Residents and businesses are being asked to air their views on plans to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council wants to introduce a public space protection order (PSPO) in the city centre and some surrounding areas following complaints about persistent behaviour that has had a detrimental effect on people’s quality of life.
The restricted area will include the city centre, Hanley Park and Etruria (Octagon Retail Park and Festival Park) and will apply to anyone who enters, lives and works in these areas.
The following activities will be prohibited:
- Drinking alcohol (other than in the grounds of a licensed premises or in accordance with an organised licensed event).
- Persistent or aggressive begging.
- The use of a public toilet other than to use the facilities for the reasons for which they were intended.
- Assembling, erecting, occupying or using a tent other than in accordance with an organised licenced event which has been approved by the city council.
PSPOs were introduced by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and are designed to stop individuals or groups of individuals from committing anti-social behaviour (ASB) in a public place.
An individual who, without reasonable excuse, does anything prohibited by the order – other than consuming alcohol – can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100 or prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.
Police officers, police community support officers and officers of the authority will be empowered to enforce action against individuals who are in possession of an open vessel containing alcohol while in the restricted area, excluding licensed and residential premises. If an individual(s) refuses, they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100 or prosecuted and fined up to £500.
Councillor Randy Conteh, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “The order will give the police and council anti-social behaviour officers an extra tool to help deal with problems, which, it should be stressed, are caused by a small minority of people.
“We’re inviting the public to let us know what they think about our plans to introduce the order, and also to tell us about any alternative conditions they think need to be imposed.”
Inspector Sean Clark from Staffordshire Police said: “The PSPO is fully supported by Staffordshire Police and, along with a range of other powers, it will allow us to tackle anti-social behaviour that impacts on visitors to the area and those people who live and work within the city centre.”
The closing date to submit comments, observations, and suggestions is December 15, 2017. To view the proposal online go to www.stoke.gov.uk/PSPO. Alternatively, copies are also available at the Civic Centre reception in Stoke town between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232265.