22nd Aug, 2019

City louts face fines and bans in blitz

Rob George 31st Jan, 2019

A CRACKDOWN on anti-social behaviour could see residents fined £70 or even banned from the heart of Worcester under new proposals being examined by city council chiefs.

Fines or exclusions for those under the influence of drugs, cycling or skateboarding in an inconsiderate way in the daytime, begging aggressively, urinating of defecating in public or even feeding gulls will be considered by members of Worcester City Council’s Communities Committee on Monday (February 4).

Councillors will debate whether to consult residents on the potential introduction of new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

If backed by local residents, the council could then introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the city centre under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Coun James Stanley, chair of the Communities Committee, said: “We are making this proposal after looking at figures for the main areas of anti-social behaviour that attract complaints.

“We know some of these issues can be quite sensitive so this consultation, if it is supported by the committee, will be very much an attempt to gauge the public mood and see if there is a desire for additional powers to be brought in.”

The move comes after discussions between the City Council, the police and other groups including Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), Fortis Living and local charities including Warwickshire and West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Company, St Paul’s Hostel and Maggs Day Centre.

If a PSPO is introduced it would add to powers that the police already have for tackling anti-social behaviour.

In particularly sensitive matters, such as aggressive begging, action would only be taken as a last resort when all other attempts to engage with the perpetrator have proven unsuccessful.

No action would be taken against genuine rough sleepers, with the powers reserved for use against individuals who are known to be part of an organised begging scheme.

“We know many people do want to see more action taken against anti-social behaviour in the city, however we are genuinely open-minded on whether introducing a PSPO is the right way to go,” Coun Stanley said.

“If the committee agrees to launch a consultation, I would urge Worcester residents to take this opportunity to let us know if they support this course of action.”

If a consultation is launched, it will start on February 15 and run for eight weeks.

What do you think? E-mail editor@worcesterobserver.co.uk with your views.

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