Closure of public rights of way affected by anti social behavior and crime
Unfortunately some public rights of way assist with the commission of anti social behavior (ASB) and crime, as they may provide a means of access or egress to nearby properties or sometimes a convenient point for congregation. At times this can have significant impacts upon residents or businesses nearby and upon path users, and can be a drain on police and council resources when persistent and continued incidents occur.
Former procedures to close off Public Rights of Way where high levels of ASB and crime are experienced including Special Extinguishment Orders (Crime Prevention) and Gating Orders have now been replaced by a procedure called a Public Space Protection Order.
The highways development control and public rights of way team plays a supporting role in measures to deal with ASB and crime experienced on public rights of way.
Requests for closure of public rights of way will be treated sympathetically, but closure is not always possible. Closure of any public right of way will conflict with the council’s statutory duty to assert and protect public rights of way and keep them free from obstruction. This means that the impact of any proposed closure must be considered in terms of the potential impact upon path users and adjoining properties and there must be evidence of ASB and crime. Other improvements to the path and adjoining properties and use of other policing measures will be considered prior to closure.
Requests for closure and incidents of ASB or crime should be reported to the Police or Safer Walsall Partnership in the first instance. For details on reporting incidents of ASB or crime and for information on Public Space Protection Orders,
No Gating Orders are currently in place on public rights of way in Walsall, so no register is available to view.
Motorcycle and other unauthorised access
Installation of barriers to prevent motorcycle or other unauthorised access on public rights of way is dealt with in accordance with the procedure for Barriers on Public Rights of Way. Each site will be considered on a case by case basis, with new barriers only installed where there is a clear justified reason for their installation and in accordance with the principle of least restrictive access.
Any barriers to prevent motorcycle or other unauthorised access on public rights of way can sometimes cause an obstruction or inconvenience to members of the public with a legitimate right of access. Existing barriers will be monitored during Public Rights of Way Condition Surveys and following any reports and may require amendment or removal following review of their impact upon accessibility.