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Betting shops could be banned from opening branches near schools in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 16:54 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 23 June 2017

Betting shops could be banned from opening branches near schools

Betting shops could be banned from opening branches near schools

Archant

Betting shops could be banned from opening branches near schools as part of tougher controls on gambling in the borough.

The borough’s gambling-related statistics

1 Highest density of betting shops are in Barking town centre and the Heathway

2 The NHS spends as much as £1.4m per year on treating an average gambling addict

3 The average problem gambler costs the justice system around £415,000 per year

Under new proposals drawn up by Barking and Dagenham Council, bookmakers and arcades could be barred from areas where they could attract crime and yobbish behaviour.

The council has launched a public consultation into the plans and is urging residents to have their say about its proposed new policy for gambling establishments

Councillor Laila Butt, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “We are not against gambling in principal but are looking to make sure betting shops are not near schools where they could become a magnet for crime or antisocial behaviour.”

“We want residents to shape what will be an important and seminal social policy for our borough.”

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge added: “I am pleased to see the council are taking further action to tackle the problems caused by betting shops in their gambling licensing policy.

“These betting shops are blighting our highstreets, causing antisocial behaviour and targeting vulnerable people.

“I know from my postbag that residents are fed up and want to see something done about it which is why I have been raising this issue with the Government and in Parliament.

“I would urge all of my constituents to respond to this consultation and have your views heard.”

The consultation, which started on Monday and runs until September 8, will also involve meetings with community and tenant groups.

To take part click here.


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