Council consults on proposed continuation of legal order to tackle anti-social behaviour related to drinking alcohol
GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council is consulting the public over a proposed continuation of a legal order which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour related to the drinking of alcohol in public spaces.
Working closely with Norfolk Constabulary, the borough council created a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in June 2016, which has been enforceable for an initial three years in any public space within the borough's boundaries that is accessible to the public. This includes streets, parks and beaches.
Where someone is causing anti-social behaviour associated with drinking alcohol within the enforceable area, the order allows police officers (including Police Community Support Officers and Special Constables) or an authorised council officer, to confiscate the alcohol that person has with them, including unopened cans and bottles.
If the person does not surrender their alcohol and/or continues anti-social behaviour, they can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice (reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days). Police also have the option to arrest the person in the most severe cases of non-compliance.
The order is due to expire on June 3, 2019. Following a request from Norfolk Constabulary to continue the current order for another three years, the council is holding a public consultation to ask individuals and organisations whether they agree or disagree.
Cllr Carl Smith, chairman of the environment committee and deputy council leader, said: "This order is designed to help the council and police tackle anti-social behaviour and thereby improve the environment and quality of life for both residents and visitors.
"Crucially, this is not a ban on drinking alcohol in public spaces, the focus is on tackling anti-social behaviour related to drinking. The option for people to drink responsibly is retained, so someone could have some wine or beer in a park or on the beach and if they do not cause related anti-social behaviour then this will not be a problem.
"The current order was introduced in 2016 after being supported by 98.5 per cent of those individuals and organisations which took part in the original consultation. After three years, we are consulting again following a request from the police to continue the order, and I encourage everyone to express their views on the council's website."
Local Policing Commander, Superintendent Roger Wiltshire, said: "The powers afforded to police through this legislation have proved invaluable in tackling anti-social behaviour, often allowing officers to resolve situations before they get out of hand. Its effective use in the Market Place has seen the most persistent offenders moderate their behaviour. Since the introduction of the Public Space Protection Order, we've seen a reduction in the number of calls to police and crimes regarding alcohol-related incidents."
For more information and to take part in the consultation, visit www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/have-your-say. Paper consultation forms are also available and can be submitted at the Town Hall's reception, three neighbourhood offices and two housing offices. This consultation will close at 5pm on Wednesday, May 29.