Council enforcement team gets down to business
It was a busy month of April for Barking and Dagenham Council’s enforcement team as they conducted over 16,000 visits to businesses to ensure they were following Covid regulations and also stepped up their joint patrols with the police.
Throughout their daily Covid visits they found 14,767 businesses to be compliant and only 1,431 to not following the rules during the whole month. The main issue with non-compliance was due to staff members not wearing a face covering, which included 663 businesses. Officers also provided advice to 1,273 different companies regarding Covid regulations.
During April, council enforcement officers also issued three Direction Orders to three businesses telling them they must close for two weeks, after they were caught repeatedly ignoring government rules.
In the battle against Covid, there were also four joint patrols with the police, which resulted in the police issuing one warning, a police Fixed Penalty Notice for staff not wearing face masks and the police issuing a £10k fine.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “Throughout the pandemic, the council’s enforcement team have worked tirelessly hard to ensure that businesses have been following the rules set by government and ultimately keeping residents safe.
“Along with the support of the police, they have been able to provide advice to businesses and residents as well as enforcing when appropriate.”
The council also ramped up its joint work with the police to combat anti-social behaviour during April and together went on a number of combined patrols. For the first half of April, the officers regularly patrolled the Gascoigne estate with the police and during the patrols, seven people were arrested for a variety of issues including: breach of a court order and another breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order; one for a supervision order and another breach of a Closure Order. In addition, there was an FTA (failure to appear in court) and two PWITS (drug possession with intent to supply).
There were also 74 stop and searches as well as daily weapon sweeps around the estate.
The council and police also held one of their day of action days where they look to tackle antisocial behaviour. This action day included: two patrols around the Abbey Ruins, East Street, Fishnet Roundabout and other surrounding areas, Covid checks on businesses and a high police presence at Barking Station with a drug dog funded by the council.
To read more about the action day and find out the results, head to the council website.
Councillor Mullane added: “We’re determined to put an end to all antisocial behaviour, from street drinking to violence and a united front with the police and a presence on the streets is going to be a huge step towards that.”
Inspector Mel Baker from the Barking and Dagenham Policing team said: “Great work by our local authority officers, working with our local policing team to ensure our communities are protected and that offenders flouting Covid rules are brought to justice.”