As of October 2007, more than 250 gates have been erected. In those areas, there have been reductions in Burglary and a significant increase in residents’ perception of safety. Recent surveys show that before the erection of gates, 88% of residents reported feeling either worried or very worried, compared with only 20% after gates were installed.
Residents were also asked how big of a problem teenagers hanging around their alleyway were. Before the erection of gates 56% reported that they were a big problem compared to only 5% afterwards.
Not only do they act as a measure for reducing crime, they also provide a safe area for children to play and reduce levels of litter and fouling from stray dogs.
Unfortunately, the process for installing alley gates is time consuming and often subject to delay. It is a legal process, which is not quick and also requires that ideally all residents affected agree with the proposal.
The partnership has an alley gating programme and this is based on the areas that suffer the higher rates of Burglary and Anti-Social Behaviour. The partnership also tries to respond to requests for alley gates by providing a single point of contact for information and help. All alley gates erected in the Borough need to be registered with, and approved by the Alley gate coordinator.
What can you do?
If you are making a request for alley gates ensure that you have:
- Evidence that there is crime that the gates are intending to stop.
- Agreement from all the residents who will be affected.
- As much of the funds as you can get agreed from your local Crime.
- Reduction Group or other sources.
- Finally, be patient with the process which is legally required before your gates can be erected.
Crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour associated with some public highways has for many years been a major problem, which, despite the best efforts of the police, the Council and the community has proved difficult to control. It has been recognised that in some cases, not all, the only solution is to close or restrict access to the highway concerned.
In recognition of the need to be able to restrict access to certain highways that contribute to persistent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour the Highways Act, 1980, has been amended to provide local authorities with a means to erect, or allow the erection of alleygates designed to restrict public access to highways to which the public would normally be allowed to use.
Section 129A of the Highways Act allows the Council to make ‘gating orders’ for any highway for which it is the highway authority, that is any adopted highway or unadopted highway that is considered to be a public right of way. These orders will restrict the publics’ right of way over a highway that is being used to commit high and persistent levels of crime and or anti-social behaviour that adversely affect the local residents or businesses.