New enforcement powers to tackle unauthorised development are on the way for North Devon Council's Planning Enforcement Team following accreditation to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).
The team received the accreditation from Devon and Cornwall Police, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, following a successful application. The scheme will assist them when investigating and detecting environmental crime with regard to any unauthorised planning and building issues across the district and to assist and reduce anti-social behaviour with any building or planning issues.
CSAS allows the Chief Constable to accredit limited powers, relevant to their role to appropriate uniformed individuals in community safety roles. Accredited officers within this scheme have the power to:
- have access to and share information and intelligence with Devon and Cornwall Police
- require giving of name and address for a relevant fixed penalty offence
- require name and address for anti-social behaviour
Lead Member for Strategic Planning at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, said: "Protecting our special environment is a top priority for us here in North Devon. I really welcome this initiative and am very pleased the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme will get results by working with our partners more closely - particularly the Police. This will ensure that people who ignore the regulations won’t prosper.”
"We have been linked with the police for many years and the CSAS accreditation for our Planning Enforcement Team is another example of our partnership working to get our messages out within the community and to make sure planning regulations are complied with appropriately for the benefit of our district."
Chief Constable at Devon and Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer, said: “I am delighted to accredit this additional Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) for North Devon Council. Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to ensuring that we continue to provide and maintain a high level of community safety within our cities, towns and villages. This new scheme reflects that commitment. Over the past few years, CSAS has shown the ability it has in not only addressing issues around anti-social behaviour and low-level crime and disorder through the use of accredited police powers, but in enabling and fostering closer working relationships between the police and our partners. I would like to thank North Devon Council for their ongoing participation to the scheme and I look forward to seeing CSAS continue to grow and make those steps in building stronger and more resilient communities across the area.”
Officers from the council's Environmental Protection Team already have achieved the status and have been granted powers specific to their role.
CSAS was introduced in 2002 under the Police Reform Act and has been active in Devon and Cornwall since 2005. CSAS promotes a partnership approach between organisations and the police to provide a safer community and improve the quality of life for all in the area. CSAS accreditation also allows free flow of relevant information and intelligence between the police and CSAS Accredited Persons.