Public Space Protection Order to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour

A consistent enforcement approach to improve public safety in communities across the majority of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is being proposed.

Councillors at Cabinet (23 June 2021) will consider a report that outlines plans to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) covering most of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas to help reduce persistent issues of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in targeted areas across the towns.

The proposed approach follows public consultation completed early in the year and of the 294 responses received, 89 per cent strongly agreed or agreed that community safety should be improved with the introduction of the order which would mean a consistent approach can be taken in dealing with alcohol related anti-social behaviour in areas where there is evidence of persistent issues which are having a continued negative impact on the local community.

The effects of street-based anti-social behaviour can have a visible impact on the appearance of, and feelings of safety in our local community. PSPOs are intended to deal with anti-social behaviour issues in a specific area that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life. They are intended to help ensure that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces safe from anti-social behaviour.

Councillor May Haines, Portfolio holder for Community Safety, BCP Council said: “We want to ensure that people visiting, living and working in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole feel safe and that street based anti-social behaviour is addressed robustly. We also need to make sure we take a consistent and balanced approach, applying effective solutions to the complex issues around anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve seen from the operation of Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) in our town centres that this approach is effective at addressing harmful behaviours of a few individuals through the combination of support and enforcement, helping those most vulnerable and helping keep our communities safe.”

The PSPO gives powers to accredited Community Safety Officers and Police to remove alcohol from anyone behaving in an anti-social manner in public spaces. It is not an alcohol ban for public spaces and it does not make it an offence to drink alcohol in the area covered by the order. However, it is an offence to fail to comply with a request from an officer to cease drinking or surrender alcohol in the area covered by the order, if the individual is or is likely to cause anti-social behaviour.

Subject to approval, the PSPO would be in place for 1 July 2021 and will cover 29 out of 33 wards across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole where there is evidence of persistent street-based anti-social behaviour.

The PSPO will be reviewed after three years.