Powers to improve Doncaster town centre extended

Mayor Ros Jones and her Cabinet have approved renewing existing powers to tackle anti-social behaviour as part of an on-going plan to improve the safety and vibrancy of Doncaster town centre.

At their meeting (Tuesday 28 September) they considered the outcome of an extensive public consultation and approved a proposal to extend the current Town Centre Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). 

This will complement the wider plans to manage and regenerate the town centre and continue its improvement journey, making it an attractive and welcoming place for all.

The PSPO is on the back of strong public support after over 1,000 residents and businesses responded to a recent consultation asking if they felt the powers were still required.

Cllr Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing and Equalities, said: “Approving an amended PSPO will enable us to continue the comprehensive plan of activity to address anti-social behaviour and to support people with complex lives. 

“The consultation responses have shown us that our residents, businesses and visitors value the town centre and want it to be a vibrant and welcoming space. By using all the tools at our disposal and by working together with our partners we can go some way to addressing many of the issues.  It was also clear from the consultation that many people responding to the survey wanted those who are vulnerable and in need to receive support.

“This is consistent with our tried and tested approach, so I want to be clear that we are fully committed to supporting people who are in this unfortunate position – and much of the focus of the way this PSPO will be managed will be geared towards connecting people to accommodation and support services. To do that we have to remove the barriers that exist.

“But we are also clear that some of the people causing these issues are not so needy and are preying on people’s good will and damaging the prospects of our town centre and people’s enjoyment of it. Our management of the PSPO will also take account of this.

“We also need businesses and town centre users to play a part in supporting what we are trying to achieve. We all want a viable and vibrant town centre and this PSPO is in everyone’s best interests.”

The order will help tackle anti-social behaviour which causes harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance. It will relate to the following:

  1. Begging
  2. Loitering
  3. No return within 24 hours if asked to leave
  4. Drinking alcohol in public areas
  5. Taking drugs or other banned substances
  6. Urination and defecation in public
  7. Tampering with parking equipment

Full details of the new order can be found in the Cabinet report: doncaster.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=131&MId=3478&Ver=4 

The current PSPO will end in November. The new PSPO will come into force on 7 November 2020 and last three years. It will mean people could face a fine of £100 if found in breach of the prohibited behaviours.

The management of the PSPO will be a multi-agency effort, involving Police, teams across the Council, St Leger Homes, drug and alcohol and mental health services and others to ensure we can support people to break the cycle they are locked into.

 

The prohibitions

 

PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION ORDER

 

 

PROHIBITION

WHEN

PURPOSE

 

1.

No person shall make any verbal, non-verbal or written request for money, donations or goods, including the placing of hats, clothing or containers so as to cause or is likely to cause harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance.

At all times (not including restriction on people who busk)

The aim is to support vulnerable people to break the cycle of begging and to reduce the impact this has on the town centre offer.  People who make requests for money or donations in the Town Centre are less likely to access support services whilst they receive income from this to sustain their current lifestyles. This also impacts on the vibrancy and attractiveness of the environment of the town centre to visitors and shoppers and businesses. Enforcement action will primarily focus on helping people to change behaviour and access support services.

 

2.

No person shall loiter, sit or lay on the floor or on temporary structures in or adjacent to doorways or around pay machines (including banks, supermarkets) in a manner causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to any person within the Town Centre.

At all times

The aim is to stop people loitering around ATMS and pay machines, which has a detrimental effect on people’s feelings of safety and on the vibrancy of the Town Centre. 

Enforcement action will primarily focus on helping people to change behaviour and access support services.

 

3.

No person shall, after being requested to leave by an authorised officer due to them behaving in a manner causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to any person within the Town Centre without reasonable excuse, remain or return to the Town Centre within a period of 24 hours.

At all times.

In respect of those individuals who are rough sleeping this prohibition will only apply if they have access to alternative accommodation or have refused support.

The aim is to deter people from behaving in an anti-social manner which has a detrimental effect on people’s feelings of safety and on the vibrancy of the Town Centre.

Enforcement action will primarily focus on helping people to change behaviour and access support services.

4.

No person shall consume alcohol in any public place in the Town Centre other than at licensed premises or shall be in possession of any opened vessel containing or purporting to contain alcohol in any public place save for those places identified by Section 62 of the Act.

At all times

 

(Street markets /events/festivals will have obtained Temporary Event Notices, so will in effect be licensed premises for the time they are there)

 

The aim is to deter people from consuming alcohol on the streets other than at licensed premises and to prevent antisocial behaviour and impacts on the town centre related to this.

Enforcement action will primarily focus on helping people to change behaviour and access support services.

5.

No person will ingest, inhale, inject, smoke or otherwise use intoxicating substances (substances with the capacity to stimulate or depress the central nervous system) or possess any item that can be used to assist in the taking of intoxicating substances. This includes any device for smoking substances other than e-cigarettes, it also includes needles, except for those packaged and sealed by the manufacturer and stored in a hard case.

 

At all times

The aim is to deter people from consuming drugs/intoxicating substances and to prevent antisocial behaviour and impacts on the town centre related to this.

Enforcement action will primarily focus on helping people to change behaviour and access support services.

6.

No person shall urinate or defecate in any public place; this does not include public toilets.

At all times

The aim is to deter people from behaving in an anti-social way which can cause public and environmental health problems, as well as difficulties for town centre businesses/traders.

 

7.

No person shall, unless they have a parked vehicle in the location, without reasonable excuse, loiter near to, touch or interfere with any parking equipment, in the Town Centre without authorisation.

At all times

The aim is to ensure effective provision of car parking in the Town Centre, which is vital to the economy and most important to vulnerable and disabled visitors. Vandalism and blockages of parking machines causes great frustration and expense to car park users and deters from the experience of using the Town Centre.

 

Additional notes and definitions for the purpose of the Order

 

i)    Licensed premises – Will include those involved in continental markets / beer festivals will have obtained Temporary Event Notices, so will in effect be licensed premises for the time they are there.

 

ii)   Intoxicating substances – Substances with the capacity to stimulate or depress the central nervous system Exemptions shall apply in cases where the substances are used for a valid and demonstrable medicinal use, given to an animal as a medicinal remedy, are cigarettes (tobacco) or vaporisers or are food stuffs regulated by food health and safety legislation.

 

 

  • Category: Town Centre
Last updated: 29 September 2020 11:00:20