Anti social behaviour remains big challenge for Harrow council

An unpleasant part of the increased anti-social behaviour is the disrespect for environment including random fly-tipping and litter-throwing.

While the council is trying to cope with this problem, its effectiveness seems to be limited because of the available resources as well as some mismanagement of the resources.
Following is a telling example of how the Environment Enforcement Officers/ASB regime is used in dealing with trivial anti-social matters, showing poor priority order for the best use of the available resources.
We understand that last Sunday, two Harrow council Environment Enforcement Officers issued on the spot fine of £75 each to three members of a Romanian family, apparently for leaving behind a few cigarette butts on the steps of the closed BHS in the Harrow town centre when one of the smokers started coming down the steps – total time of EEOs engagement in this case was about 45 minutes.
Why the EEOs in this case could not simply ask the three smokers to pick up and bin the cigarette butts (which they could have done happily), saving about 90 minutes of their combined time to move around to deal with more pressing aspects of ASB, like covert unlicensed street trading and begging activities, litter building etc? No doubt, such an approach in resolving the matter relating to the three Romanians would have lost the council £225.
The council has started the use of EEO only very recently and has to learn quickly that EEOs are not just money-making mechanical means like the street cameras but are there as a council’s public face to perform a public service, including public education where serving the ASB penalties should not be the first but last resort.
The council says that the Environment Enforcement Officers is good value for money – yes, but most probably in generating income for the council rather than addressing the anti-social behaviour in the borough!