Agenda item

Public Space Protection Orders

Report of Executive Member Place, Paul Claussen.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Place reported to Members that the Designate Public Protection Order (DPPO) would be ceasing, and would become a Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) with effect from October 2017.  However, a consultation would allow for broader areas to be considered.

 

Councillor Crawford was pleased to see the report and that Thetford had been considered.  He asked if Thetford Town Council would be included in the consultation.  The Communities Manager confirmed that as well as using social media, hard copies, and the Thetford Contact Centre, the Town Council would also be included in the consultation.

 

Councillor Newton appreciated the item being bought to Cabinet and stated that a PSPO would give additional powers to the Police as there was only so much power they could use under the DPPO.  He added that this had become a priority for the Safer Thetford Action Group over the last two years, and that PSPOs had been successful within South Holland area who had used warning letters which would help the Police.

 

Councillor Webb asked if the Neighbourhood watch communities would be involved in the consultation, and it was confirmed that the consultation would engage with as many people as possible. Officers would also set up meetings with the Town Council, and include the Chief Inspector to help inform the detail of the final report.

 

Councillor Newton said that he had provided 216 individually signed letters and asked that they were considered during the consultation phase.

 

Councillor S Chapman-Allen said he was pleased to see the Council were being the leading light with this project.

 

Options

1.     Do nothing.  This will mean that the existing DPPOs in the market towns will remain in place until 20th October 2017.  At this point they will automatically transfer to a PSPO.  This is not a recommended option as the council should demonstrate good practice and consider all available powers including its discretionary responsibility to respond to anti-social behaviour using the powers under the Act.

2.     Carry out the consultation process as required by statute to enable the council to ascertain and understand the types of complaints and issues that are being experienced by residents and visitors to our market towns and to gather evidence to support any future implementation of PSPOs.  Best practice from other areas that have implemented PSPOs suggests that the consultation period should last for four weeks and allow online and written submissions.

 

Reasons

1.     The consultation exercise will assist the Council in considering:

a)     If there are specific problems caused by particular ongoing activities, for example street drinking, urination and defecation in the street;

b)     What action needs to be taken by agencies to address the problem.

2.     As Thetford is the town with the highest incidence of anti-social behaviour it is recommended that this be the first area for consultation.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     That the Council proceed with the necessary consultation on the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders for the five market towns of Breckland;

2)     That the first round of consultation be in respect of Thetford town centre.

Supporting documents: