North East Lincolnshire Council has approved plans to enforce public space protection orders (PSPOs) in key public areas.
A PSPO allows councils to deal more effectively with recurring and unreasonable anti-social behaviour within identified public spaces. Police, PCSOs and authorised council officers will be able to deal more robustly with offenders at the time of an offence taking place.
The ASB part of the PSPO will be in place 24 hours a day to improve Grimsby town centre, Cleethorpes town centre and seafront, Sidney Sussex Recreational Ground, People’s Park, Haverstoe Park and Cleethorpes Country Park. Prohibitions relating to dogs will apply borough-wide.
The conditions of the order relating to ASB in the identified areas include:
- Any activity or behaviour causing or likely to cause nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress causing or likely to cause any other person to be intimidated.
- Riding a skateboard, scooter, rollerblades or similar wheeled devices in such a manner on any street fixture or street furniture.
- Any activity or behaviour that threatens the safety of a person.
- Using foul or abusive language directed at or towards any other person.
- Playing music or creating noise as to cause a nuisance.
- Illegally climbing onto any structure or building.
There are also conditions for drivers in Cleethorpes town centre and seafront and Cleethorpes Country Park.
Cleethorpes seafront has suffered for a number of years from people driving vehicles erratically and anti-socially.
Cars congregate from Wonderland to North Sea Lane playing unreasonably loud music into the early hours and discarding takeaway food litter to the annoyance of people living nearby.
Conditions for drivers in the identified areas include:
- Driving in such a manner causing or likely to cause nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress or causing or likely to cause any other person to be intimidated.
- Sounding horns
- Revving engines
- Playing music in a motor vehicle
- Participating in the above activities as a driver of the vehicle, as the registered keeper of the vehicle, as a passenger within the vehicle or by congregating to spectate the above activities.
Complaints are also regularly received from residents about dog fouling and the behaviour of some dogs.
A borough-wide PSPO will cover picking up dog mess, not letting dogs into children’s play areas, restricting the areas where dogs are allowed (away from football pitches during organised events and the beach at certain times of the year) and keeping a dog on a lead in certain areas or during events.
Dog fouling is an offence the council can already take action against, but the introduction of a PSPO allows more flexibility to address the wider issues around irresponsible dog ownership.
- Failure to clear up dog mess
- Keep dogs on leads in specified areas
- Leads by order – people to put and keep a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
Dogs will continue to be banned from Cleethorpes beach from Wonderland Groyne to Cleethorpes Leisure Centre from Good Friday to 30 September under the new PSPO restrictions.
A dog exclusion zone will also apply outside of opening times for all cemeteries and churchyards. Clear signage will be erected in these locations.
Councillor David Bolton, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Anti-social behaviour is having a negative and detrimental effect on our parks and businesses, affecting shoppers, residents and visitors to the area.
“Research highlights the need for a more effective way to deal with anti-social behaviour in certain areas and we have listened to that.
“Our recent survey revealed everyone who took part believed public places should be protected from anti-social behaviour.”
Councillor Steve Beasant, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, added: “The identified areas have been hotspots for recurring anti-social behaviour for a number of years and we will not tolerate it.
“We also recognise that the majority of dog owners are responsible and respectful of their local communities, but for those who flout the law, the PSPO will target them.
“An overwhelming support of 98% of people who took part in our survey believed owners should be made to clean up after their dogs, with 92% feeling that dogs should be excluded from enclosed children’s play areas.”
A fixed penalty notice may be issued to a person who breaches a PSPO, offering them an opportunity of avoiding prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court by paying a fixed penalty of up to £100.
A person who is found guilty of an offence in the Magistrates’ Court is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the court’s standard scale of fines (currently £1,000).