Agenda item

Extension to the Alcohol Public Space Protection Order


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 the Council use move the benches as a way of preventing anti-social behaviour in certain locations?


Jo-Anna Taylor responded to Member questions and comments as follows:


  • How the Council and Kent Police was dealing with individuals under the PSPO was not going through the formal process and therefore there was no data recorded;
  • Minor amendments included making changes to locations for the area covered by the PSPO;
  • Fixed penalty notices were issued to incidents that were linked to anti-social behaviour and not necessarily underage drinking. Underage drinking was dealt with using different approaches like using outreach workers, youth services or speaking to parents;
  • The model that used beat officers was much more effective in enforcing the PSPO as they also got to know the people. CCTV footages could be used in evidence;
  • Complaints were mostly received from Margate, Ramsgate and to a certain extent Broadstairs;
  • The council would usually look at all the options to stop anti-social behaviour including moving benches.


Members noted the report.

Supporting documents: