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Anti-social behaviour order notices issued in Kent for begging, dog fouling and urinating in public


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Statistics reveal a record number of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) were handed out last year across the country even though councils were told to 'reign it in'.

ASBOs are made up of two separate orders, a community protection notice (CPN) which can be handed out on the spot by an enforcement officer telling someone to do something and a public space protection order (PSPO).

Local councils were told to reduce the number of ASBOs given out by the Government earlier this year
Local councils were told to reduce the number of ASBOs given out by the Government earlier this year

Over 251 notices were handed out across Kent for offences such as begging, leaving items in doorways, straying dogs and cycling in unauthorised places.

A total of 161 of those were CPNs and 90 of them dealt with fines for violating PSPOs.

Medway Council gave out the most, issuing 50 CPNs between November 2018 and October 2019 for fly posting, refuse collection and anti-social behaviour while Dartford issued 36 for waste, nuisance animals, anti-social parking, unauthorised encampment and anti social behaviour.

Medway Council gave out a total of 50 ASBOs between November 2018 and October 2019
Medway Council gave out a total of 50 ASBOs between November 2018 and October 2019

Dover gave out 22 PSPO fines in 2019 for dogs being walked in excluded areas, dogs being off leads and dog fouling in public places.

Thanet handed out 16 fines to people drinking alcohol after being asked to stop whereas Tonbridge and Malling dished out four PSPOs for unauthorised lake swimming.

The only council that did not punish anyone with ASBOs was Maidstone , with Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells handing out only two a piece.

Other councils included were:

  • Ashford, which gave out 10 PSPOs;
  • Canterbury gave out 12 fines for begging and public urination;
  • Gravesham handed out a total of 18 PSPOs for cycling in restricted areas;
  • Swale slapped eight CPNs on people for loud noise, a range of dog offences and untidy land.
Maidstone Council gave out zero ASBOs last year
Maidstone Council gave out zero ASBOs last year

In Folkestone, Bob Mouland took it on himself to make repairs to a historical fountain before being issued a community protection warning, not an ASBO, by council enforcement officers.

The 71–year–old had been repairing the monument daily but was made to sign a form agreeing to stop his restoration efforts, before then teaming up with the local authority to complete the work.

The research into the ASBOs was carried out by the Manifesto Club, a campaign group who challenge the over–regulation of public spaces by the Government.

Its director Rosie Appleton said: "We found that both CPNs and PSPOs have reached record levels.

"They are supposed to have been reigned in after the government introduced some guidance a few years ago telling councils to reign it in, but actually they have been growing year on year, which suggests to us that the problem hasn't been solved."

Council enforcement officers have the power to issue on the spot ASBOs, such as community protection notices
Council enforcement officers have the power to issue on the spot ASBOs, such as community protection notices

She continued: "People have had orders issued against them because they have slightly long grass, homeless people have been issued with orders saying they can't accept donations or they can't sit on the pavement.

"These orders have major effects on peoples lives and the trouble is really is that Councils are being asked to perform very complex legal roles, they're acting in the position of an investigatory officer, a judge, a prosecutor and a jury."

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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