Action Taken to Clampdown on Anti-Social Behaviour
A clampdown on anti-social behaviour will launch in Newcastle town centre in early February.
A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is being introduced to help tackle drinking on the streets, vandalism, drug taking and misuse of public car parks.
The Borough Council order covers the town centre and nearby Queen Elizabeth Park. It is set to go live on Monday, 6 February.
Plans to introduce the Public Space Protection Order were backed by shoppers and town centre businesses during a six week consultation exercise.
People told the Council that they were concerned about potential harassment by a small number of people who drink alcohol or take drugs in public. Graffiti and vandalism were also seen as a problem.
The Borough Council’s Cabinet approved a Public Space Protection Order. It means that the police and police community safety officers can take action against anyone committing anti-social behaviour.
Failure to comply with a Public Space Protection Order is a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to £1,000 through the magistrates’ court.
Cllr. Tony Kearon, Cabinet member for communities and social cohesion, said: “In common with many towns and cities, Newcastle faces issues caused by the behaviour of a small number of people.
“Anti-social behaviour can cause alarm and distress to people who are enjoying a visit to the town centre.”
The PSPO was extended to include Queen Elizabeth Park after concern about behaviour in the area was expressed during the public consultation exercise.
Staffordshire Police chief inspector Pete Owen, Commander of Newcastle under Lyme policing team said:
"We are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in all its forms and the introduction of this order will reinforce that. We work closely with our colleagues at the Council to address any anti-social behaviour issues, and this order is a culmination of ongoing partnership and consultation work.
“People who live and work in, and visit Newcastle town centre, should not have to put up with unacceptable behaviour. This is carried-out by a minority but certainly affects the majority.”
Viv Bradford, Business Improvement District (BID) Vice Chair, added: "The BID is fully supportive of the work being done by the Council and the police in the instigation of a PSPO.
“Over the last 12 months, businesses and the BID team have been working to improve the image of Newcastle-under- Lyme, encourage shoppers and visitors back to the town and make it a vibrant space once again. Anything that helps with this aim is welcomed by the BID"
The order prohibits the following behaviour within the designated area:-
- Possession or use of an aerosol or another item intended to be used to deface the street scene.
- The carrying-out of car repairs in council car parks other than when there has been an emergency breakdown.
- The use of any council car parks as a place to congregate or for use other than legitimate car parking purposes.
- The possession of an open alcoholic container.
- The use of illegal drugs or “novel psychoactive substances”.
- Behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.