Legal restrictions banning drinking alcohol in streets across Nottingham have been extended for a further three years.
The Public Spaces Protection Orders are due to run out this October, and the council’s Executive Board has this week agreed for them to be extended for a further three years. Similar restrictions have been in place since 2005 and have to be renewed every three years.
The powers have been used over 5,000 times over the past three years and have been critical in supporting the council’s aims of dealing effectively with alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.
Without the use of these powers, it is expected that alcohol-related anti-social behaviour would increase and cause significant problems for businesses, citizens and visitors to Nottingham.
A consultation on the extension was held earlier this year and while no responses were received from residents or businesses, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police fully support the extension.
They commented that “this PSPO is an essential tool in reducing the risks inherent to the city centre, particularly in relation to anti-social street drinking during the day and incidents of violence and disorder associated with the policing of sporting events and night-time economy policing.”
The PSPOs cover the whole of the city of Nottingham from the city centre to suburbs like Clifton, Wollaton and Bulwell – and allow Community Protection Officers to fine offenders. Under the orders, a Community Protection Officer can:
- Require a person not to consume alcohol
- Require a person to surrender any alcohol in his/her possession
- Dispose of the alcohol
- Issue a fine of £70 (reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days).
The PSPOs help tackle anti-social behaviours associated with street drinking, including vomiting, urinating and defecating in public areas, littering, violence, aggressive or intimidating behaviour and criminal damage. They do not prevent people having a picnic in a park where alcohol is consumed responsibly, for example.
Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion, Councillor Sajid Mohammed, said: “Street drinking can result in unpleasant anti-social behaviour – including noise, rowdy and threatening behaviour, harassment and intimidation of passers-by, as well as the littering of cans and bottles.
“We have a huge active night-time economy in Nottingham, and although it’s only a small minority who disrupt our city in this way, these measures allow our Community Protection Officers to deal with disruptive street drinking quickly and effectively.”