Street drinking order extended for further three years
An order aimed at reducing anti-social drinking in Wisbech has been extended for a further three years.
Fenland District Council introduced the town's Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to clamp down on alcohol related anti-social behaviour in 2017.
The PSPO restricts the consumption of alcohol in three hotspot locations - Tillery Field, St Peter's Church Gardens and the memorial garden in The Crescent - and controls the consumption of alcohol across a wider area, including Wisbech town centre.
Under the order, it is an offence to possess any open containers of alcohol in the three hotspot areas. It is also an offence to drink alcohol in the town centre when asked to stop by an authorised officer and to refuse to surrender alcohol.
The Council usually relies upon police officers and PCSOs to enforce the order and their resources are understandably limited, but the authority is encouraging the force to continue working in partnership with them to better enforce the order in future.
Anyone caught breaching the order could be issued with a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice, reported for prosecution through the courts or potentially arrested.
The existing order expired on October 19, but the Council decided to renew it for a further three years in its current format following a review by its community safety team.
As part of the review, a consultation exercise was carried out in the summer with the police, other public bodies and community organisations.
Data from the Council's CCTV and police incident records were also taken into consideration, as was feedback gathered through the Fenland Community Safety Partnership's community engagement and surveys.
It was felt that although there had been a reduction in alcohol related anti-social behaviour over the three years, the PSPO renewal was justified as it continues to meet the necessary requirements, including that street drinking is, or likely to, persist and have an adverse impact on other people.
Cllr Susan Wallwork, the Council's Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: "The PSPO has enabled the Council and its partners to respond to areas of Wisbech that have been affected by alcohol misuse and harm. It has had a positive impact on reducing the number of alcohol-related incidents since being introduced, but some challenges still remain. We are committed to addressing these and extending the PSPO for a further three years will help us to do that."
- A copy of the order and a map of the area it covers is available to view on our website.