Ashfield council looks to extend powers to tackle anti-social and nuisance behaviour around the district

Ashfield District Council leaders look set to extend powers to prevent anti-social and nuisance behaviour at locations around the area.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 6:15 pm

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) were first introduced in the district in 2015, replacing a mixture of other legislation and by-laws to prevent a raft of nuisance behaviour, including alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

They prevent the consumption of alcohol in public places in urban locations around the district – including in Sutton, Kirkby, Annesley, Hucknall, Jacksdale and Selston.

Separate powers target dog owners and enforce pets being walked on leads and dog fouling, with police and council staff able to issue on-the-spot fines for residents not complying.

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Ashfield District Council wants to extend public place protection orders
Ashfield District Council wants to extend public place protection orders

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Separately, dogs are banned from entering almost 50 children’s play areas around the district.

In 2018, the PSPOs were amended to target young people car cruising in areas close to the M1 in the district.

The orders also allow action against people found urinating or defecating in public.

But the orders must be renewed every three years and the authority now intends to launch a public consultation on the plan, according to a report to the council’s cabinet.

Additionally, the authority wants to extend the PSPOs to a patch of land to the rear in Welbeck Street and Bentick Street, in Sutton, which has seen a marked rise in anti-social behaviour.

The report states: “Reported levels of anti-social behaviour within this area amounts to 205 over a yearly period 2019/20 which included incidents relating to alcohol, threatening behaviour, violence, trespassing, and fireworks.

“Furthermore there were 26 incidents of criminal damage, 74 incidents of stalking and harassment, 85 incidents of violence with injury and 81 incidents without injury.”

The report states that failure to renew the orders would lead to:

dogs being allowed in children’s play areas or in enclosed sports facilities on parks; dogs being walked off leads on highways and in cemeteries; any number of dogs being walked at any time by one person; people consuming alcohol and behaving in a manner to cause a nuisance in any of the areas currently specified; no or limited methods to control a dog - requirement to put a dog on a lead; urinating in a public space; increased incidents of car cruising and motor related offences at and around Junction 27; not having powers for Community Protection Officers to move a person on when they are behaving in an anti-social manner.

The updated PSPO was introduced three years ago to target predominantly younger drivers congregating close to Junction 27 of the M1, driving at excessive speeds, racing, performing stunts, driving in convoy, blasting out music, sounding horns and generally causing danger to other road users.

The authority is also planning to extend the PSPO in relation to these activities for a further three years.

In the proposal gets the green light when it goes before Ashfield District Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, June 29, it will then go out for a 28-day consultation period for residents to comment, and should be formally rolled-out by September, the report states.

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