The Prime Minister announced new measures to tackle it recently and I have been helping locally too.
Last week, I met with PCSO Tanya Wilson of the Stroud Local Policing Team to hear about the Solace initiative that is being rolled out in our town.
It has been successful in Gloucester and Cheltenham. In essence it is a multi-agency partnership between police, community groups and councils to tackle anti-social behaviour in a consistent way. Importantly it can achieve civil injunctions and penalties rather than going through the criminal justice system.
This means it is a lesser ‘test’ for success in the courts and the cases often start from anonymous reporting.
As part of this work I went litter picking with residents and campaign groups. We were all shocked about how much rubbish there was, including the councillor representative who kindly joined us. We agreed we need to work with both SDC and the county council to clean up the town, particularly on public land. Sadly, some of the rubbish and fly tipping on SDC land had clearly been there for ages.
I also went out with the Cotswold Canal trust around the Wallbridge area of the canal. Again litter and graffiti are blighting the area.
The trust wants me to campaign to stop litter, dog poo and graffiti and I will. Often volunteers are left to try and clean up.
When I visited there was excrement on the walls. This is totally unacceptable and it is ruining an area where families can go.
It is awful for the trust volunteers who do so much for the district.
I have already launched a Litter Louts campaign but I will be extending it to dog poo and graffiti too alongside the government’s anti-social behaviour crackdown.