3. Intoxicating substances (including alcohol), urination and defecation, aggressive begging, and intimidating behaviours public space protection order (PSPO)
This PSPO, made on 6th June 2017, relates to the following:
- Possession of intoxicating substances (including alcohol)
- Urination and defecation
- Aggressive begging
- Behaving in a way likely to cause harassment or intimidation
The order applies in a large area in the centre of Exmouth and a smaller area of Sidmouth. It gives Police Officers the power to disperse groups of people behaving in these ways
- There is provision in the legislation to incorporate existing Designated Public Protection Orders (DPPOs) (which refer to controlled drinking only), into the new PSPOs, in fact it would happen by default on 20th October 2017 if nothing were done. There were 2 existing DPPOs in East Devon which apply to Sidmouth Market Place, Sidmouth Seafront, The Strand and Manor Gardens in Exmouth. Evidence showed additional controls are needed in Exmouth. The Sidmouth order now includes “intoxicating substances” along with the existing requirement to surrender alcohol on request.
- The new proposals were requested by the Exmouth neighbourhood policing team. An impact statement stated that there were 135 reported incidents of anti-social behaviour of this type in the area of the Magnolia Centre, London Inn car park, Chapel Street and The Strand in the year September 2015 to September 2016. There were reports of the public use of legal highs, drinking alcohol excessively, urinating in public, smashed bottles and aggressive begging. Furthermore there were incidents of aggressive behaviour towards members of the public and shop workers. There have also been issues with litter and evidence of drug paraphernalia being left as a result of groups congregating for drinking and drug dealing.
- The PSPO will remain in force for 3 years at which point it will be reviewed and possibly amended and / or renewed as appropriate. There is potential for other areas to be included in some or all of the controls if evidence of a persistent problem is provided by the Police.
- A person observed not to be complying with the PSPO is liable to receive a fixed penalty notice of £80. The alternative is to take enforcement action in the Magistrates Court. Police Officers will be able to enforce some of the requirements of the orders at the time of the incidents. Initially this will include providing advice to the offenders and requesting them to surrender substances or move on. Where sufficient evidence of breaches or persistent behaviour are obtained this will be forwarded to the Environmental Health Team for a fixed penalty to be issued. An Enforcement Strategy and Memorandum of Understanding has been implemented to set out how this joint working will be achieved.
Members of the public affected by or concerned about any of the behaviours described in the order should contact 101 by phone or email in the first instance and their enquiry will be followed up by the neighbourhood policing team. Please report anti-social behaviour to the relevant agency.