New powers to tackle anti-social behaviour


New orders to tackle anti-social behaviour and make public spaces more welcoming are now in force in North Somerset.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) have been introduced across the district by North Somerset Council to deter individuals or groups of individuals committing anti-social behaviour in public places.

The new orders have replaced existing dog control orders, designated public place orders that help the police tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour and, where appropriate, local byelaws.

They support the council’s ambition to ‘build and sustain great places to live and visit that are vibrant, accessible and safe’.

“We have worked with the police and other organisations to identify the types of anti-social behaviour that frequently take place in our towns and villages,” said Cllr Peter Bryant, executive member responsible for parks and green spaces. “Introducing PSPOs enables us to deal with it effectively and will benefit residents, businesses and their customers by helping to make North Somerset a desirable place to live, visit and work.”

Around 100 designated council and police officers have been trained to enforce the orders. During November they will be giving verbal warnings in most situations, but after that offenders will be reported leading to a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued or, in some cases, prosecution.

Easily recognisable signs featuring the message #OURSPACE and the warning “Fines apply if you don’t comply” are going up where the new orders are now in force. In places where dog control orders and designated public place orders have been replaced the existing signage is still valid and should continue to be adhered to.

“When we consulted on the orders earlier this year the feedback was that communities wanted to see a strong and robust approach to enforcing them,” said Cllr Bryant.

Consultation responses included:

  • 95 per cent of respondents wanted to see the requirement to pick up dog mess rigorously enforced
  • 87 per cent supported a zero tolerance approach to littering
  • 88 per cent wanted action to be taken against those who urinate or defecate in a public place
  • 80 per cent wanted more action taken about consumption of intoxicating substances
  • more than 90 per cent agreed that children’s play areas should be smoke-free.

“We have listened to what residents have had to say,” added Cllr Bryant. “As a result, further consideration will be given to introducing PSPOs which tackle other issues such as the use of drones and inconsiderate parking around school sites.

“More consultation will also take place where communities have not supported the introduction of an order, such as the newly proposed dogs on leads provisions at Worle Recreation Ground, Clevedon Cricket Ground and Wrington’s Silver Street Recreation Ground.”

More information about all the orders now in force can be found on the council’s website at: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/pspo.