Order to control ‘street drinking’ extended prior to creation of combined alcohol and anti-social behaviour PSPO

Alcohol control PSPO

A Public Spaces Protection order (PSPO) for alcohol control across the isle has been extended for nine months and will then be combined with a PSPO to curb antisocial behaviour.

The PSPO, which was introduced in 2017 to cover all of Thanet with the exception of Monkton and Acol, means a restriction on carrying and consuming alcohol when a person is deemed to be causing, or may cause, anti social behaviour.

The extension brings the expiry of the alcohol PSPO into line with an anti-social behaviour PSPO which is due to expire on July 31 2024. This order was brought in during 2018, and renewed in 2021, to combat antisocial behaviour in Margate and Ramsgate after hundreds of complaints and enforcement action against people spitting, urinating and defecating in public areas as well as jumping between buildings.

The asb order covered Margate Central and Central Harbour in Ramsgate, parts of Eastcliff in Ramsgate and Cliftonville West.

When the two PSPO’s expire a combined ASB and Alcohol PSPO will be applied for.

Thanet has a further Beaches and Coast Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) brought into force on April 1, 2021, which expires in March 2024.

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is an order made by the Local Authority if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that two conditions are met. These are:

  • That activities being carried out within a public place have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality or it is likely they will.
  •  That the effect, or likely effect, of these activities is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature, such as to make the activities unreasonable.

Cllr Heather Keen, who is the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “It (PSPO) was introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour and public disorder related to alcohol consumption in public places and was requested by Kent Police.

“This includes street drinking, public intoxication and disturbances caused by alcohol related activities.

“The PSPO has been successful in reducing these activities and improving the wellbeing of the community.”

Cllr Keen said over the last three years there has been an increase in antisocial behaviour and public disorder related to drinking alcohol. Since January this year police have issued 23 fixed penalty notices for PSPO breaches. She added that education and communication were also ‘key’ to the PSPO.

Cllr Tricia Austin said she supported the extension but raised the issue of continued problems in Ramsgate town centre.

She said: “We have still quite a serious problem with street drinkers. May of those people are known to the police and our officers but we do not seem to be seeing any progress in the support that those people are getting.

She added: “We know that the police are mostly trying to work on the basis of education and it’s not that we want them to leap in with draconian punishments but I am concerned that we need in some way to beef up what we are doing where we have problem street drinkers.”

Cllr Keen said she knew there were still problem areas and the nine month pause until the combined order is made would give time to look at those areas and what changes to the order could be made.

The current alcohol PSPO lists offences as:

“All persons are prohibited from consuming alcohol and must dispose of any vessel believed to contain alcohol, when asked to do so by an authorised person, when it is believed that they are either committing or likely to commit Anti-Social Behaviour in a public place.

An authorised person can require any person:

a) To not consume alcohol or anything the authorised person reasonably believes to be alcohol, in sealed or unsealed vessels.

b) To surrender anything in the person’s possession which is, or the authorised person reasonably believes to be, alcohol or likely to be used as a container for alcohol.

Any surrendered items are to be retained by the authorised person and safely disposed of as appropriate.”

Poor health related to alcohol

In 2021/22 there were 1,100 hospital admissions for alcohol specific conditions with 30 of those being for people aged under 18. There were an additional 3,600 admissions for alcohol related conditions. In 2021 there were 72 deaths in Thanet due to alcohol related conditions.

 

14 Comments

  1. Well done, hope the council will consider leaving it in place permanently. Its had a positive affect on Margate highsteet and I have witnessed the police dumping booze and ejecting piff heads 👊🇬🇧

  2. Good I may be able to continue some sort of good night’s sleep.Just got to get empty and broken bottles that litter Thanet off the streets now.Doubt if that will happen.

  3. and what will the plastic policemen do when they catch someone drinking – shoot them ? – no of course not ,they will do precisely nothing , as always.

    • This is precisely the problem.

      It is all very well having these ”rules” in place – but they are worthless when there is nobody available to enforce them.

      There are always greater problems over sunny weekends when visitors flock to the beach areas with crates of booze, barbecues, PA systems, petrol generators, etc. And when they go home, they leave most of their rubbish behind.

      I have previously mentioned contraventions to patrolling police officers on a Saturday and been told to contact the Council about it on Monday !

      TDC does not work at weekends and the police do not want to get involved unless or until mass brawls or stabbings have taken place. We have been promised Enforcement Officers at weekends but even if they exist, they have done nothing to prevent the issues.

  4. Stop shops selling alcohol and return it back to the pubs, or off licence. That will make a big difference, shops will sell anything to make money. It will also support pubs and make it easier to control these street drinkers or just ban alcohol just like they have with smoking

  5. In my view it’s a serious problem with drink I think Kent police are too soft these days in taking action wether it be repeat offenders or new ones.
    I used to live in Cambridgeshire and the constablery up there don’t just take the booze off of them they arrest them straight away and take them off the streets.
    They need locking up and put on a rehabilitation course.
    I would also like too see more being done in the boundary road and Hereson road and other roads near it as the anti social behaviour is rife where I live. Especially in the boundary road park where broken bottles appear in that park on a daily basis on the paths and grass, this isn’t acceptable being that you have got dogs and young children that use those paths on a daily basis.
    Thanet district council never clear it or litter pick it on a daily basis.
    Plus people smoking cannabis on the streets needs to be tackled too around Ramsgate town centre and the streets around boundary park road area too.
    As we have young school kids and teenagers smoking it as well as dealing it in day light at times near where I live.
    This is also a major problem and needs to be changed.
    Regards the drinking problem I think the government need to look at and reviewing the law on selling alcohol altogether and ban it from being sold in supermarkets and off-licences and small convenience stores, like they are with the cigarettes or increase the age limit up to 25 years old before people can buy aclohol.
    This would stop a lot of teenagers getting drunk and causing havoc late at night on the streets as well as other adults.

  6. A lot of the pubs are the problem with the likes of the St Lawrence Tavern having a licence to 1am, how does that happen in a residential area surrounded immediately by 5 primary schools, a lot of dubious goings on there which go under check by police and TDC licensing despite many continuing complaints. Society and social behaviour has broken down. Look at margate and Cliftonville to begin with let alone the other areas of escalating occurrences, as mentioned above location for example.

  7. Cliftonville West had a bad season this year with constant daily antisocial behaviour by two drunks (one male, one female) dragging a poor dog around with them, and a few pissed hangers on around the St Paul’s church gardens. Abuse, violence and the usual defecating and urinating in the garden in front of passers by with no care at all. The police arriving several times a day to warn them, occasionally moving them on or arresting the trouble makers using the PSPO’s. Then letting them out so they return back to the garden and carry on where they left off. Buying their booze from a selection of local shops who all sell it.
    The poor volunteers there were being abused on a daily basis and unable to do any gardening because of it. Signs don’t make a bit of difference and Council officers never show up to use their given authority. The PCSO’s cross the road when nearing the area.
    We need a permanent means of enforcement that doesn’t tip toe around all these people. Even outside the council offices and library there are the regulars sitting on the benches drinking antisocially and abusing the public. It is a nuisance and disgusting behaviour.

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