Kettering town centre order banning begging extended for three years

The order banning activities such as begging and skateboarding has been extended for another three years.
The order banning activities such as begging and skateboarding has been extended for another three years.

A prohibition order banning drinking, begging, skateboarding and rowdy behaviour in parts of Kettering has been extended for another three years.

Kettering Council’s executive committee approved the proposal to give the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) another three-year run.

Since the order was first introduced in 2016, 19 people have been prosecuted under the order which is upheld by Northamptonshire Police and the Kettering Council wardens.

According to the statistics the order has been a success, with the amount of incidents recorded falling from 750 in 2017/18 to 175 in 2018/19.

A report to the council highlighted alcohol and begging as the most common banned activities taking place, with 18 persistent offenders.

At the meeting, Insp Scott Little said he welcomed the extension of the order as it was having an effect.

Under the terms of the order the 10 listed offences, which include unauthorised charity collections and loitering, can be dealt with by a number of measures including fixed penalty notices and people can be taken to court if they don’t pay the fines.

A plea by Cllr Clark Mitchell to remove skateboarding from the order was discussed and then rejected.

Cllr Mitchell said to the council’s executive: “You have your chance now to remove skateboarding from the PSPO.

“It will be good for the businesses as they will benefit from the sales made by allowing these teenagers to come back into the Market Place.”

Cllr Lloyd Bunday, who sits on the Conservative-run executive, was against the idea, saying that many market places had banned skateboarding and that it would impact on the dining experience of people eating at the restaurants around the square.

A public consultation about extending the order found that 92 per cent of respondents backed continuing the PSPO for another three years.