The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

Statement: New measure to reduce anti-social behaviour in Poole town centre

A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to reduce anti-social behaviour in Poole town centre and Holes Bay has come into effect from today (16 April 2018).

It will help make the town centre a safer and more welcoming place for residents, businesses and visitors.

The PSPO will target anti-social behaviour that has a detrimental impact on others and will cover:

  • Drinking alcohol and verbal abuse
  • Possession, supply or use of intoxicating substances
  • Behaviour likely to cause nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress to others
  • Begging for money, food or drink
  • Using a receptacle for the purpose of begging
  • Unattended belongings, baggage and bags

Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, Borough of Poole, said: “We want Poole to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone who lives in, works in or visits our town. We are aware that Poole Town Centre and in particular  the High Street, Bus Station, Dolphin Centre, Old Orchard and The Quay, has the highest levels of anti-social behaviour  in the borough. We have carefully considered how we can deal with this issue and at the same time address concerns raised by various stakeholders including businesses and community groups in the area. The introduction of the PSPO will complement a number of other tools we can use to effectively tackle this behaviour.

“The PSPO will not be used to target any specific group, such as those people sleeping rough. The council proactively works with individuals to encourage them to use the full range of support available from the council and local charities. Whether this is working with individuals who have a problem with drugs or alcohol, supporting individuals into housing, offering a hot meal and healthcare or providing intensive daily support to enable an individual to sustain a tenancy, we will continue to engage and support wherever possible our most vulnerable members of our community.”

The council and the police already use a variety of methods to address these issues with some success. However these powers do not allow council officers to move people away from the area in which they are causing harm. The PSPO will allow this to happen, offering some respite to those adversely affected.

Initially a soft approach to enforcement will be carried out. The council and the police will actively engage with individuals to explain the purpose of the PSPO, the implications if it is not followed and encourage changes to their behaviour without the need to take enforcement action. They will also offer advice and support relevant to the individual’s needs. It is not intended that any fines are issued during this period.

Justin Hundley-Appleton, Poole BID manager, said: “The businesses of Poole and Poole BID are enthusiastic about making Poole an attractive and vibrant place for our residents and visitors of all ages.

“The BID supports the prohibitions outlined within the PSPO and would encourage anyone affected by the order to seek advice and support from the council and charities available in the area.

“Ultimately, we want Poole to continue to be a safe place for all, including those who require our help, and backing from local businesses ensures that this happens for many years to come.“

Notes for editors

The PSPO was implemented on Monday 16 April 2018 for a period of three years.

Dorset Police records show there were 1738 incidents of ASB from April 2016 to March 2017. There have been 1408 incidents between April 2017 and December 2017.

High levels of anti-social behaviour occur in the High Street, Bus Station, Dolphin Centre, Old Orchard and The Quay. In addition Sterte and Tatnum experience specific problems with anti-social behaviour, mainly connected with drugs and street drinking.

 

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