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New powers to reduce vehicle nuisance in Norwich

Published on Tuesday, 4th July 2023

Proposals that would give the police and the city council additional powers to tackle vehicle nuisance will be considered by Norwich City Council’s cabinet at a meeting on 12 July.

Anti-social behaviour associated with gatherings of vehicles affects residents and businesses across the city, impacting their enjoyment of both public spaces and their homes. The problem has generated, on average, more than 200 calls a year to the police over the last four years.

The introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), if agreed, would help address the issue of vehicle nuisance, car meets, and associated anti-social behaviours.

PSPOs are used by councils and their partners to address anti-social behaviour under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The orders can remain in place for up to three years and impose conditions which prohibit specified activities in an area.

The specific actions prohibited in the proposed vehicle nuisance PSPO, drafted in collaboration with Norfolk Constabulary, include: excessive speeding and dangerous driving; loud music played from congregating vehicles; excessive noise from modified exhausts; littering and damage; and obstruction of the highway.  

Certain locations are affected by these issues more than others, such as Britannia Road, but to avoid moving the current problems elsewhere in the city, the proposed PSPO will cover the entire Norwich City Council area.

In practice, the PSPO would be delivered through a combined educational and enforcement approach. Those who breach the PSPO will first be given a warning. Any repeat offences could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100.

A public consultation was held earlier this year, inviting people to share their views and comment on the draft PSPO. The consultation received 154 responses to the main survey question and 55 responses which identified problem locations on a map. The overall response was positive, with 91 supporting the proposals and 15 opposing.

Councillor Beth Jones, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and community safety, said:

“Vehicle nuisance and antisocial behaviour is a real worry for many residents who feel unable to live peacefully in their homes. Everyone in our community has the right to feel safe, so it’s important that we take these steps to introduce extra powers to tackle the problem.

“The plan for a PSPO, drawn up in close collaboration with Norfolk Constabulary and our partners, seeks to address the concerns residents have raised and make our streets safer for everyone.”

Norwich Superintendent Wesley Hornigold, said:

“We will not tolerate vehicle-related anti-social behaviour in the city. We know this can have a profound and prolonged impact on residents’ lives – and indeed communities have voted it as one of policing’s priorities in the city. We’ve been working closely with Norwich City Council and residents to address the issue.”

Read the full cabinet papers on the Norwich City Council website.

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