Torridge District Council in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police are looking to build on powers in designated areas of Bideford, which target anti-social or aggressive and intimidating behaviour often fuelled by the consumption of alcohol.
Bideford town centre already benefits from a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) which enables Devon & Cornwall Police to deal with the public consumption of alcohol within specific restricted areas. However under new draft proposals Council Officers would also be able to deal with such problems and also impose fixed penalty fines of up to £100 or pursue prosecutions through the Magistrates Court where criminal behaviour orders or fines of up to £1,000 can be imposed. The drive behind all of this is to continue to ensure that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe and free from anti-social behaviour.
The new legislation would be rolled out under a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). Although this would extend the range of powers Police and Council Officers would have to deal with situations, the approach would still be to bring about positive change without the need to resort to formal enforcement action.
The Council has launched a six-week consultation on the proposals, which can be accessed via their website or Council reception points and will run until the 4th March.
Councillor Philip Hackett – Lead Member for Health & Wellbeing / Community Safety said:
“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun on a night out or at other times but we do want to make sure that specific areas of our town centre are trouble free and safe for all users. This includes people not feeling intimidated by aggressive or anti-social behaviour. Fortunately, the majority of people will never experience such problems but where these situations do arise it’s important that we have appropriate powers and processes to deal with troublemakers where we aren’t able to resolve the situation in other ways. By extending the range of options available and allowing Council Officers to assist the Police we want to continue to make our town a place that everyone can enjoy while out and about.”