New team to enforce Redbridge’s civic pride by tackling fly-tips and ASBOs
- Credit: Archant
New enforcement officers will be patrolling the streets late at night wearing stab vests and body cameras in a bid to catch fly-tippers and anti-social residents in the act.
The introduction of the team follows a complete review of services which tackle anti-social behaviour, licensing and housing standards.
Council leader, Cllr Jas Athwal, who joined officers on the beat following the launch at Redbridge Town Hall, responded to the allegations.
He said: “The officers are working a lot more anti-social hours than they used to before.
“Fly-tipping happens late at night so we will be covering those shift patterns.”
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But the new team currently has just six enforcement officers and three supervisors, with 19 officers due to be in place by February.
David Stephens, chairman of Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents Association (SKNPRA), queried whether the team would be able to fulfil its duties.
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“There seems too few people to cover the whole borough,” he added.
Gwyneth Deakins (Lib Dem Roding) shared similar concerns.
She said: “My concern is that the team are going to concentrate on particular areas of the borough.
“Areas such as South Woodford will not get the support they need.”
Similarities between enforcement officers and PCSOs – both of whom can issue fixed penalty notices for littering – have been highlighted as potential duplications of work.
Cllr Athwal agreed some might be confused but added the difference lay in the powers of the enforcement officers.
He said: “Officers had no powers before – now they have the ability to ask for information. Not giving that information is a criminal offence.”
While the previous anti-social behaviour team already had many of the powers, given by CSAS (Community Safety Accreditation Scheme), all the joined-up team will now have them.
Mark Glazer of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch welcomed the initiative.
He said: “A joined-up dedicated team would be a good idea. Anything that helps to reduce the problem, isn’t going to be a problem.”