Areas of County Durham where a lot of people live in private-rented accommodation will be less likely to suffer crime and anti-social behaviour if Durham County Council’s proposal to prepare a business case to seek Government approval to introduce County-wide licencing for private landlords is approved by the Council’s Cabinet next week.
Commenting on the proposal, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said “When Police are carrying out investigations, so much time can be lost trying to identify who owns the property where suspects are living. A County-wide licencing scheme for private landlords would make a significant difference to resolving crimes, and I believe it would also act as a deterrent because offenders would know there would be a greater likelihood of them being caught.”
Ron added “This is an issue that I promised to campaign on two years ago, and now, with the support of Phil Wilson MP and Durham County Council we are within touching distance of dealing more effectively with rogue landlords.”
Durham County Council’s proposals follow up a Private Member’s Bill which Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, is trying to persuade Parliament to make law. The Bill would make it compulsory for all private landlords to sign up to a national register. One key benefit of this would be that the Police, Local Authorities and other service providers would know who to contact when there are issues with environmental damage, anti-social behaviour and crime locally.
Mandatory registers are already in place in Scotland and Wales, and some Local Authorities have also introduced mandatory schemes across their area.
Phil Wilson said “Ron Hogg and I have been talking with Councillors in Durham for some time about the benefits of a mandatory national register. I am delighted that subject to necessary government approval, they are proposing to introduce a County-wide scheme, which would make a real difference to communities in the County”.
Notes for editors:
The proposal to prepare a business case to present to government for approval to introduce a county-wide selective licencing scheme will be considered by Durham County Council on 17 October 2018.
Phil Wilson’s Private Landlords (Registration) Bill is scheduled for second reading in the House of Commons on 26 October 2018.
For more information or to arrange an interview with Ron Hogg, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07814 174417
Posted on Tuesday 9th October 2018