[To request that the Panel contribute towards the consultation on proposals to introduce a Public Space Protection Order to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the city.
The Panel received a report requesting it to contribute towards the consultation on proposals to introduce a Public Space Protection Order to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the city. The report provided information from a review of the existing city-wide Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) which had been in force since April 2013 and sought the Panel’s views on the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to address alcohol-related anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the city.
To date there had been 95 Reponses to the consultation which centred on 5 questions including whether residents associated street drinking with nuisance and disorder (70% so far agreed that this was the case). The responses so far showed an overwhelming level of support for the proposals.
Officers stated that care was being taken to ensure that the proposals were enforceable and did not impact on any legitimate business activity. Officers also confirmed that the restrictions could be waived if there was an organised event taking place. The Panel expressed some concern in relation to the additional pressure that a city wide ban might place on the Police and it was agreed that a report be brought back in 6 months to update the Panel.
The Panel considered the issues relating to the possible inclusion of a street drinking ban for St Peter’s and Park wards, which included the City Centre. The Panel considered that some of the issues seen in the wards could be linked to irresponsible licensees and that note needed to be taken in relation to the large numbers of HMOs and vulnerable people in high concentration. The Panel also noted that with regard to the Park ward the figures quoted related to a largely residential area whilst with regard to St Peter’s ward the area was largely in the Town Centre.
Concern was expressed by some Members in relation to the restriction affecting residents who only wished to enjoy a glass of wine with a picnic in the park and whether the Police would have discretion to allow this. Officers stated in relation to the proposed drinking ban that there would be no discretion but that in relation to the city-wide Designated Public Place Order, officers had to link their actions to antisocial behaviour. Members considered that the Council did not want to keep people out of the parks but at the same time didn’t want people to feel intimidated due to other people drinking in the parks.
The Panel also considered the possibility that a drinking ban in specific wards would not solve the problem and the issue would just be displaced. The real answer to the addictive behaviour was support and help.
The Panel considered the issue relating to licensees, especially those selling single cans and that if there was a way to legislate against this that it would be welcomed. Proposal (b) would have no effect on problematic licensees. Officers stated that issues around this had been considered by the Licensing Committee and that this could be looked at again along with refresher training for licence holders and premise supervisors where required.
The Panel were overall in favour of both proposals but did have some concerns in relation to 6.3 (b). The Panel considered that careful monitoring would need to be fed back and an update report provided in 6 months. The Panel welcomed the work being done but considered that more information and clarification was required and that this approach represented one element of a much bigger piece of work.
Resolved: That the comments of the Panel be fed back as part of the consultation process.