New city centre order will combat anti-social behaviour

A new order to stamp out anti-social behaviour in the city centre is set to come into force next month.

The city centre Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been backed through a public consultation and could be implemented at the start of April.

It will mean that SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service officers will have additional powers to deal with anti-social behaviour.

This would include issuing fixed penalty notices (FPN) to those breaching the order. Offences include littering, spitting, unauthorised cycling on Bridge Street, dangerous cycling and drinking in public.

All FPNs issued will be set at £80 with an early repayment option of £60.

Adrian Chapman, service director for adults and communities at the city council, said: "Anti-social behaviour is a real issue for many residents and this new order is designed to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the city centre.

"The order will give our Prevention and Enforcement Service officers more powers to deal with unacceptable behaviour. In the majority of cases if you are caught breaching the order, such as unauthorised cycling on Bridge Street, you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice."

Begging will also be an offence under the PSPO however officers, working with the council's Housing Needs team, will make efforts to offer support. If an individual was to continue to breach the PSPO for begging then options such as legally requiring them to access support services would be considered, rather than fines and subsequent prosecution for non-payment.

When the order is implemented no fines will be issued for the first six weeks but officers will be out talking to the public about the new order and the penalties. This initial period of informing the public is usual practice and in keeping with other local authorities because of the six week statutory PSPO appeal period.

New signage will be erected in the city centre to inform the public about the new PSPO.

A consultation was also held for a PSPO to cover an area encompassing Millfield, New England, the Embankment and Lower Bridge Street. The proposed PSPO for this area will be covered in a separate Cabinet Member Decision Notice to be implemented by the summer.

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