New order could help tackle anti-social behaviour in Wellingborough town centre

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A new order to tackle anti-social behaviour in Wellingborough town centre could soon be introduced.

Councillors will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss creating a public spaces protection order for the town centre and surrounding area.

If approved, it will provide additional powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, particularly that stemming from excessive alcohol consumption.

There had been a designated public protection order (DPPO) in place, but this had lapsed due to legislative changes.

With evidence showing a recent rise in anti-social behaviour in the town centre, approval is now being sought to bring the PSPO into force next month.

A report prepared for councillors states: “Since October there has been an unexpected rise in anti-social behaviour in the town centre, which - due to the limitations in powers - has become more complex, time consuming and expensive to deal with.

“It also makes shoppers and business owners uneasy, which has resulted in a number of complaints.

“In view of the increasing levels of anti-social behaviour, the police, businesses and other partners have requested that the council implement a PSPO in the town centre and surrounding area as soon as possible to support partners in helping to keep Wellingborough safe.”

And the report goes on to say: “The situation has been exacerbated by the lapse of the DPPO with no new PSPO to take its place.

“Some anti-social behaviour offenders are aware of this limitation in current powers and have moved to Wellingborough from other towns where orders are already in place prohibiting certain behaviours, especially around anti-social behaviour arising from excessive alcohol consumption.”

The proposed order would cover people continuing to drink or carry alcohol when asked by an authorised officer to stop, as well as begging and urinating in public.

Under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the council and partners would be able to issue a fixed penalty notice and take prosecutions for failure to comply with the PSPO.

It is intended that fixed penalty notices will be issued with the fine set at £100, of which the council would retain revenue from the payment of fines.

Members of Wellingborough Council’s services committee will be asked to agree that the PSPO is made to provide additional powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town at their meeting starting at 7pm tomorrow at Swanspool House.