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By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley ...
By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley

The government should publicise the powers of neighbourhood and street wardens so the public knew what they could and could not do, declared Anthony Wright, Labour MP for Great Yarmouth.

Recently three street wardens started work in the Great Yarmouth town centre and there were 'dozens of good news stories' during this short period. However, there was an antisocial incident that caused problems for the wardens.

'The general public have a particular perception of their powers, and they have difficulty getting across the reality', said Mr Wright.

Junior DTLR minister Sally Keeble replied: 'At present, the wardens' enforcement powers belong to the local authority although there is provision, some way down the line, for the possibility that they may get policing powers.

'One reason why wardens are successful is that the public perceive them as being on their side. By operating the way they do, not only have wardens contributed to substantial drops in crime in certain areas, but they have been successful in getting antisocial behaviour orders and acceptable behaviour contracts agreed'.

Ms Keeble said that since 2000, 84 neighbourhood warden schemes had been put in place, at a cost of more than£40m. This year 123 street warden schemes were being introduced.

Hansard 21 May 2002: Column 140-141

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