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LB Newham – Community Protection Notices

Community Protection Notices (CPNs) replace a number of notices around litter and defacement, and are designed to deal with environmental anti-social behaviour which spoils the quality of life for a community. This could include the poor state of a premises or noise emitting from machinery or vehicles. CPNs can be used against individuals as well as organisations and businesses. A breach of a CPN is a criminal offence and may carry fine of up to £20,000 for businesses or £2,500 for individuals. Fixed Penalty Notices, requiring payment of up to £1,000, may be issued by local authorities, for the breach of a CPN. Community Protection Notices also carry powers of forfeiture and seizure of items used in the commission of an offence. Local authorities (and social landlords, if designated by the council) may issue CPNs, as may police officers and police community support officers. A number of large housing providers in London are currently being considered for accreditation.

PROBLEM

Waste in front gardens in a priority issue within the London Borough of Newham. It is an unacceptable eyesore within the borough and blights our local streets. Not only is it unsightly, waste in front gardens in also an environmental problem attracting rats and other vermin.

Complaints are regularly received from local residents and businesses regarding waste in front gardens. This is also recorded by Council Enforcement Officers during routine patrols.

Prior to the introduction of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Newham Council enforced against waste in front gardens using section 92 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Waste in front gardens was one of the first ASB issues which Newham Council used the CPNs to enforce. Preparatory work for the introduction of the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 began from May 2014. This enabled the borough to be prepared and ready to issue CPNs as of 20 October.

SOLUTION

To continue to take successful enforcement action against waste in front gardens, Newham had to ensure an effective implementation and delivery of the Community Protection Notices under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 when they came into effect.

Led by the Enforcement and Safety, Safer Partnership Team, all enforcement staff were briefed and trained on the new legislative powers and any operational changes they were likely to bring. Preparation work included training, updating divisional policies and procedures, updating the scheme of delegation and creating new operational processes and procedures on how and when to use the CPNs.

ACTIONS

The measures below were undertaken to prepare staff on using CPNs to address waste in front gardens and other issues.

Each CPN Notice has a different operational process/procedure behind them, depending on the type of ASB conduct which is being addressed. 

As waste in front gardens was the most commonly used issue which we use CPNs to address, the Safer Partnership Team has developed a bespoke process and CPN Notice template for officers to utilise. 

Preparation work for introducing Community Protection Notices

Training

  • Provided to all senior management and enforcement officers prior to the introduction of the act.
  • In-house training also provided to borough enforcement officers on use of CPNs for waste in front gardens specifically.

Scheme of Delegation

  • Council’s Scheme of Delegation updated and approved by the council’s legal department.

ASB Policy and Procedures

  • Updated to reflect the new legislation and operational delivery of the act.

Standardised documents updated and circulated

  • Generic CPN template produced.
  • Generic CP Warning Notice template produced.
  • FPN documents updated to include failure to comply with a CPN as an offence.
  • Warning notices included a tear-off slip or a carbon copy which is brought back to the office for uploading onto the system.
  • A copy of the CPN to be kept for back office purposes and recorded onto Council systems.

Case management systems updated

  • Division in-house system updated to enable issue of Warning Notice and CPN to be captured.
  • A copy of the CPN is also scanned onto the Council’s electronic document management system.
  • System updated to ensure visits/revisits are captured. System also states the date when a revisit should take place to check compliance of the Warning Notice or the CPN.
  • System can be interrogated to help monitor the number of notices or warnings that have been issued.

Governance and implementation  

Additional ASB CPNs

  • When a CPN is needed for any additional ASB conduct, for which the borough does not have draft CPNs, it needs to be authorised by senior management, who will (or won’t) authorise CPN usage for the conduct, the wording and timescales.
  • Once the CPN has been authorised, the Warning Notice and CPN can be used as a tool to address all cases involving that conduct whenever CPN criteria has been met (same wording and timescales are used).

Failure to comply with a Community Protection Notice

  • To minimise confusion and to offer consistency, all breaches of CPNs carry the same fine limit of £100; reduced to £70 if paid within 10 days of issue.
  • Prosecution to be considered for those persistently breaching CPN requirements.
  • Prosecution will be considered dependent on the nature of the CPN and the breach.

Implementation

  • Process charts produced highlighting the steps needed to be taken when using CPNs for respective issues.

Monitoring

  • All warnings, CPNs and FPNs issued are recorded on the council’s case management system.
  • Regular updates on usage of the CPNs is given to the four-weekly Members Enforcement Group. At the meetings, an overview of what conduct CPNs have been used for is noted, as well as how many warning notices, CPNs and FPNs have been issued for the respective conduct.

Issuing CPNs for waste in front garden

Issuing waste in front garden Community Protection Warning

  • Draft Notices printed in bulk to allow officers to use when out on patrol.
  • All waste in front garden warning notice requirements are pre-printed onto the Notice.
  • When issuing, the officer only needs to note the recipient’s name on the main leaflet.
  • Warning notice includes a sticker to stick onto one of the wastes deposited in the front garden. This is to highlight that the council is aware of the waste and are dealing with it. Not only does this highlight to the local residents that we are taking action but it also helps reduce duplicate reporting as people will be aware it’s already been reported to the council.
  • The leaflet has a tear-off section for officers to fill in, this captures full details of the recipient, description of waste, time and date.
  • This tear-off section is kept by the issuing officer and brought back to the back office section.
  • Using this information a case is created on the council’s case management system.
  • The council’s back office will send a letter to the landlord / licence holder or agent for the property if known.
  • The household have seven days to clear the land to avoid receiving a CPN.
  • The household is still entitled to a bulky waste collection.

Issuing waste in front garden Community Protection Notice

  • Pre-printed CPNs with the same requirements used in the warning issued.
  • Carbon copies given to back office to record on the case management system.
  • Copies uploaded onto Council electronic data storage system.
  • Household have 14 days to clear the land to avoid receiving a FPN or to avoid prosecution proceedings.
  • Household will not be entitled to a bulky waste collection after CPN issued.
  • The council’s back office will also send a letter to the landlord / license holder or agent for the property if known.

Requirement used in Warning Notice and CPN

  • Clear the land of litter, waste and any other refuse so that it is predominantly free of litter and refuse within (seven days in warning / 14 days in CPN).
  • Ensure land is kept clear by placing litter or other waste on the land within suitable receptacles.
  • Carry out a daily inspection of land and any litter or refuse removed to prevent the land becoming defaced again.

Outcomes

Figures from October 2014 – October 2015

Waste in Front Garden

  • 8,795 x CPN Warnings
  • 1378 x CPN Notices
  • 30 x FPNs issued

Significant compliance during warning stage

Other litter related

  • 1 x CPN Warning (urination)

ASB (awaiting breakdown of ASB types)

  • 206 x CPN Warnings
    • 117 x Police and ASB Unit joint operations (to target priority hotspots and enforce repeat rough sleepers, street drinker etc)
    • 43 x Rough sleeping
    • 29 x Street drinking  
    • 4 x gambling in streets
    • 3x prostitution / soliciting
    • 10 x ASB misc
  • 106 x CPN Notices
    • 64 x Police and ASB Unit joint operations
    • 31 x Rough sleeping
    • 10 x ASB misc
    • 1 x street drinking
  • 7 x FPNs

Noise related

  • 104 x CPN Warnings
    • 100 x Noise related to People / Music
    • 3 x Neighbour Nuisance
    • 1 x Miscellaneous Noise (commercial machinery)
  • 2 x CPN Notices (Noise related to People / Music)

Other Nuisance Behaviour

  • 4 x CPN Warnings       
    • 2 x Street Drinking
    • 1 x Illegal Street Traders
    • 1 x Highways obstruction (Street sculpture/entertainment)

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Asha Leal, Community Safety Delivery Manager

[email protected]