Councillors to discuss powers for cutting anti-social behaviour in Wellingborough

Problems caused by people drinking in the street are covered by the current DPPO, but this order will no longer be enforceable in October

Problems caused by people drinking in the street are covered by the current DPPO, but this order will no longer be enforceable in October

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Councillors are set to discuss powers which could be used to tackle anti-social behaviour in Wellingborough.

Dog orders and designated public protection orders (DPPO) have been used by Wellingborough Council as statutory provisions to cut anti-social behaviour in the town.

However, these provisions will no longer be enforceable in October and have been superseded by public spaces protection orders (PSPO).

It means that if the council wants to replace the existing orders, it must consult on the extent of any intended PSPO prior to implementation.

A report due to be considered by councillors tonight states: “At the meeting of the services committee on 26 September 2016, members noted the new powers in the 2014 Act, the timescales for the lapse of current orders, and delegated authority to implement certain provisions of the act to reduce anti-social behaviour.

“The provisions of a PSPO however, would need to be consulted upon and ultimately agreed by full council.

“The potential for a PSPO is very broad and flexible to allow a council to cover individual circumstances in its area.

“A PSPO can cover multiple restrictions so one order could prohibit such activities as the drinking of alcohol and not keeping dogs on a lead.

“The order can cover any publicly accessible space within the council’s area, including areas in private ownership to which the public have access.”

A DPPO was introduced in 2009 to cover Wellingborough town centre and adjacent streets, meaning a police officer could confiscate alcohol if anti-social behaviour is being caused by the effects of alcohol consumption, but this will automatically lapse in October.

Other areas which could be included in any future PSPO could be begging, urinating/defecating in a public place, unauthorised distribution of printed material/leaflets, fly posting, as well as dogs being off the lead and out of control in designated areas.

Breach of a requirement to desist in a particular activity covered by the order is a criminal offence which can result in a fixed penalty notice (FPN) or prosecution resulting in a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction.

Enforcement can be undertaken by council officers and other groups the council may designate, but principally police officers and police community support officers.

Members of the council’s services committee will discuss the matter at its meeting starting at 7pm tonight (Tuesday) at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.

Officers have recommended that they agree to a consultation being carried out by officers regarding the introduction of a PSPO.

It has also been recommended that they receive a further report later in the year to consider whether to implement a PSPO and, if so, what particular provisions any proposed order should include, taking into account the responses to the consultation.