Derby City Council is proposing a new model for neighbourhood working for the city as part of the broader public protection responsibilities of the Council and its partners.

Councillors will consider an increase in Derby’s Public Protection Officers (PPOs) at Council Cabinet in March. The proposal outlines an increase to the team from 9 officers, rising to 20 officers with each ward having an assigned Public Protection Officer in their area, as well as officers serving the city centre.

The expected outcome from the proposal is that the increase of officers will help to combat environmental crime and anti-social behaviour in inner city areas as well as improving public spaces and bringing more uniformed officers present on city streets.

The Council’s ambition to deliver a new model of a neighbourhood working across the city’s 17 wards will mean that each ward will have a named Public Protection officer and will expand their shifts to include some evening and weekend cover. The team will continue to tackle antisocial behaviour and environmental crime such as noise, littering, graffiti, fly tipping and dog fouling, but will also be given new powers for the first time, to issue fines for parking offences.

The new PPO’S will also support other council teams from trading standards, environmental health, health and safety, housing standards and licensing, as well as working alongside partner organisation across the city and the Derbyshire Police.

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Streetpride said:

“The increase in Public Protection Officers is great news for the city. Expanding this to all neighbourhoods throughout the city was a key priority for this council. Our existing uniformed Public Protection Officers have been very successful in tackling environmental issues within Derby. We now want to expand this team to 20 officers, an increase of 11. Whilst providing some additional hi-visible reassurance and supporting police colleagues, they have delegated Council powers to tackle issues that annoy the public and have a negative impact on our city. Dog fouling, fly tipping and littering are all issues that none of us want to experience. Inconsiderate and dangerous parking are also issues that need tackling and we are proposing to give these new officers powers to tackle this. This isn’t about penalising the law abiding majority but it is about tackling those that flout the law and make things difficult for others. It’s certainly not about generating cash either but we will expect fines to be issued where necessary”.

“I have also asked officers to consult with the public over the summer regarding dog fouling. It is our intention to introduce the city’s first citywide Public Space Protection Order. This will ensure every dog owner is required not only to pick up their dog’s mess but also carry bags with them. Our PPOs will be able to check and issue fines to those irresponsible dog owners who fail to carry the means of collecting their dogs waste. The vast majority of owners have nothing to fear as is with most of these issues, it is a small minority that let us down. The new order will also give officers power to request dogs are put back on their leads if needed and banned from all children’s playgrounds. I’ve heard many complaints from local people in my ward and intend on tackling this issue citywide”.

The new model for neighbourhood working is due to be considered at March’s Cabinet.