Tough new measures to tackle anti-social behaviour adopted

Tough new measures to tackle anti-social and nuisance behaviour in two particular areas of Tamworth will come into force next month.

Plans to introduce Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in the Warwickshire Moor and Kettlebrook/Borrowpit Lake areas of the town have now been officially adopted by Tamworth Borough Council, as a member of Tamworth Community Safety Partnership, following overwhelming and unanimous support from residents.

The orders give police and designated council officers additional powers to fine and prosecute anyone found to be engaging in anti-social activities which are prohibited under the terms of the PSPO.

Proposals to introduce the orders were put forward following several reports to police this year of anti-social behaviour in those areas, including assault, anti-social drinking, excessive noise from large groups, arson, littering and criminal damage.

The decision to adopt the orders was made at a meeting of the council’s Infrastructure, Safety and Growth Scrutiny Committee this week, following a period of public consultation. Both PSPOs will come into effect on November 1 for a period of three years, although they can be reviewed and amended during that time.

The Bolehall PSPO applies to a defined geographical location including the area known as Warwickshire Moor Nature Reserve at Moor Lane and the open space at the back of Rene Road.

The Kettlebrook PSPO applies to a defined area including the underpass from Peelers Way, the Snowdome car park, Borrowpit Lake, underpasses leading to Namco Funscape and the open space in Reedmace.

During the scrutiny committee meeting, councillors considered a request from residents to extend the Kettlebrook area PSPO to include all of Bolebridge Island and the underpasses running underneath it, as well as McGregor Park, near the arches at Amington Road.

It was recommended that additional consultation should be undertaken with police and other stakeholders, before the proposed extension is to put to the council’s Cabinet for consideration early next year.

Residents also requested that the Bolehall PSPO be extended beyond the railway line around the area known as the ‘monkey bridge’. It was decided that the effectiveness of the initial PSPO should be closely monitored to begin with and the request to extend will be reviewed in the future.

Signage will now be put up around the new PSPO areas and full details will be available at www.tamworth.gov.uk/public-space-protection-orders.

A variety of activities are prohibited as part of the orders, where they are likely to have a detrimental impact on the area. These include:

  • Congregating or loitering at any time where any such activity causes, or is likely to cause, noise, harassment, alarm or distress
  • Causing or permitting excessive amplified music or other noise such as to cause, or be likely to cause, alarm, harassment or distress
  • Consumption of alcohol when it is believed that any person is either committing, or is likely to commit, anti-social behaviour in a public place
  • Consumption of alcohol by persons under 18
  • Barbeques, fires and littering
  • Camping
  • Smoking, using or selling any substance likely to cause intoxication or odour nuisance to members of the public

Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence and the orders allow police, community wardens and delegated council officers to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 to anyone found to be committing offences listed as part of the order. The orders are not designed to prevent any legitimate activities or events that are not intended to cause nuisance or offence to others.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships, said: “Public Space Protection Orders were brought in under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to prevent people from using a certain area in a way that is having a negative impact on the local community.

“Both the areas identified have been subject to a number of reports from residents of anti-social behaviour, particularly during the summer months. These include a number of arson attacks at Warwickshire Moor in Bolehall and reports of alcohol-related nuisance behaviour, littering and vandalism. The PSPOs were put forward to help try and resolve some of these issues being experienced by residents.

“During the consultation, feedback from members of the public was unanimous in support of the proposals, with further requests from residents wanting them to be extended in some places, and these requests will be considered in the coming months.

“There are currently four other PSPOs successfully operating in Tamworth which have resulted in fewer calls to police and we hope to see a similar outcome in the two new areas. It is really important that residents living in those parts of Tamworth continue to report all incidents to police so the effectiveness of the orders can be monitored.”