Great Yarmouth comes up with plan to tackle outdoor drinking - 1,000 stickers and signs
- Credit: Archant
Some 1,000 notices and warning stickers are going up across the Great Yarmouth borough telling people about new control orders that are being introduced covering all public spaces including beaches.
The extensive Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is being brought in to tackle outdoor drinking, specifically any anti-social behaviour that arises from it.
Under the order the police will have more powers to deal with the issue of drunkenness and anti-social behaviour in a wide geographical area and, crucially, be able to confiscate opened and unopened cans and bottles.
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 granted the option for local authorities to make PSPOs to help reduce anti-social behaviour.
Working closely with Norfolk police, the borough council decided to create an order to help tackle anti-social behaviour related to the drinking of alcohol in public spaces.
It is enforceable for an initial three years in any space within the borough's boundaries that is accessible to the public, including streets, parks and beaches.
Where someone is causing anti-social behaviour associated with drinking alcohol the order allows police officers, police community support officers and authorised council officers to ask the person to stop drinking and, if necessary, to confiscate their alcohol.
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They can also issue an £80 fixed penalty notice (reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days) or be fined up to £500 in the courts.
Police also have the option to arrest the person if they do not comply.
The new rules were supported by 98.5pc of people who took part in a six-week public consultation last year.
To help raise awareness around 1000 warning stickers are going up on lampposts across the borough, and about 600 signs are being pinned to railings and fences.
This work will be completed in the next few weeks, when the order will become enforceable.
Under the legislation PSPOs can be used to tackle anti-social behaviour in a variety of ways. Different councils across the country have targeted other activities they deem a problem in their area.
In Yarmouth the focus was on drinking because it was something highlighted as an issue in a number of pockets.
Borough council spokesman David Wiles, said: 'Although the PSPO covers the whole borough, this is certainly not a blanket ban on drinking alcohol in public spaces. If someone is enjoying wine or beer with a picnic in the park and they are not causing related anti-social behaviour, then they would not be impacted.
'This is the right approach because, as a premier UK coastal resort, people come here for a good time – and this includes the option to drink responsibly.
'This is a positive move for all residents and visitors. We are taking a considered, balanced approach and a firm line against alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, which blights all communities across the UK.'