Call for booze, urine and begging crackdown powers in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 19:30 22 March 2017

The Public Spaces Protection Order being considered by EDDC for Sidmouth

The Public Spaces Protection Order being considered by EDDC for Sidmouth


Public defecation, aggressive begging and harassment should all be added to a new order being drawn up for Sidmouth, according to civic leaders.

Enforcement authority East Devon District Council (EDDC) is only proposing to use new powers to clamp down on consumption of intoxicating substances in public, but town councillors want more control. Members were responding to a consultation on a new public space protection order (PSPO) – and said the town centre should not benefit from lesser powers than are being called for in Exmouth.

Sergeant Andy Squires said: “Exmouth have come up with some extra clauses they would like to add to the PSPO. They have specific problems with urination and defecation, aggressive beggars and groups of people – there’s a much bigger public order situation there.”

A crackdown on intoxicating substances is included in the proposed PSPO for Sidmouth, but Sgt Squires said public urination and defecation should also be added.

Councillor Kelvin Dent said it ‘seems foolish’ not to also add aggressive begging and intimidation when the order is being drafted, adding: “Why wait for the evidence before making it something that is prohibited? Let’s include the whole works for Sidmouth, as well as Exmouth.”

Cllr Frances Newth concurred, adding: “If it’s suitable for Exmouth, it should be suitable for Sidmouth.”

Sgt Squires replied that, while police can provide evidence of public urination and defecation, it may be more ambitious to include aggressive begging and intimidation, but it is worth asking.”

Under the legislation, authorised officers – including council officers and people accredited under the community safety accreditation scheme, as well as police officers and PCSOs – will be able to issue fixed penalty notices of £80, payable to EDDC, to anyone who breaches the order.

If approved, Sidmouth’s PSPO would apply along The Esplanade and in Market Place; Dove Lane; Prospect Place and Kings Lane - although Sgt Squires said he would prefer it covered more of the town centre. The consultation ended on Monday.

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