New power to tackle street drinking and anti-social behaviour

Arun District Council will have more power to tackle street drinking and persistent anti-social behaviour from mid-April when a new order is introduced.

The Public Space Protection Order [PSPO] will make it easier for the police and authorised council officers to confiscate alcohol from those behaving anti-socially and also to disperse groups of people in areas of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis who are being disruptive.

The PSPO requires:

  • Persons to surrender any open container of alcohol on request
  • Persons to comply with a request to open liquids to identify alcohol

Anyone who does not comply with a request to surrender open containers of alcohol and / or leave an area when directed to do so may face arrest or a hefty fine.

The PSPO can be viewed in full here: Public Space Protection Order.pdf [pdf] 910KB

This enforcement is part of a multi-agency strategy to tackle and reduce the amount of street drinking in areas of the district, and the impact it has on others.

The strategy, set to come into force on 10 April 2017, also involves working alongside other teams to ensure that residents are receiving specialist treatment and support for their addictions.

A three-month consultation held last year showed that the majority of those who responded were in favour of the PSPO being introduced. The order will replace older legislation but with additional power to disperse groups acting in an anti-social manner, whether drinking alcohol or not, and direct them out of an area.

Councillor Paul Wotherspoon, Arun District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Working alongside Sussex Police, partner organisations and our residents, we are committed to reducing anti-social behaviour in our town centres.

“By targeting known problem-areas within designated areas of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis identified in the Order, we believe we can combat the problems we have seen with groups congregating to drink alcohol and intimidating others trying to use these public areas. The power to disperse people causing anti-social behaviour is vital to disrupting and restoring order in areas used by the public.

“However it must be stressed that the power is discretionary, so alcohol will only be taken away from those people causing a problem. Working with other services, the Council will continue to support anyone wishing to tackle alcohol abuse.”

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