Plans for extended powers to tackle antisocial behaviour in Sidmouth open to consultation
- Credit: Archant
New public space protection order would apply along The Esplanade, and in Market Place, Dove Lane, Prospect Place and Kings Lane
Plans for extended powers to tackle antisocial behaviour in Sidmouth town centre are now open to consultation.
If approved, a public space protection order (PSPO) would apply along The Esplanade and in Market Place, Dove Lane, Prospect Place and Kings Lane, and cover drinking alcohol, as well as possession of intoxicating substances – including so-called ‘legal highs’.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) is proposing to extend existing rules in place to control the consumption of alcohol and - under the new orders - authorised officers will be able to issue fixed penalty notices of £80.
Tougher restrictions are also planned for Exmouth, where police have asked for powers to crackdown on urination, defecation, aggressive begging, possession of intoxicating substances and behaving in a way likely to cause harassment or intimidation.
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Police officers will be able to request the surrender of intoxicating substances and request groups of people disperse if they are acting in an intimidating way.
Fixed penalty notices can be issued to people not complying with the other requirements of the order.
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PSPOs are a new tool to address persistent problems that have a detrimental impact on the quality of life in a given area.
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.
The PSPO would supersede an existing designated public spaces order, which covers Sidmouth’s Market Place and seafront – but currently only police officers can confiscate alcohol when drinkers are behaving in an antisocial manner.
Sergeant Andy Squires, who leads the town’s neighbourhood beat team, recently told the Herald: “We don’t have a huge problem with public order in Sidmouth. A PSPO is much more relevant to Exmouth town centre.
“Any measure that reduces disorder is a good thing as long as the police are not the sole agency to enforce it as our resources are somewhat stretched.”
EDDC is now asking the public to comment on its proposals and says it will take all feedback into account before their introduction. If approved, the final orders will be in place before May 1, this year.
To find out about the proposals and to take part in the consultation before the deadline of March 13, 2017, visit: www.eastdevon.gov.uk/consultation-and-surveys/public-space-protection-order-consultation.
Anyone in need of a paper copy of the consultation - or any other format - can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01395 571456.