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Proposal to extend and vary the current Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Newbury Town Centre (2023)

Have your say.

Consultation status Results published
Start date: 2023-11-06
End date: 2023-12-18
Results 2024-01-31
Category: Business and Jobs, Leisure, Parks and Countryside, Consumer and Environmental Protection
Ward:

Activity closed. Results published.

Background

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) were introduced in October 2014 as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (the Act) replacing powers to make Gating Orders, Designated Public Place Orders (street drinking restriction powers), and Dog Control Orders. Any Gating Orders that were in place at that time would automatically become PSPOs from 20 October 2017. 

PSPOs allow local authorities to place restrictions and requirements on certain behaviours in an area, to make sure we can all use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour. They can be used to protect the public from behaviour that is having, or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the area. The behaviour must be ongoing or happening regularly and be unreasonable. PSPOs can last for up to three years, but can be extended, varied or discharged during this period. 

Failure to comply with a PSPO without a reasonable excuse is a criminal offence and could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100, or a fine of up to £1,000 if prosecuted.

When considering what should be included in a PSPO, we know that we need to balance things that people want in order to feel safer and happier in the town, whilst at the same time not being seen to be stopping people enjoying themselves or introducing rules and regulations that can't be enforced.    

Under the Act, we must consult and review the current Newbury town centre PSPO before it expires in early February 2024 to assess the need to extend it for a further three years and to seek views on varying the current restrictions. 

Icon for pdf You can see a map of the restricted area here [121KB] .


What the current PSPO includes

There are two restrictions in place:

  1. Anti-social behaviour restriction

"Any person behaving in a manner that has caused, or is likely to cause, nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress must leave the restricted area when requested to do so by an authorised officer for a specified time, not to return to the area for a period not exceeding 24 hours".

  1. Street drinking restriction

"No person shall refuse to stop drinking, or refuse to hand over any containers (sealed or unsealed), which are believed to contain alcohol when required to do so by an authorised officer to prevent nuisance or disorder".


What we are proposing

On the request and recommendation of the West Berkshire local Police area we are proposing to extend the Newbury town centre PSPO for a further three years until 2027.

We propose to remove the street drinking restriction, as evidence shows that this restriction is not being used by Police.

Icon for pdf You can find statistics about anti-social behaviour in the town centre area in our supporting evidence document. [42KB]

Icon for pdf A copy of the draft order is available here [149KB] .


Why we want your views

We would like the views of our local residents, businesses, agencies, and visitors to Newbury in relation to the proposals. 


How to take part

If you'd like to take part, please complete our survey by midnight on Monday, 18 December 2023. It should take about 5-10 minutes.

If you have any questions about the PSPO, please email our Building Communities Team at WestberksBCT@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 551111.

To report any concerns about anti-social behaviour, that aren't an emergency you can either email the police or call them on 101.


What happens next

The findings of the consultation will be reported to the Building Communities Together Partnership for consideration.  It is expected that the final decision will be made by Delegated Officer Decision in late January 2024. 

A summary of the responses received, and the decision made will be published on this page. 

What you told us

We received 183 responses and found that the most respondents supported the proposal to extend the PSPO for a further three years:
  • 93% of respondents who answered the question supported the proposal to extend the PSPO for a further three years.
  • 1.83% of respondents did not support the proposal for the PSPO to be extended.
The proposed variation to remove the anti-social behaviour street drinking restriction: ‘Any person must stop drinking and hand over any containers (sealed or unsealed), which are believed to contain alcohol when required to do so by an authorised officer to prevent nuisance or disorder’.
  • 28% of respondents who answered the question, supported the proposal to vary the PSPO.
  • 58.6% of respondents did not support the PSPO being varied.  

What we did

We would like to thank everyone that participated in the consultation.

The results of the consultation showed that the PSPO in Newbury town centre should be extended for a further three years. Consideration was given to the results of the consultation which showed that varying of the PSPO and removing the anti-social street drinking restriction was not supported by 58.6% of respondents.

 
The proposal to remove this restriction was taken on the advice of Thames Valley Police. Local police advised that the anti-social behaviour street drinking restriction had not been used, and that the anti-social behaviour restriction was sufficient as it allows officers to request that people leave the area for a specified period (known as the ‘direction to leave’) if a person is behaving in a manner that has caused, or is likely to cause, nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress. There have been no reported breaches of the PSPO under the street drinking restriction.

The initial findings from the consultation were taken to Corporate Board in early January 2024 for a recommendation on the final decision. The Building Communities Together Partnership were advised of the results of the consultation and of the recommendation from Corporate Board.

The final decision was made by our Chief Executive on 19 January 2024. The Delegated Officer Decision was that the Public Spaces Protection Order be extended for a further three years and varied with the removal of the Anti-Social Behaviour Street Drinking restriction. The decision was not ‘called in’ and was implemented from 5pm 26 January 2024.

We're not satisfied on reasonable grounds that there is sufficient evidence to include the prohibition and requirement at paragraph 3B of the Order and meet the criteria set out at Section 60 (2) of the Act. 

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