Fareham Borough Council will have extra powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre. The decision to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was taken at a meeting of its Executive on 7 November 2016.
Whilst crime rates in the town centre are low, both the Council and Police have received an increasing number of complaints about anti-social behaviour linked to street drinking, taking of drugs, persistent begging and rough sleeping in the town centre.
The new measures introduced by the PSPO make it an offence not to stop drinking alcohol, begging or sleeping rough in the town, when asked to do so by an officer. The Police and authorised officers will then have the power to:
Officers could only use these powers if alcohol, drug consumption or persistent begging is directly linked to anti-social or disorderly behaviour, or if they believe that such behaviour may occur.
The Council works closely with the police and a range of specialised organisations such as local substance misuse support groups, mental health professionals and a homelessness charity. Enforcement will normally only be considered as a last resort if someone continues to exhibit anti-social behaviour following prolonged help from various support agencies.
Executive Member for Public Protection, Cllr Trevor Cartwright said, "Whilst Fareham town centre is a safe place to live, work and visit, there has been a growing number of complaints about anti-social behaviour. We believe our approach balances the needs of people involved in anti-social behaviour alongside our duty to respond to complaints from the public and take action against illegal activities."
The introduction of the PSPO follows a recent public consultation. A large majority of the 544 people who took part expressed their support for more powers to tackle street drinking, drug taking, persistent begging and rough sleeping.
What is a PSPO?
The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 gave new powers to Local Authorities to tackle anti-social behaviour, one of which was a PSPO. This gives the police and authorised officers extra powers to deal with activities linked to anti-social behaviour which are having a negative impact on the quality of life of those living in the local community.
What powers are already in place to tackle anti-social behaviour?
For Further Information Contact:
Roy Brown, Customer Engagement Manager, tel: 01329 824409
fax: 01329 821518, e-mail: email@example.com
This and previous media releases can be viewed on the Council's website: www.fareham.gov.uk/pressreleases
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