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PSPOs come into force

Wednesday 25 October

Old orders replaced to tackle anti-social behaviour

Following a public consultation on proposals to introduce public space protection orders (PSPO) in the borough, Swale Borough Council has converted existing alcohol control zones for Sheerness High Street and the Leysdown area into PSPO’s.

PSPO’s were introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour being committed by individuals or groups in a public space. They were introduced to replace other similar orders such as alcohol control zones and dog control orders, which were due to expire this month. These orders can be varied and must be reviewed after three years.

The orders came into force on 20 October, and give the police and council officers the powers to confiscate alcohol from people drinking in a public area where they are causing nuisance or annoyance to others, or there has been drink-related disorder.

It will not be an offence to drink alcohol in these areas, but it would be an offence to continue drinking in the zones if requested not to do so by a police officer or environment warden.

Cllr Alan Horton, cabinet member for safer families and communities at the council, said:

"This isn’t a ban on drinking in these areas – we don’t want to stop people enjoying themselves. PSPOs are about improving the quality of life for local people and give us an effective tool to tackle the minority who spoil it for everyone else.

"The restriction on public drinking won’t apply to licensed premises, and if no one is causing a disturbance or nuisance to others, you won’t notice any difference."

Existing dog control orders, which include measures such as preventing dogs from entering children’s play areas, and alcohol control zones in Sittingbourne and Faversham, also became PSPO’s from 20 October.

These orders will remain in place for up to three years but may be reviewed or amended within this time period.