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Alley gates

Alley gates are large black gates that have been useful in helping reduce crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in alleyways. The gates have been put in to prevent burglaries.

Alley gates are made to the 'Secured By Design' Gold Standard, which is a UK Police scheme to 'design out' crime.

Alley gates are concreted into the ground and are not attached to your property. Small pieces of fencing can be fitted between the posts and building line to block any gaps. These might be fixed to brickwork with small screws.

There are over 1,200 alley gates in St Helens.

You often complain to us about alley gates being left open for no reason. Leaving gates open puts you and your neighbours at risk of crime and ASB. Please work with us to respect neighbours and keep the gates closed at all times. 

If you are having any problems with crime and anti-social behaviour in your alleyway, you should report it to Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers. Incidents of anti-social behaviour can also be reported to the council's Contact Centre.

Please note: there are no plans to install further alley gates at this time.

Even though the alley has gates on it, it still remains part of the highway and is subject to the same rules as other roads. It is illegal to block the alleyway by parking in it and preventing access to other traffic. If you have this problem please report it to Merseyside Police, who have the power to deal with it.

You should open and close the alleygates using your alleygate key. This prevents damage to the lock and reduces noise. When you open the gates, please ensure that the drop bolt is placed into the receiver to keep the gates safely in the open position while you pass through. Please close and lock the gates behind you.

It is the responsibility of residents to ensure the alleygates are kept locked at all times. There is nothing we can do to make people close the gates.

Everybody who lives in the alley gate block is entitled to a key. In special cases, other nearby residents may also get a key. You must keep this key safe and do not give it to anybody else. If you move out leave the key by the back door or with the house keys.

Alleygate keys are not cheap to replace. If you lose your key, it is stolen or there is no key in a property when you move in, you can order an alley gate key from us and we will arrange for one to be sent out. Depending on the circumstances, there may be a charge.

Keys will come through the post; they usually take a week, but please allow up to six weeks for delivery.

If you have a tenant moving into a property, they must ask for a key themselves when they move in.

Landlords who want a key to a property, where they do not live, need to provide us with proof of ownership before a key can be sent out.

At some point the gates will need repair. Our contractors will attend as soon as possible, although some repairs, (e.g. replacement of a broken barrel) can take six weeks or longer. Please report broken alley gates to us.

Between 5.15pm and 8.00am there is an emergency telephone number you can call if:

  • The alley gates appear dangerous
  • The alley gates are trapping vehicles in the alley

The emergency out-of-hours line is 01744 637383.

We have found when a location is gated that some residents allow their dogs to roam freely and foul the alleyway.

Be considerate of your neighbours: if you have a dog, clean up after them. Disposable bags are cheap to buy.

The alley remains part of the highway. If your dog is found on its own, the dog warden will remove it as a stray, even if it is wearing a collar and is chipped. Please report concerns about dog fouling and stray dogs to us.

You should report any crimes or anti-social behaviour to Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers.

A Gating Order is a way of restricting public access to rights of way to help reduce persistent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) replaced Gating Orders when the law changed in 2014. All the Gating Orders that were in place on 19 October 2017 are now treated as PSPOs.

PSPOs can be used to control activities that are having, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and can last for a maximum of three years. Breach of a PSPO is a criminal offence and can incur either a Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine on prosecution in court of up to £1,000.

There are currently four Gating Orders in St Helens: