Sunderland City Council imposes new fines for anti-social behaviour

TOUGHER measures aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour across Sunderland will come into force in May.

UNDER the city’s newly updated Public Space Protection order, from May 1 people will be facing fixed penalties of £100 compared with the current £75 fine.

The city council will introduce a ban on spitting or discarding chewing gum, riding motorcycles and quad bikes in open spaces, public urination and loitering or begging on the highway or any pedestrian area.

The new rules, brought after an extensive public consultation, also impose a restriction on skateboards, scooters, bicycles or self-propelled vehicles to be used in a way that would cause damage to property, and a ban on any unauthorised events held in public areas.

Fiona Brown, Executive Director of Neighbourhoods, said: “We know from our Let’s Talk consultation that the environment is a top priority for our residents and that they want to see more enforcement action.

“So these new measures are very much aimed at addressing the concerns residents told us were affecting their quality of life and getting tough on the kind of anti-social behaviour that has a real impact on our communities.”

According to the Police.UK website, the total number of ‘anti-social behaviour crime’ has increased by 44.6 per cent between March 2020 and February 2021, and has also the highest rate on the police crime map.

Anti-social behaviour has the highest number of cases in the last 12 months, according to the police crime map

Melissa Bateson, Professor of Ethology at the University of Newcastle, had previously done research on anti-social behaviour. She said: “There is a reputational cost in this. If people don’t want to be observed doing anti-social behaviours then their actions could be reduced by increasing cues of possible surveillance. Images of eyes have worked for littering, dog poo collection, bike theft or recycling.

“Many behaviours are also affected by descriptive norms – what others are seen to do. There is good evidence for spreading of antisocial behaviour between domains. For instance, if you see litter on the streets you also might be more likely to engage in graffiti or public urination. Environments that look cared for are, therefore likely to have a lot of knock on consequences for anti-social behaviour.”

If you are experiencing or witnessing anti-social behaviour report it to Northumbria Police on 101.

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