A pioneering law enforcement drive to tackle anti-social behaviour in the streets across Reigate and Banstead is due to be launched this week.
The new Reigate and Banstead Joint Enforcement Team (JET) is set to be unveiled at Reigate Town Hall tomorrow.
Hailed as a “leap forward” and made up of council and police officers, the team has been put together in a pilot project - the first of its kind in Surrey - to deal with problems and improve the public’s sense of safety by making the most of all the legal powers the police and council have. The project's aim is to provide a quicker, more visible and more robust response to anti-social behaviour in the borough.
JET will see staff from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council who already have powers of enforcement, such as borough community officers, environmental health officers, civil enforcement officers (Traffic Wardens) and planning enforcement officers, working with police officers from the Reigate and Banstead Safer Neighbourhood Team to deal more effectively with the anti-social behaviour problems that the public consistently flag up. Areas the borough JET will tackle include anti-social behaviour, beggars, dog fouling and abandoned vehicles.
Dangerous dogs, the sale of alcohol, fly posting and graffiti, and highway obstructions, will also come under its remit, along with numerous other issues including cycling offences, Blue Badge enforcement and street trading.
The borough council’s enforcement officers have been provided with new high-visibility uniforms and additional training to ensure greater visibility and availability to the public. A borough council spokeswoman said: “The Joint Enforcement Team will be able to act more quickly to deal with anti-social behaviour and use different approaches to resolve local problems. “Enforcement changes behaviour and, alongside engagement and education, is central to our mission of making Reigate and Banstead a safer place to live and work. “By taking a more robust and visible stance against anti-social behaviour wherever the authorities encounter it, we send out a clear message that selfish, anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in the borough.”
Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Kevin Hurley, has been working with the council and senior Surrey Police leaders to develop the project, and his office is funding it. Mr Hurley said: “Time and again the public have told me that they want more done about the anti-social behaviour that blights their lives and the communities that they live in. “I am delighted to be working in partnership with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey Police to launch this pilot, which will help put the authorities on the front-foot against anti-social behaviour in the borough.” He said: “By enforcing the law quickly and visibly against anti-social behaviour wherever we encounter it, we send out a clear message that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in Reigate and Banstead. “I encourage the public to get in touch with the Joint Enforcement Team if you see anti-social behaviour – they are here to help you and make your borough a better, safer place to live and work.” Victor Broad, leader of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, said: “We live in one of the safest counties in England but we know that the inconsiderate and anti-social behaviour by a minority is a serious concern to our residents. “Working even more closely with Surrey Police and sharing some powers will enable us to deal with issues more effectively when they arise.”
He continued: “Highly visible uniforms and vehicles will also give our enforcement officers greater visibility, which should provide an extra deterrent. “It’s not just about enforcement though. The team’s work to engage with the community and educate people about the consequences of their behaviour will also play an important role to make the borough even safer.” Surrey Police Assistant Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “Surrey Police have a long and successful track record in neighbourhood policing. “We already work closely with our colleagues at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and this pilot project is another exciting leap forward.
“Bringing our different skills and powers together will help Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey Police to do even more to tackle the issues that concern local residents, which ultimately is what we’re all here to do.”