New powers introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre

The Derbyshire Times has long reported on problems with anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre.
The Derbyshire Times has long reported on problems with anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre.

New powers aimed at cutting anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre have been brought in.

Signs have gone up around the area informing people about the introduction of the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs).

They ban:

► Any activity or behaviour causing nuisance, alarm, harassment or distress to any other person;

► Street drinking;

► Positioning or occupying any tent or temporary structure without the landowner’s permission;

► Loitering around areas – including shop entrances - to beg for money;

► Urinating or defecating anywhere that is not in a public toilet;

► Leaving any personal belongings unattended.

Anyone who breaches the PSPOs could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of up to £100.

If unpaid, further action - which may include prosecution - will be taken.

PSPOs may be enforced by any person authorised by Chesterfield Borough Council Officers, police officers and Police Community Support Officers.

A borough council spokesman said: "The aim of the PSPOs is to provide help and support to vulnerable members of the community, to address aggressive begging and to deter anti-social behaviour.

"The PSPOs will see the borough council, police and other partners, including the community safety partnership and Pathways, work together to address issues such as homelessness, rough sleeping, begging and anti-social behaviour.

"The organisations work to provide help and support to people who experience a combination of related issues such as homelessness, rough sleeping, addiction and poor mental and physical health.

"This support can include financial assistance, housing support and help for people to access accommodation where needed.

"Support is also available to help them break the cycle of homelessness, rough sleeping or begging and to address addictions and mental health issues so they recover and stabilise their lives.

"Now the PSPOs are in place, members of the community will see an increased high visibility presence within the town centre as officers and support staff conduct patrols, engage with the community, provide support and help to those who are homeless or rough sleeping and deter anti-social behaviour."

OPINION: Yobs who blight Chesterfield town centre should be ashamed