Tuesday, 6 March 2012

More residents paying price for failing to bring in bins

A concerted effort to persuade people not to leave bins out on the street in Hyde Park and Headingley is continuing as more warnings and fines are issued.

Leeds City Council ran a six-week education and enforcement campaign towards the end of last year to heighten awareness of environmental issues in the Headingley and Hyde Park areas.

People receiving fixed penalty notices for failing to bring their bins back in have to pay £75, reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days.

In total 55 fixed penalty notices have been hand-delivered in Headingley and Hyde Park since the enforcement part of the campaign started in December, after 575 warnings.

The campaign was aimed at addressing problems with littering, poor parking and other environmental issues such as leaving bins on the street. Letters were sent out to homes in the area reminding residents of their responsibilities and council staff knocked on doors in the area over several weeks to reinforce the message.

This was then followed with a targeted enforcement phase, and It was revealed in December that 62 warnings and five fixed penalty notices had been handed out in Langdale Terrace.

Since then council enforcement officers have continued to keep watch on whether residents are bringing their bins in promptly once emptied and have issued a further series of warnings and fixed penalty notices.

After 204 warnings were handed out in Manor Drive, 31 fixed penalty notices were later served on residents who had ignored them.

A further 19 fixed penalties have been issued in Ebbertston Terrace after an initial 309 warnings.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services, Leeds City Council, said:
“We’ve worked very hard to make sure that everyone in these areas is aware of what they need to do. It’s simple enough- make sure your bins are out on the right days and bring them in again promptly afterwards and you won’t get a fine.”

Individual fixed penalty notices have to be issued to every person living in shared housing such as student accommodation. However, the focus of the council’s campaign is to educate people into putting bins out on the right days, with enforcement as a last resort. For that reason anyone receiving multiple notices can nominate one person living at the address to pay one fine on behalf of the household. To do this, residents need to request a form from the address quoted on the fixed penalty notice.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk


Leeds residents drive improvements to anti-social behaviour

The Leeds Anti Social Behaviour team, established just 12 months ago has already seen a marked improvement in the customer satisfaction levels.

The team was formed after the council, police and Leeds ALMOs along with partner agencies recognised the sometimes disjointed approach to tackling anti social behaviour in the city.

As part of delivering a better service to customers, the ASB team have monitored that the response to customers reporting incidents has continually improved throughout the last year, with 97.3% of customers being contacted within a short period of time after reporting an incident.

To ensure the service is continually improving, a recent survey was sent out to over 400 people to see how satisfied customers were with the new service. It revealed that people were satisfied with the new service with the overall satisfaction rating being 85.9%.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for community safety said:

“The new team have worked hard together to create a far more efficient service that is customer focused and is building confidence in local residents to allow them to feel confident to report incidents.

“The customer satisfaction levels are very good but still leave us room for improvement. I am very pleased that we are moving forward with such good progress.

“A recent move has seen noise nuisance now classified as anti social behaviour and transferred from Environmental Heath Service. The inclusion of the noise service within anti social behaviour should result in improvements to responses to the public.

“As part of this new instruction to the service, Safer Leeds is now also providing a night service for noise, which has achieved improved response rates to noise nuisance complaints”.

Notes to editors:

The Leeds Anti Social Behaviour team was formed consisting of individuals from all agencies. A number of new ways of working were put in place, including a better focus on customer service. The team has worked towards agreeing a definition of anti-social behaviour, working to better understand the causes of this kind of behaviour and working with communities to address any issues that arise.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds targets burglary

Work to reduce crime across the city is continuing as the police and council work towards delivering a reduction in the number of burglaries across the city.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board on Wednesday, members will be asked to provide ongoing support to the multi-agency approach, commit to targeting activity to areas of concern for 2012/13, and reduce burglary offences.

Burglary numbers in Leeds have reduced over the last few years but more needs to be done to get the city closer to the national average, with the overall aim of the work to make the residents of Leeds safe and feel safer in their homes.

Safer Leeds, the city’s crime fighting partnership, has set ambitious targets to sustain improvements on the 2010/11 successes, with a move to bringing offence levels below the previous best performance, and then the challenge will be to reduce burglary rates to a level closer to the national average.

Moving forward, five projects have been identified to focus on. Alongside funding from the council and other partners, this will bring in excess of £2m of additional resources before March 2013.

The projects include the Burglary Taskforce which will work across Leeds to deliver practical measures to help reduce domestic burglary, as well as targeted work with young offenders and their families. This will link to the West Yorkshire Probation Service ‘Desistance Project’ which will work with young offenders as they get older. Further targeted work will take place in priority wards across the city with over 400 offences in the previous year, and a student focussed campaign known as the ‘Knowledge’ project will address specific victimisation of students.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for community safety and chair of the Safer Leeds board, said:
“We have invested a large amount of strategic thinking and money in the burglary reduction partnership to ensure that we can work towards reducing burglary numbers across the city.

“Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police along with other partners have made the issue of reducing burglary a key priority for the city. We are committed to targeting burglars and disrupting their activities. Already we have had a number of successful operations which has shown in the numbers of offences falling since the start of the Burglary Reduction programme in September 2011. In the six months to the end of February 2012, the provisional indication is that offences have fallen by 17% when compared to the previous six months, and a third against the same period in 2010/11. If the level of performance continues through March, we are projecting that Leeds will improve on its previous lowest number of recorded offences (7670 in 2005/06).

"We need to continue this positive work and drive down numbers of burglary across Leeds, and I believe these five projects are a good start to the process.”

Chief Superintendent Dave Oldroyd, Divisional Commander for North West Leeds and the lead officer for the district on burglary, said
“Although it is reassuring that our work alongside the council and other partners has brought about a significant drop in the number of burglaries across the city, we are acutely aware of the need to keep doing all we can to cut the number of offences even further.

“The recent figures clearly show that the approach we have been taking is working and this additional funding from the local authority will allow us to maintain a firm focus on cutting the city’s burglary rate.”

Notes to editors:

In June 2011, Leeds City Council’s executive board approved expenditure of over £1.3million up until March 2012 from the Community Safety fund to support the delivery of burglary prevention and detection across the city carried out by Safer Leeds.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk