Vote on restricting access to crime hotspot

The alleyway could be see restricted access with a lockable gate
The alleyway could be see restricted access with a lockable gate

Councillors are set to vote on whether to restrict public access to a city centre car park described as 'an absolute crime magnet'.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s neighbourhoods, inclusion, communities and equalities committee will tonight (November 27) vote on whether to grant a public space protection order (PSPO) to the Oxford Court car park.

The area is described as 'an absolute crime magnet'.

The area is described as 'an absolute crime magnet'.

The London Road Local Action Team has called for access to be restricted by gating the alleyway linking the car park to Oxford Street.

Speaking at the LAT’s annual meeting earlier this month, councillor Pete West described the area as an ‘absolute crime magnet’.

Members of the LAT raised concerns that the alley behind the Bat & Ball pub was used for anti-social behaviour including drug dealing, public drug use and graffiti.

In response, the council carried out a community safety survey for residents and businesses along Oxford Street and received six responses, all in favour of restricting access to the alleyway.

Philip Wells, chairman of the London Road LAT said: “Oxford Street residents and traders highlighted an area of concern around the car park in Oxford Street.

“The LAT has been working in conjunction with them, the council and councillor Pete West to put in place measures that ought to go a long way to deterring unwanted behaviour and enhancing the shopping and leisure environment of the area.”

Business owners have reported public urination and defecation in the alley, disorderly and intimidating behavior, and flytipping and firelighting.

However, some residents at the meeting were keen to acknowledge the area has improved over the years.

The PSPO proposal recommends closure of the alleyway by a lockable gate, with access only for those with properties adjoining the alleyway.