Working in partnership is key to reducing anti-social behaviour in our Borough and we play a key role in coordinating and taking action to achieve this.
Repeated reports of anti-social behaviour in Walton-on-Thames Town Centre to Surrey Police were seen by the Council as having, or likely to have, a detrimental effect on the community’s quality of life. As a result, we implemented a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for a specified area of Walton-on-Thames, which came into force on 1 March 2018. The PSPO enables us to impose restrictions in a particular area with the aim of stopping individuals, or groups, committing anti-social behaviour in public spaces.
Since the introduction of the PSPO, recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour in Walton central have reduced significantly. Between April 2018 and December 2018, there have been 180 recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour by Surrey Police. This equates to 74 fewer recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour between April 2018 and December 2018 (inclusive) compared to the same period in the previous year - a reduction of 29%! The order which has been particularly successful in reducing reports of rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour, and concerns about intimidating groups, substance misuse, and graffiti, whilst also improving feelings of safety for residents, shoppers and visitors generally.
Following the PSPOs success to date, Elmbridge undertook a public consultation in January 2019 on extending the PSPO for a further two years, where over 400 responses were received. Of the responses received, 99% were in favour of the order being extended for a further 2 years until 28 February 2021 – this includes responses from residents, businesses and other stakeholders.
Elmbridge, in partnership with Eikon, have established some regular youth outreach work in the town and a boxing club has now started at Walton Youth Centre. There are regular litter picks, licensing checks for knives and alcohol selling along with continued joint enforcement and police patrols.
We will continue to work in close partnership with Surrey Police, Surrey County Council, Eikon and other agencies to ensure that improvements continue to be made.
An extension to the existing Public Spaces Protection Order came into force on 1 March 2019 and will be in place until 28 February 2021.