Call To Give Police Powers To Enforce Bye-Laws

Councillors point to "odd restrictions" on local policing


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Local councillors have called for an end to a "confusing and illogical" situation which sees local police unable to enforce bye-laws for minor misdemeanours like littering in local parks.

The motion brought forward at the Chiswick Area Forum (CAF) would mean police could impose fines in LBH-controlled parks and properties, in line with other boroughs. The proposal which will go foward to the next Borough Council meeting, was raised and seconded by Conservative councillors Paul Lynch and John Todd respectively.

Cllr Paul Lynch

The move would permit police to enforce Hounslow Borough bye-laws, which include administering Penalty Charge Notices for low-level misdemeanours like littering, in parks and other public properties. Currently, officers in Hounslow need to be specially empowered to put these rules in force, whereas other public officials do not. In several other boroughs this is not the case .

Councillor Paul Lynch has said that he hopes the motion will start a "debate...about removing some odd restrictions on our Safer Neighbourhood Teams." Lynch called attention to a "confusing and illogical" situation in which local police can enforce statutory law in parks, but not minor bye-laws. In some areas, for instance, they can combat muggers but not litterers or people breaking cycling and dog control laws.

The councillor for Chiswick Riverside attributed the success of Hounslow Highways in dishing out littering fines to the ability of their staff to prosecute minor offences on the spot: Lynch argued that if police were able to do the same thing, then the likelihood of offenders being caught would increase.

Hounslow Council recently approved a borough-wide ban on spitting and Chiswick's Conservative Councillors hope that policemen as well as Council uniformed staff will be given the ability to enforce this ban.

The Chiswick Area Forum's motion asks for the Lead Member for Community Safety (Labour Councillor Ed Mayne) to produce a paper recommending these proposals at the next Borough Council.

March 19, 2014

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