Issue - meetings

Nine month extension of the Alcohol Public Space Protection Order

Meeting: 16/11/2023 - Cabinet (Item 58)

58 Extension to the Alcohol Public Space Protection Order pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members discussed proposals for the extension for nine months to the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which regulated alcohol consumption in the district. The PSPO had been in place since 2017 and was renewed in 2020. The PSPO was introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour and public disorder related to alcohol consumption in public places and had been requested by Kent Police. This Order regulated street drinking, public intoxication and disturbances caused by alcohol-related activities. The PSPO had been successful in reducing these issues and improving the safety and well-being of the community.

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, there had been an increase in the number of people gathering in public places. This led to more incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder related to alcohol consumption over the last 3 years. Since January 2023 the Police had issued 23 Fixed Penalty Notices under the Alcohol PSPO. The PSPO also allowed alcohol to be confiscated and disposed of without the need for a Fixed Penalty Notice to be issued.

 

In addition to enforcement through the PSPO, education and communication were also key to reducing such alcohol consumption related anti-social behaviour incidents and their recurrence. The recommended short term extension of nine months to this PSPO would synchronise the expiry of the Order with that of the existing Anti-Social Behaviour PSPO. It was likely that a new combined Anti-Social Behaviour and Alcohol PSPO would be drafted and applied for prior to 31 July 2024.

 

Officers in the Community Safety Team would continue to monitor the effectiveness of the Order and assess the potential for any necessary adjustments to ensure that it remained an effective tool in regulating alcohol consumption in public places. The team would also continue to work closely with the Police and other partners to ensure consistent enforcement of the Order. The Council was committed to creating a safer and healthier community for residents and visitors. Extending the PSPO would support this goal and combat anti-social behaviour and public disorder in the district’s public spaces for the benefit of communities.

 

Councillor Austin spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.

 

Councillor Keen proposed, Councillor Albon seconded and Cabinet agreed to the following:

 

1.  That the current PSPO is extended for a further 9 months, to 30th July 2024 to bring in alignment with the current Anti-Social Behaviour PSPO, at which point a combined PSPO will be drafted and applied for;

 

2.  To delegate any minor amendment of the PSPO to the Chief Executive.


Meeting: 24/10/2023 - Overview & Scrutiny Panel (Item 5)

5 Extension to the Alcohol Public Space Protection Order pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jo-Anna Taylor, Community Services Manager introduced the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Officers were seeking a nine-month extension of the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which regulates alcohol consumption in the district. The PSPO had been in place since 2017 and was renewed in 2020;
  • The PSPO was introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour and public disorder related to alcohol consumption in public places and was requested by Kent Police;
  • This included street drinking, public intoxication and disturbances caused by alcohol-related activities. The PSPO had been successful in reducing these issues and improving the safety and well-being of the community;
  • However, the COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges in ensuring compliance with the PSPO. With the relaxation of lockdown measures, there had been an increase in the number of people gathering in public places and this had led to more incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder related to alcohol consumption, over the last three years;
  • Since January 2023 the Police had issued 23 Fixed Penalty Notices under the Alcohol PSPO. This may seem a small number which may lead to querying the need of a PSPO. However, this Order had powers for conducting education, confiscating and disposing alcohol was without the need of a fine;
  • In order to continue to address these challenges, officers were requesting an extension of the PSPO for a further nine-month period; this short period of nine months would then bring it in line with the Anti-Social Behaviour PSPO. In July 2024 we would be considering coming up with a Combined ASB and Alcohol PSPO;
  • During this time, we would continue to monitor the effectiveness of the Order and assess the potential for any necessary adjustments to ensure it remained an effective tool in regulating alcohol consumption in public places;
  • The Council would also continue to work closely with the Police, (who were responsible for issuing the fixed penalty notices) and other partners to ensure consistent enforcement of the Order;
  • The Council was committed to creating a safer and healthier community for its residents and visitors and believed that extending the PSPO would support this goal and ensure that people enjoyed public spaces without fear of anti-social behaviour or public disorder.

 

Members made comments and asked questions as follows:

 

  • One Member asked if there was any data about the number of individuals worked with;
  • Another Member asked what constituted minor amendments that were going to be delegated to the CEx to make on the new PSPO;
  • One Member asked whether fixed penalty notices were issued to underage drinking;
  • Another Member said that the PSPO was also about how many people had been dissuaded from anti-social behaviour as a result of the presence of the PSPO;
  • They further asked whether the presence of officers who could issue penalties was more helpful than the previous model. They also asked if CCTV footage could be used in evidence;
  • The Member also asked if there were the number of complaints sporadic in nature or they came from known areas;
  • Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5