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Agenda Item No. 11

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Full Council: 27 September 2017

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing

 

Public Spaces Protection Orders - Vale of Glamorgan

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek authority for the implementation of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) made under s.59 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (the Act).

Recommendation

  1. That Public Spaces Protection Orders be introduced in areas (as listed in Appendix 1) to restrict the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To support the Vale of Glamorgan Council and South Wales Police to tackle alcohol related Anti-Social Behaviour, in order to protect the quality of lives of those who live, work and visit restricted areas. PSPOs are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.

Background

  1. The introduction of PSPOs will replace the existing Orders, made under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which are due to expire on 20th October 2017.
  2. The purpose of the proposed Orders is to assist the Council and its partners to provide a proportionate and robust response to addressing areas of alcohol related anti-social behaviour (ASB) across the Vale of Glamorgan.
  3. The report also seeks to obtain approval for consultation on further PSPOs to address a range of anti-social behaviour experienced in certain areas within the Vale of Glamorgan.
  4. The Council, using the powers available under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 and regulations thereunder, made two Orders for the control of consumption of alcohol within named designated areas. One Order was made in 2006 and the other in 2009 (see Appendix 1). These Orders are due to expire on 20th October 2017.
  5. Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (the Act), a Local Authority, after consultation with the police, Police and Crime Commissioner and other relevant bodies, is able to make a Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO)
  6. There is a legal test before a PSPO can be made.
  7. The test requires that the behaviour being restricted has to:
  • Be having, or likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality;
  • Be persistent or continuing in nature; and
  • Be unreasonable.
  1. In this case the behaviour to be restricted is alcohol related Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).
  2. The Orders are designed to ensure that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from ASB. Other Local Authorities in Wales have introduced PSPOs to control; alcohol consumption, access over public land, dog bans and the storage of household waste. A report will shortly be tabled before the Council's Executive which will consider the use of PSPOs for a range of other activities such as these.
  3. The Council held a 6 week consultation process with stakeholders, in compliance with s72 of the Act. Stakeholders consulted included the local Chief Officer of Police; the Police and Crime Commissioner; owners or occupiers of land within the affected areas and appropriate community representatives including all Parish and Community Councils.
  4. Consultation methods to seek stakeholder views included use of direct mailing, online survey, a direct telephone number, the Council's website, the use of Public Notices in the local newspaper and proposed Notices have been implemented on the proposed public spaces.
  5. Since the introduction of the DPPOs in 2006 and 2009 under the previous legislation, the Police have made use of their additional powers to issue warnings, move people on and seize alcohol. The signs in the current areas are used as a visible deterrent when Police Officers are not present.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. If the PSPOs are not made then the existing Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) will cease to exist on 20th October 2017. This is likely to prevent the Council from fully achieving its Corporate commitments within the Community Strategy 2011 - 2021 and the Corporate Plan. The Police will have greater difficulty preventing or stopping ASB associated with the consumption of alcohol in designated areas. These areas are then likely to return to the levels of ASB experienced before the introduction of DPPOs.
  2. If the Order is granted then the Police (or Local Authority) can enforce the Order. It will not be an offence to drink alcohol in a controlled drinking zone. However it will be an offence to fail to comply with the request to cease drinking by an officer or surrender in a controlled drinking zone. Possible sanctions include a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a fine of up to level 2 upon conviction. The PSPO is designed to make public spaces more welcoming to the majority of law abiding people and communities and not simply restrict activities.
  3. The Council requested ASB data from the Police to build an evidence base to justify the need for the current Orders to be updated. The Force Intelligence and Organised Crime Unit (FIOCU), within South Wales Police have produced a report for the last financial year.
  4. The below table shows alcohol related ASB (reported by FIOCU) within the existing designated areas in the last financial year;

Location

Alcohol Related ASB

Broad Street, Barry

7

Chickenwood Park, Barry

0

Pencoedtre Park, Barry

2

Romilly Park, Barry

0

Victoria Park, Barry

1

Bassett Park, Barry

0

Battsfield, Barry

0

Gladstone Park, Barry

0

Thompson Street Estate, Barry

11

Gibbonsdown Estate, Barry

44

The Knap, Barry

3

Little Mill Park and Hatch Quarry, Barry

0

Barry Island Area, Barry

21

Parade Gardens, Barry

0

Twt Park, Cowbridge

0

Lorna Hughes Park, Llantwit Major

0

Poundfield Shopping Area, Llantwit M

2

The Square, Llantwit Major

3

Windmill Playing Fields, Llantwit Major

0

Llantwit Major Train Station

0

Alexandra, Penarth

0

The Kymin, Penarth

2

Milburn Park, Penarth

0

Rhoose Train Station

0

Rhoose Community Centre

0

Cogan Recreation Ground, Penarth

0

   
  1. The areas with no data may suggest that the current Orders are addressing the alcohol related ASB.
  2. The Vale of Glamorgan Communications Department undertook a public consultation exercise in relation to the proposed PSPO. The consultation ran from 5th July 2017 to 21st August 2017, in total, there were 117 responses, including residents and key stakeholders. The majority of respondents were in favour of updating the current Orders with PSPOs.
  3. In addition correspondence from the British Transport Police and ArrivaTrains Wales was received and they are supportive of this proposed Order.
  4. The Inspector for British Transport Police also provided additional evidence in relation to Llantwit Major and Rhoose train station areas. The additional evidence provides data from the 1st August 2015 until 30th August 2017. There were 16 crimes reported for Llantwit Major and 12 crimes were reported for Rhoose railway station. The British Transport Police highlighted that often alcohol related incidents are not always recorded as such as the information is not available until after attendance at an incident.
  5. Additional witness statements from a number of local Police Officers who actively tackle ASB in the Vale of Glamorgan area support the introduction of PSPOs to address ASB associated with alcohol consumption.
  6. If a decision is taken by Council to declare the PSPOs, a review of the effectiveness of the Orders will be undertaken by Vale of Glamorgan in conjunction with the Police and the existing enforcement arrangements will continue i.e. the Police will enforce the requirements of the Order where necessary.
  7. There was also feedback from the consultation process recommending that PSPOs be considered for additional areas. ASB data in relation to these areas will be obtained to assess if there is sufficient evidence of alcohol related ASB to satisfy the legal test for declaration of an Order and this will be considered in a report to Cabinet in the near future.
  8. No new areas are proposed within this report. Supporting evidence is available for members to view upon request.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. An amount of £40k has been allocated from a Vale of Glamorgan Regulatory Services reserve for the staff costs associated with this work and the further work suggested the use of such Orders to control other activities.
  2. There are costs associated with signage and legal Orders and a further £10k has been set aside from the Visible Services Reserve to meet these costs.
  3. Arrangements for enforcement of PSPOs to control ASB related to alcohol consumption will continue to be undertaken by the Police and legal proceedings may be undertaken by Vale of Glamorgan where necessary. These enforcement activities will be supported through existing financial arrangements.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There is no climate change implications associated with this project.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The proposal to introduce the PSPO requires approval from Full Council.
  2. The legal authority is directly from the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
  3. There are two conditions that must be met under the Act in order to serve a PSPO;
  4. The first condition is that;

         a)     Activities carried on in a public place within the authority's area have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, or

         b)     It is likely that activities will be carried on in a public place within that area and that they will have such an effect.

  1. The second condition is that;

         a)     is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature,

         b)     is, or is likely to be, such as to make the activities unreasonable, and

         c)     justifies the restrictions imposed by the notice.

  1. An interested person may appeal to the High Court to question the validity of a PSPO, or a variation of an Order.
  2. The grounds on which an application can be made is that the Local Authority did not have the power to make the Order, or that particular prohibitions or requirements imposed by the Order or requirements by the Act have not been complied with.
  3. An appeal must be made within the period of 6 weeks beginning with the date on which the Order or variation is made.
  4. Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998 regarding freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association have been considered and no issues have been identified.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Consideration has been given as to whether prohibitions in one area will displace the problem behaviour elsewhere, or into a neighbouring Authority.
  2. The consumption of alcohol in public places can lead to nuisance, violence and disorder. The proposed Orders, restricting the consumption of alcohol within a public place will help to prevent alcohol related behaviour and assist the Council to work towards the Community Strategy and the Corporate Plan.
  3. The Police have concerns, that if the Orders cease to exist in October, they will not have the power to move people on from an area and this may lead to a rise in alcohol related anti-social behaviour in the specified public spaces.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The consultation letter, survey, website, Notice and newspaper advert were all translated bilingually into Welsh and English languages.
  2. For those who cannot access the internet, other options were advertised, such as the option to send a letter or to give responses to the Council's call centre via telephone.
  3. An equalities assessment has taken place with the support of the Equalities Team within the Council (see Appendix 2). During the assessment there was no evidence to suggest that there would be an impact on the 'protected characteristics' as stated in the Equality Act 2010.
  4. Future Orders and publication will be translated bilingually and signs will be created in compliance with the Welsh Language Act 1993.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Community Strategy, the Vale of Glamorgan 'Planning and Working Together' 2011-2021.
  2. Priority Outcome 9: Residents and visitors are safe and feel safe and the Vale is recognised as a low crime area.
  3. Strategic assessment and consultation have identified the following priorities. Working together to:
  • Make the Vale of Glamorgan a safe place to live, work and visit, free from crime and the fear of crime.
  • Reduce the level of violent offences and alcohol related violent offences.
  • Reduce the level of serious acquisitive crime and criminal damage.
  • Reduce the impact of anti-social behaviour.
  1. Vale of Glamorgan Corporate Plan 2016-2020. Well-being Outcome 1: An inclusive and safe Vale.
  2. Prevent and tackle incidents of anti-social behaviour including implementing restorative justice approaches for young people.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. It will be a matter for Full Council to approve the decision to implement the Orders on completion of the statutory consultation process.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The following stakeholders were consulted:

Councillors,

Town and Community Councils,

Church in Wales,

Newydd Housing,

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner,

South Wales Police,

British Transport Police,

Arriva Trains Wales,

Natural Resources Wales,

Vale Youth Service, Youth Offending Service,

Vale Housing Tenant Liaison Officers,

Public Health Wales,

Network Rail.

Members of the public.

  1. Local residents through an on-line survey, by writing and telephone. Notices were placed on the proposed areas and advertised on the Council's website and in the local newspaper.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Home and Safe Communities

Background Papers

Local Government Association: Public Spaces Protection Orders - Guidance for Councils

Home Office: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers : Statutory guidance for front line professionals, July 2014

Contact Officer

Sian James, Team Manager Neighbourhood Services, Shared Regulatory Services.

Officers Consulted

Richard Price, Principal Lawyer

Deborah Gibbs, Principal Community Safety Officer

Colin Smith, Operational Manager Waste, Recycling and Coastal Management

Michael Clogg, Operational Manager Highways and Engineering

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing

 

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