop in Crawley?

CN24 have asked Crawley Borough Council for a comment and are waiting for a response.

More news: Exclusive investigation shows true extent of anti-social behaviour in Horsham

Councillor Graham Knight, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s Executive Member for Community Safety suggests that PSPOs do work. He says:

“Neither we or the police have had to issue any fixed penalty notices in the town centre since the PSPO came into effect. Instead, the order helps our officers and the police draw people’s attention to activities that were making parts of Redhill an unpleasant place to be.

“The prospect of a fine or being asked to move on from the town centre, both of which the PSPO enables us to do, acts as a deterrent to those carrying out anti-social activities.”

Redhill’s distinctive blue & white signs list unacceptable behaviour

Surrey Police’s Reigate and Banstead Borough Inspector Angie Austin says:

“Since the PSPO came into place, anti-social behaviour calls and complaints in Redhill have reduced to a more manageable level. It allows officers to have an immediate impact, enabling more efficient use of resources.

“Young people are now able to enjoy visiting the area rather than be subject to anti-social behaviour and intimidation from those who were visiting for the wrong reasons.”

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council also says that fears that problems would simply displace anti-social behaviour appear unfounded:

“We saw the potential for people to simply carry on with the same behaviours elsewhere so we worked with our partners in other services to be ready to engage with people but this does not appear to be necessary,” says Cllr Knight.

The PSPO came about after businesses and residents raised concerns about levels of anti-social behaviour at various times of the day and evening. Working with the police and businesses such as McDonalds and following public consultation last summer, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council introduced the PSPO in October to an area covering the pedestrianised shopping centre, Memorial Park, Marketfield Way and selected surrounding streets.

Signs in the town centre list the regulated behaviours. A map showing the area covered is on the council’s website.

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Crime

Crawley Council warns of rise of conmen knocking on doors across town

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The message is very clear – Be scam aware!

Crawley Borough Council is warning residents to be scam aware following a rise in reports of conmen knocking on doors.

The council has recently received reports of two different scams, where residents are asked to pay thousands of pounds up front for work that isn’t needed or shouldn’t cost anywhere near that amount.

In the first scam, a group of men were knocking on residents’ doors claiming to be from a boiler company and saying that they had been sent to check on boilers.

This happened to a resident in Bewbush, who was told their boiler needed to be fixed at a cost of £4,000, which he was told to withdraw from his bank without telling anyone. This particular tenant was vulnerable but fortunately the bank staff knew him well and questioned why he was withdrawing such a large amount of money.

His support worker was then notified and the incident was reported to the police. Additional security measures have been put in place for this tenant.

The second scam was reported in Gossops Green, where a resident was scammed for fencing at a cost of £3,500. This was reported to the police and fortunately the cheque was cancelled before the scammers got their money.

Scams come in many different forms and not just on the doorstep. Other scams include emails, phone calls and text messages. We are encouraging tenants to be extra careful when buying products or services online or in person.

Some of the signs to look out for include:

*             You are asked to pay money up front, for example to cover delivery costs or to ‘release funds’

*             You have ‘won a prize’ in a lottery or competition you have never heard of, much less entered

*             You are pressurised or hurried into making a decision – e.g. told to ‘act now’ as the price will go up if you don’t buy immediately

*             You are told to not tell anyone else about it – for example ‘it’s an exclusive deal only for you’

*             Unsolicited emails, phone calls, text messages or letters

*             Emails from sources you don’t recognise that include attached documents or other files

*             Emails that appear to be from your bank, HMRC or another trustworthy source that ask you to reveal personal data, such as your account details.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“There will always be a small number of people who seek to take advantage of others, but we can protect ourselves from scams by taking a little extra time to check people are who they claim to be.”

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