Cabinet members to discuss Public Spaces Protection Order to tackle anti-social behaviour

14/11/2017, PR8690

Senior councillors are to decide whether to introduce two new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle anti-social behaviour in Castleford and Pontefract town centres.

The PSPOs will give the Council, in partnership with the police, the ability to deal with anti-social behaviour which affects the enjoyment of the area by local residents and visitors and can impact on local businesses.

If approved by the Council’s Cabinet, a PSPO will be introduced in Castleford town centre and another for Pontefract town centre and Valley Gardens.

Cllr Maureen Cummings
Cllr Maureen Cummings

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: “Castleford and Pontefract town centres are great places to come for something to eat, drink and shop, and Valley Gardens is a beautiful location to walk, relax and play. It is appalling that the actions of a few are spoiling it, which is why we are considering a PSPO for these areas. By doing all we can to stop anti-social behaviour in our town centres will also help us to keep and attract more new businesses into the areas.

“The introduction of a PSPO in Wakefield city centre and the Pontefract racecourse area has already had a huge impact. Alcohol has been seized and Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued by the Council and the Neighbourhood Policing Team who patrol the area.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe and we’re quite clear - anti-social behaviour must never be tolerated, that is why we want to use all the powers we can to tackle this behaviour.”

Inspector Paul Sullivan of the Pontefract, Knottingley and Castleford NPT’s, said: “My teams have been working closely with Wakefield Council to prepare for the implementation of these orders which we fully support. We have listened to the concerns of residents, shopkeepers and people visiting the towns and are well aware of the impact this has on the area.

“These new powers will give us increased ability to quickly confront and deal with persons seen drinking alcohol in these zones and we would urge anyone who sees persons drinking and causing anti-social behaviour in them to contact their local NPT officers.

“Alcohol related anti-social behaviour is highly detrimental to our town centres and we will absolutely not accept or tolerate it.”

Inspector Helen Brear of the Wakefield Central NPT, said: “My officers have been working in close partnership with council colleagues to enforce the Wakefield zones and we have made hundreds of confiscations over recent months, and as well as a several arrests for alcohol related offending. We have been visiting retailers who we suspect of supplying strong, cheap alcohol which ends up being drunk in the open in the town centres.

“I am grateful for the ongoing support from my local councillors and partners in addressing these issues.

“I can assure residents that we know who our most prevalent street drinkers are and are continually pressuring them to get them to change their ways. Only last week, officers arrested a persistent street drinker for breach of his Criminal Behaviour Order, and will be prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law.”

The anti-social behaviour that the PSPO will tackle includes drunken and intimidating behaviour.

Cabinet members are being recommended to agree for a PSPO to be introduced in Castleford and Pontefract town centres and Valley Gardens. If approved, those in breach may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, or a £1,000 fine if prosecuted by the Courts.

The reports are being discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 21 November at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live, or later, at
www.wakefield.gov.uk/livestream

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