Uckfield residents were pleased to hear the town council is currently conducting research into the town’s crime and disorder after youths went on wrecking sprees throughout the summer.
Uckfield Town Council has worked closely with Sussex Police to tackle anti-social behaviour this year.
And in the summer, members agreed to prepare reports on the possibility of employing a community warden, although it was ultimately considered that option would prove too costly, a warden would have limited powers and patrol times difficult to regulate.
Now a study is being made of communities in Sussex and Surrey where Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) have been implemented. But councillors know these would not bring about a ‘quick fix’ to problems which affected the town.
The power to impose public space protection orders (PSPOs) was created in 2014. Councils can use PSPOs to prohibit specified activities, and/or require certain things to be done by people engaged in particular activities, within a defined public area, says the Local Government Association.
An order can last for three years after which it can be renewed, if necessary. But getting the legislation in place could take up to two years and any order for Uckfield would have to be made by Wealden District Council.
It has been agreed that the town and Wealden councils will work together to improve safety and security.
Crime data is being analysed to establish patterns and hotspots.
At the same time, information is sought from other nearby counties to assess what information PSPOs provided.
At an earlier meeting town clerk Holly Goring outlined moves being made by police to tackle people’s fears where people described a fear of crime, particularly involving knives or drugs. They were frustrated about an absence of visible policing and concerns about the rail route between Crowborough and Uckfield.
As a result of the meeting police agreed to support schools, check licensed premises, checks on suspects’ bail conditions, set up engagement patrols in Uckfield and Crowborough, actively monitor issues and pursue offenders, work jointly with special constables, British Transport Police and rail enforcement officers and provide dedicated patrols in known hotspots.