Northampton town centre alleyway gated permanentlyCommunity, safety and emergencies
14 April 2023
Francis Jetty in Northampton town centre has been closed to pedestrians from today, Friday, 14 April 2023.
The alleyway, which is located off Bridge Street and provides a shortcut to Kingswell Street and nearby St Peters Way carpark, will be gated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with access to Kingswell Street still available via alternative routes.
The Jetty has attracted persistent illicit activities and anti-social behaviour such as drug dealing and sexual assault for many years. To tackle these behaviours, West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) consulted on proposals to make a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to gate the public highway using its powers under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The results of the consultation, which took place in November and December 2022, showed that 52 per cent of the 43 respondents voted in favour of permanently gating Francis Jetty, and 33 per cent said they had suffered anti-social behaviour at the site.
Over the past four years we’ve been working closely with partners to reduce anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in Northampton town centre and make it a safer place for all.Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Engagement and Regulatory Services
We hope that by gating this alleyway through the PSPO, we will see a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area and help to reduce violence against women and girls in the town centre’s Night Time economy.
An Environmental Audit undertaken by Northants Police in 2022 found that Bridge Street accounted for nearly 20% of crime data for violence against women and girls in the Night Time economy between April 2017 and March 2021.
The street also has the highest number of recorded rapes and other sexual offences committed in the Night time Economy than anywhere else in West Northamptonshire and is the second highest for violent offences.
I am confident that gating Francis Jetty will have an impact on crime and anti-social behaviour in this area, and create a better environment for the people who use this area at night, the residents and the businesses who invest here.Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold
The gating is part of our ongoing programme of work that aims to make the town centre safer for women, and ultimately for everyone who wants to enjoy an evening out in Northampton.
The initial cost of the gates and installation will be covered from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner as part of the Safer Streets project, funded by the Home Office.