New powers to tackle anti-social behaviour have been welcomed by councillors.
Members of South Kesteven District Council voted unanimously in favour of the new powers which are contained in new government legislation which will come into being next month.
Vice-chairman of SKDC Ray Wootten spoke to a meeting of the full council, urging members to support the legislation.
He told the Journal: “This is a very powerful piece of legislation which will assist our police officers and even more importantly our residents.”
Under the new powers, local authorities will be able to fine offenders and will have greater powers to shut down premises where anti-social behaviour, such as a noise nuisance, is causing problems.
SKDC will even be able to take ‘preventative’ action against people where it can be demonstrated that it is likely that behaviour will cause anti-social behaviour.New laws will allow victims of asb to ask for a review of their case and offenders will be able to ask for an out of court settlement in the cases of low level crime such as criminal damage.
Coun Wootten, who represents St Wulfram’s ward in Grantham, said he welcomed the government’s initiative to transfer these powers to the local authority.
He said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own homes and neighbourhoods. Yet people around the county are still having their everyday lives blighted by anti-social behaviour. Many incidents go unreported with victims rarely reporting the first incident they experience.
“Much of what is often described as ASB, such as vandalism, grafiti or harassment, is actually crime. However, even incidents that appear minor in isolation can have a devastating cumulative impact when part of a pattern of behaviour, and we know that such abuse is often targeted at the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Coun Wootten, who is chairman of Grantham East Neighbourhood Policing Panel, recently said incidents of anti-social behaviour in the town are increasing and he had taken the Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick to task on this.
Official figures show that cases of anti-social behaviour increased in Lincolnshire from 1,726 in April 2013 to 1,849 in April 2014.