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Plans to curb anti-social behaviour in Gateshead

Posted on Thursday 1 September 2016

Plans to tackle dog fouling and overly persistent charity collectors are among measures being considered by Gateshead Council in an effort to cut down on anti-social behaviour in public places.

Numerous complaints from Gateshead residents about people not clearing up after their dogs, organisations touting for business in the town centre, begging, people drinking in the street and charity collectors being too persistent, have prompted Gateshead Council to consider imposing Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) by the end of the year.

PSPOs give local authorities additional powers to stop individuals or groups of people committing anti-social behaviour in public spaces which has a negative effect on the local community.

And Gateshead Council is starting a public consultation today (September 1) on the introduction of three types of order.

The first is for the whole of Gateshead and would introduce measures to ensure anyone walking a dog has the means both to clear up after it, depositing the bag in the right bins or taking it home. It would also give the police powers to seize alcohol from anyone drinking in a public place and causing a nuisance as a result.

The second would cover Gateshead Town Centre and is aimed at begging, tackling organisations and charities which are overly persistent when approaching people in the street and banning drinking and urinating in a public place.

The third covers the Intu Metrocentre Retail Park and would address people driving in an antisocial manner, racing, taking up parking spaces meant for shoppers by attending unauthorised car rallies, driving dangerously and spinning wheels, otherwise known as ‘burn outs’.

Breaching Public Space Protection Orders could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100, or prosecution resulting in a fine of up to £1,000 if convicted.

A six week consultation period on PSPOs starts today (September 1) and the Council is seeking the views of residents, retailers and community groups.

People can make their views known by taking part in our online consultation. For a paper copy of the questionnaire call the Community Safety Team on 0191 433 2168. The deadline is 13 October 2016.

Councillor Linda Green, Cabinet Member for Communities and Volunteering, which covers Community Safety, said: “We want people to enjoy coming to the town centre and not be put off by those people who think they can spoil it for the majority. We are considering introducing PSPOs to encourage people to change their behaviour and have some pride in their local community.

“Dog fouling is also a persistent problem across the borough and residents tell us it is a major issue for them. Hopefully, PSPOs will be one way forward in tackling this antisocial behaviour from some dog owners.”

Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Steve Hails said: "We work closely with Gateshead Council to try and make the area a safe and enjoyable place for people to live and spend time and the introduction of the PSPOs could help make a positive difference to local peoples' quality of life.

"We already do a lot of work to tackle anti-social behaviour across the borough, however, we are always looking at new and innovative ways to help improve our communities and these new measures could really help."

The outcome of the consultation will be available on our consultation pages and it is envisaged that the PSPOs will be ready to be introduced by mid-November.