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PSPO to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour agreed

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have agreed proposals to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Rhondda Cynon Taf, following a consultation with residents.

A report to Cabinet on Thursday, April 19, recommended Members approved the new PSPO, which would continue to dedicate the whole County Borough as a Controlled Drinking Zone, where 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.  

Members also agreed the extension of the PSPO to introduce defined alcohol-exclusion zones in Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres, to prohibit people from taking intoxicating substances, including alcohol, in public spaces.

Cabinet approved a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice for people who refuse to comply with the PSPO, and agreed that the Council undertakes a high-profile awareness campaign before the PSPO is enforced from September 1, 2018.

Members made these decisions having considered the feedback received in a comprehensive consultation which ended in March 2018, and included a number of engagement events held across Rhondda Cynon Taf. Other stakeholders were notified of the proposals and invited to respond – and responses were received from South Wales Police, Pontypridd Town Council, Cwm Taf UHB, the Older People’s Advisory Group and the Youth Council.

From the survey responses, 80% agreed that Rhondda Cynon Taf should be dedicated a controlled drinking zone, while 80% agreed with the exclusion zone for Pontypridd and 67% for Aberdare. In total, 82% of responses supported the proposed £100 fine, while 42% said they had been affected by anti-social behaviour in Pontypridd, and 17% in Aberdare. Finally, 69% of participants agreed with the proposed boundaries for the exclusion zones.

All of the stakeholders were in agreement with the proposals – including the police and health board.

A Council spokesperson said  “Cabinet have agreed the introduction of a PSPO to dedicate the whole County Borough a Controlled Drinking Zone, which also includes two exclusion zones to prohibit intoxicating substance use – including drinking alcohol in defined public areas of Pontypridd and Aberdare Town Centre.

“This proposal came about following the 2016/17 crime perception survey, carried out yearly through Safer Town Centres as part of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership. Almost a third of respondents labelled alcohol as the single-biggest contributor to crime and disorder in Aberdare and Pontypridd – which is why the Council put forward this PSPO.

“There was overwhelming support for the PSPO in the recent public consultation, strengthening the views given in last year’s survey. In total, 80% of respondents agreed with the Council’s proposal for Pontypridd and the wider County Borough, while 67% agreed with the proposal for Aberdare. There was also support from other stakeholders for the proposed PSPO.

“Cabinet made its decision based on the results of the recent far-reaching public consultation – and the evidence of alcohol-related crime and disorder – and also agreed to introduce a £100 fine for people ignoring the new rules.”

The PSPO will not make it an offence to drink alcohol in public across Rhondda Cynon Taf (aside from the defined zones in Aberdare and Pontypridd) – but residents will have to comply with any request from police or authorised Council officers to stop drinking and/or surrender alcohol.

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

A full summary of responses to the consultation is available as part of the report to Cabinet on Thursday, April 19 – available on the Council’s website at https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Council/CouncillorsCommitteesandMeetings/Committees/Cabinet.aspx.

Posted on Friday 20th April 2018