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New PSPO to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour

Cabinet has agreed to consult over the proposed introduction of a new Order to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the County Borough.

On Tuesday, December 19, Cabinet Members discussed a proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour across the County Borough, which would include the introduction of two defined exclusion zones in Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres only.

The PSPO would dedicate the whole County Borough as a Controlled Drinking Zone, where the police and authorised Council officers have the power to request that any person stops drinking and surrender alcohol if they are causing, or likely to cause, anti-social behaviour.

The designated zones in Aberdare and Pontypridd would prohibit people in public places from taking intoxicating substances, including alcohol. The Pontypridd zone would also include the lower of part of Graig.

Cabinet agreed for the Council to undertake an eight-week consultation over the proposed PSPO’s introduction, after which a further report outlining consultation responses will be considered by Cabinet Members.

 “The Council is committed to tackling the issues that residents tell us are significant problems, and is not afraid to introduce new powers through PSPOs, under the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

“We’ve recently seen the successful introduction of a new PSPO to tackle dog fouling, following residents’ call to action. Now, Cabinet has agreed to consult upon new measures to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour – again following the public’s views and evidence suggesting it’s a significant problem.

“One of the major priorities for the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership is Safer Town Centres, through which a crime perception survey is carried out annually in Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres.

“In the 2016/17 survey, 27% of people saw alcohol as the biggest cause of crime and disorder within the towns, while numerous comments supporting this view were made. Therefore, the need for Aberdare and Pontypridd to be subject to more stringent controls than the rest of the County Borough was highlighted, which is why the alcohol exclusion zones have been put forward.”

The PSPO’s County-wide alcohol controls will not make it an offence to drink alcohol in public (aside from Aberdare and Pontypridd) – but residents must comply with any request from police or authorised Council officers to stop drinking and/or surrender alcohol. Police constables and authorised officers have the power to issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £100.

The PSPO’s rules for Aberdare and Pontypridd would not apply to premises licensed for the supply of alcohol – including areas such as beer gardens or permitted pavement seating areas. The PSPO could also be wavered for public drinking at organised events within Aberdare and Pontypridd – including Christmas markets and the Big Welsh Bite event.

The Council will communicate details of the consultation in due course.

Posted on Tuesday 19th December 2017