Report by Community Protection Officer (attached)
The Committee considered a report by the Community Protection Officer (circulated previously) regarding the Public Spaces Protection Order to address Anti-Social Behaviour.
The Committee noted that the constitutional context under paragraph 9 of the report was incorrect and should have stated “Part 3, Annexe 1, Paragraph 1” of the constitution which allowed the Committee to make this decision without the requirement to refer to Council for the final decision to be taken.
The Community Protection Officer highlighted the following:
· The current Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) would expire on 1 January 2024. By enacting the new order we would be able to avoid a period where there are no powers to address Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
· The operation of the current order has allowed identification of areas where it would be useful to strengthen the conditions. The existing power allows the dispersal of groups of two or more to outside of the PSPO area for a period of six hours had been amended in proposals for the new order. The new proposal would allow for the dispersal of individuals, in addition to groups of two or more. The dispersal time period had been extended to twenty four hours, up from six hours.
· The area covered by the PSPO had also been extended as detailed in Appendix B of the report. Two areas have been added to the Barnstaple map, Rotary Gardens and Portmarsh, as both sites have been subject to anti-social behaviour related to the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicating substances. The proposed PSPO area in Ilfracombe remained unaltered.
In response to questions, the Community Protection Officer advised the following:
· The Street Marshals in Barnstaple were currently not “authorised persons”, however they would be shortly. There were currently no Street Marshals in Ilfracombe, however other officers would be designated as “authorised persons” who would be able to act in this area.
· Information regarding the number of £100 fines issued could be reported back to the Committee.
· There was always an issue with regards to displacement of anti-social behaviour to other areas outside of the PSPO. The guidance advised that the PSPO areas should be as small as possible. The Outreach Teams were in place to address issues before they arose.
· Incidents of anti-social behaviour had also been reported in other areas such as Braunton and South Molton.
· There was an ongoing issue regarding the number of police officers in other areas. During the summer of 2020, following Covid, Street Marshals had been employed in both Croyde and Woolacombe. There was always a significant increase in numbers over the summer months in these areas due to holiday visitors. There may be other anti-social behaviour powers that can be used by the Council.
In response to questions, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised the following:
· That there was a report later in the agenda for this meeting in relation to expanding the Street Marshal scheme into Ilfracombe for the next 6 months. If the Committee approved the recommendations to set up such a scheme in Ilfracombe, then the Street Marshals in Ilfracombe would also become designated as “authorised persons”.
The Chief Executive recommended that a report be presented to the Licensing and Community Safety Committee in 6 months time to consider the impact of the PSPOs.
(a) That the PSPO and Consultation process be approved;
(b) That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning, Housing and Heath, in consultation with the Leader and the Senior Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, to make the Public Spaces Protection Order in relation to areas in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, as per the Order attached at Appendix A, following the conclusion and the consultation period referred to in paragraph 1.4 3 of the report.