A new anti-social behaviour public space protection order [PSPO] shaped by public consultation has been finalised for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.
Coming into effect on April 1, the new PSPO will allow authorised officers to instruct people to stop behaving anti-socially or drinking alcohol in public, and alcohol can be confiscated and disposed of.
As unanimously agreed by the Arun District Council cabinet on Monday night, anyone who does not comply with a request given by a police officer or authorised council officer may be issued with a fixed penalty notice or a summons to court.
It follows on from the previous order made in 2017 and sees the ‘restricted areas’ altered to include additional locations that have been subjected to persistent anti-social behaviour.
A district council spokesperson said: “The enforcement of the PSPO is a continuation of the local multi-agency strategy to reduce street drinking and associated behaviours which cause nuisance and impact on our communities.
“Officers will also have the power to direct people engaged in these activities to leave the restricted area for a period of time.”
The order will run for a period of three years, unless it is varied, extended or discharged.
Jon Carter, Chichester and Arun District Commander, said there ‘has to be support mechanisms’ behind the scheme to deal with the issue and support the people behaving anti-socially.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting, he added: “The people we are talking about are addicted to alcohol. They won’t just stop if you pour it down the drain in front of them.
“The people we are talking about are vulnerable and they need a lot of support.”
The police officer also highlighted that enforcement ‘cannot be 24/7’ but would be ‘targeted and intelligence-led’.
Councillor Gill Yeates, cabinet member for community wellbeing, said the power to remove alcohol is discretionary and is ‘not a total ban on drinking alcohol in public’.
She added: “The council remains committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in our communities and this PSPO will allow us to work collaboratively with Sussex Police and our various partners to address these issues.
“The PSPO targets locations within our district where there is evidence of street drinking and anti-social behaviour problems. It will allow the council’s officers and the police to address these issues in a cohesive manner.
“Alcohol will only be taken away from people who are causing problems or who are likely to engage in unreasonable behaviour when drinking.
“Arun District Council will continue to work with support services to help anyone wanting to tackle their dependency on alcohol.”
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