A new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is to be introduced in Mitcham to tackle anti-social behaviour linked to the consumption of alcohol in public areas. The order will give authorised council and police officers the power to ask a person to stop drinking and confiscate their alcohol if they are causing, or likely to cause, anti-social behaviour.
Merton Cabinet has given the go-ahead for the new order, to replace the existing borough wide PSPO which expires on 20 October.
The move to introduce localised action follows the council’s review of evidence on street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. In addition a six-week public consultation was held during July and August to encourage residents to share their views. Persistent problems from people drinking alcohol in public places in Mitcham were found to be having a detrimental impact on the quality of life for people who live and work in the area.
The new PSPO is due to come into force on 21 October and will cover Cricket Green, Figges Marsh, Graveney, Lavender Fields and Ravensbury wards.
- Anyone who does not comply with the request to stop drinking will be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100 which must be paid within 14 days, no early discount fee will apply.
- Should the fine not be paid, and the matter pursued to court individuals could be fined up to £500.
- Anyone failing to provide a name or address, or giving false, or inaccurate, name or address will also be prosecuted and could face a fine of £1,000.
In response to views expressed in the consultation, the council is also looking to see if there are significant anti-social behaviour issues to introduce street drinking bans in other areas of the borough including Morden Town Centre, Wimbledon Town Centre and the wards of Abbey, Trinity, Pollards Hill and St. Hellier
Councillor Edith Macauley, MBE the Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector Partnerships and Community Safety, said: “The response from residents to the consultation and the information we gathered from the police and our other partners clearly supported the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order in Mitcham.
“Merton is one of the safest boroughs in London however we are determined to use all our powers to clamp down on alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour, as it can impact heavily on the quality of people’s lives. We will be working closely with our partners and our commissioned substance misuse services to enforce breaches and to seek ways residents, for whom alcohol consumption has become a challenge, get the help and support they need.”
“We will continue to monitor anti-social behaviour linked to street drinking and consult with the community to see if there is sufficient evidence to extend the PSPO or introduce new ones in other areas.”
It is proposed that the PSPO runs for 2 years, but it will be subject to an annual review.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
PSPO’s are one of a range of measures introduced by the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to combat ASB.
Local authorities are empowered to make PSPOs providing certain criteria and legal tests are met.
PSPO’s are a legal tool and can be subjected to a Judicial Review, therefore all steps are taken to ensure the statutory guidance is followed.