Enforcing new anti-social behaviour orders

Enforcing new anti-social behaviour orders

Thirty people have been reported so far this year for contravening new orders aimed at making public places in North Somerset more welcoming for residents and visitors.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) were introduced across the district by North Somerset Council at the end of October to tackle anti-social behaviour by individuals or groups of individuals in public places.

Around 100 designated council staff, police officers and Business Improvement District (BID) wardens have been trained to enforce the orders. During November and December they gave verbal warnings and spoke to members of the public on a number of issues.

Following this initial warning period, the new orders are now being enforced and offenders are being reported leading to Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) being issued or, in some cases, prosecution.

In the first couple of months 30 people have been reported by officers for contravening the orders, broken down as follows:

  • 12 for littering
  • one for dog fouling
  • five for dogs off leads in a place where they are supposed to be on a lead
  • four for anti-social behaviour in car park
  • three for urinating in a public place
  • five for anti-social behaviour in Weston Town Hall reception.

“We have adopted a zero tolerance approach to littering and dog fouling,” said Cllr Peter Bryant, the council’s executive member responsible for parks and green spaces. “This has resulted in nine fixed penalty notices being issued so far and in two cases the council is considering prosecution, particularly in the case of someone repeatedly not picking up after their dog.

“Cases not involving littering or dog fouling are likely to receive a warning in the first instance. However, it’s made quite clear that if the behaviour is repeated then a fine or a prosecution will follow.”

The new orders have replaced existing dog control orders, designated public place orders that help the police tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour and, where appropriate, local byelaws.

Easily recognisable signs featuring the message #OURSPACE and the warning “Fines apply if you don’t comply” continue to be put up where the new orders are in force. In places where dog control orders and designated public place orders have been replaced, the existing signage is still valid and should continue to be adhered to.

More information about all the orders now in force can be found on the council’s website at: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/pspo.

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