Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC praises Luton's Community Safety Partnership and the 'outstanding' success of the Safer Spaces scheme in just a month
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has praised as “outstanding” the success of Luton’s Safer Spaces order after it was used to combat Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) on 112 occasions since its launch on July 5 with the help of the police and wardens.

The Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order was launched as part of Operation Vision - Bedfordshire Police’s campaign to provide a police presence with high visibility around the issues that most concern residents - including ASB together with Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers, employed by the council but with delegated police powers to deal with nuisance.

“I fully supported the Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher, in delegating powers to deal with the sort of matters that really undermine Luton’s town centre and people’s enjoyment of it and this part of the project, around the Safer Spaces scheme, has been a truly outstanding success, backed by an exemplary Community Safety Partnership with the police, local council and fire colleagues all pulling in exactly the same direction,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“Any way you look at it, using these powers 112 times in a month since the start is helping to clear up trouble spots, make people feel safer and improve the appearance of the town, to encourage visitors,” said the PCC.

“I am really impressed by the way the CSP is looking to find simple, common sense and practical ways to deal with the matters that make people’s lives a misery and to improve the whole Luton Town experience and am proud to be part of it,” she said.

Councillor Aslan Khan, who is the lead for Community Safety, said: “As the portfolio holder for community safety, I am pleased to see that our multi-agency approach in implementing public space protection orders is already having a positive effect on people’s lives. We want to ensure that our town centre is safe, welcoming and vibrant. I would also encourage people to contact trusted organisations such as NOAH for supporting people who are sleeping rough into adequate accommodation.”

The Safer Spaces Protection Order places restrictions on:-

* Drinking alcohol outside licensed premises

* Urinating and defecating  

* Begging

* Spitting

It also requires dog owners to remove dog waste and to keep their pets on a lead and under control at all times.

The order can be enforced by both police and the council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers. Breach of the order results in a fine of £75 which, if unpaid, can result in prosecution through the Magistrates’ Court.

The Luton business organisation BID has backed the scheme, paying for signage for the protected area. Until the permanent signs arrive, visitors to the town centre will spot laminated signs spelling out these conditions.