Agenda item

Antisocial Behaviour and Street Scene Service Development


Ms Stephanie Waterford, the Council's Head of Public Protection and Enforcement, advised that the restructure of the Anti-Social Behaviour and Environment Team had progressed with a proposal to split into three distinct areas, with clear lines of responsibility to allow for separation of functions and the retention of specialist competencies:

1.    Street Scene Enforcement – there had been 2,933 reports of on street issues in 2022, including fly tipping.  It was thought that high levels of non-compliance had been driven in part by businesses trying to cut costs and cutting corners.  It was recognised that the team would need to demonstrate high levels of diplomacy when dealing with disputes such as high hedges.  Each job would have a target response time based on the risk associated with the issue and the service parameters.  There had been some improvements over the last twelve months since the introduction of a new post;

2.    Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) – this team would be responsible for matters relating to environmental nuisances such as light, dust and emissions, and odour and smoke.  It was proposed that regulatory activities be brought back in house.  The EPU had a unique set of powers and responsibilities and would be able work across service areas.  Although service areas might be governed by certain legislation, it would not be permissible to disregard other legislation that also affected an issue (for example, planning and licensing often crossed over); and

3.    ASB Localities – this team would focus on localities-based problem solving (LBPS) to deal with ASB, community tensions and local issues within specific localities.  Officers within this team would be able to work across teams, project manage an issue to its conclusion and hold service areas to account.  Once this team was in place, it would be important for them to work closely with Ward Councillors. 


Ms Waterford advised that officers across the whole service area would be provided with refresher training in relation to any relevant legislation.  An external training provider would be brought in to provide training on legislation such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and investigations.  Ms Waterford's role (and the service managers' roles) would be required to keep abreast of any new legislation which would be helped by attending London, peer and officer group meetings to share knowledge and information. 


The staff consultation period had closed at the start of this week so work would now be undertaken to finalise the new structure.  The Street Scene Service Plan would be aligned to the new LBPS model and a review would be undertaken of the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs would be the subject of a report to the Committee's next meeting on 12 April 2023).  Officers were also implementing a new digital triage and case management system across the service area. 


It was noted that there was one PSPO document in force in Hillingdon which covered 15-20 restrictions including dog fouling and spitting.  PSPOs were in place for three years and the one in Hillingdon was approaching the end of this term.  Proposals were currently being worked up for a new PSPO once the current one had expired. 


Ms Waterford advised that the Committee would be provided with an update on the restructure of the Community Safety and Vulnerability (CSV) area of the directorate in due course.  It was agreed that the CSV Domestic Abuse Service be amended to Domestic Abuse and Vulnerability Service and the relevant job descriptions would be updated. 


Mr Perry Scott, the Council's Corporate Director of Place, advised that, as part of the restructure, the new Director of Community Safety and Enforcement had been appointed and would start on 9 May 2023.  Ms Waterford advised that, once the restructure had progressed, a communications campaign would be undertaken to ensure that residents were award of the new structure.  Training would also be available for Members to ensure that they were able to redirect residents to the right place. 


Concern was expressed that there seemed to be a gap in the service provided in that there was no out of hours service available during the day at the weekends.  Ms Waterford advised that there were no current plans to alter the out of hours service but that further refinements would be considered once the volume of complaints received during the day at weekends had been reviewed to determine the viability of any changes. 


Some residents had experienced challenges with reporting issues using the new digital system that had been put in place at the Council as they were unable or unwilling to use this technology.  Members requested that they receive an update on the use of the digital system to report issues at a future meeting. 


Concern had been expressed regarding the increase in fees in relation bulky waste collections in Hillingdon as it had been suggested that this was a false economy.  Members were aware that this issue was being monitored by officers and requested that an update be provided at a future meeting to establish whether there was any correlation between the increase in fees and an increase in fly tipping. 


Members requested that officers work with Democratic Services to arrange a site visit with the Noise Team in the coming months as part of the ongoing front line service visits.



1.    the Committee receive an update on the use of digital means to report issues to the Council;

2.    the Committee receive an update on any correlation between the increase in fees and the number of instances of fly tipping in the Borough;

3.    officers work with Democratic Services to make arrangements for a visit with the Noise Team; and

4.    the discussion and report be noted. 

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