Thursday, July 27, 2017

News: New order to set a standard for Rotherham town centre

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A proposed new order, enforced with on-the-spot fines, is set to address the concerns of businesses about the perceived level of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Rotherham town centre.

Consultation is underway around a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Rotherham town centre and Clifton Park after the Council said that it continues to receive complaints about a minority of people who behave in an unacceptable way. 2016 saw 824 recorded incidences of ASB in the town centre area.

A PSPO introduces a number of prohibitions to address the anti-social behaviour of individuals visiting these areas. By outlining these prohibitions it makes it clear what kind of behaviour is acceptable in the town centre.

Conditions have been drafted in direct response to the concerns raised by the public, partners, businesses and councillors. They include: behaving in such a way or using language that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to another person; drinking alcohol other than in a licensed premises or event; spitting and using or carrying illegal drugs.

Any individual in breach of the PSPO would be subject to a £100 penalty. Those that failed to pay this would be liable for prosecution.

If authorised, the order would commence in Autumn 2017 and is initially set to run for three years.

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A report to the Council states: "Concerns have been raised from town centre businesses; the public; ward members; partners; public forums; the Town Centre Partnership Group and others regarding antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Rotherham Town Centre. The identified issues relate to persistent street drinking; littering; dogs running free (unleashed); people sleeping rough; rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour and drug related issues.

"While the town centre does have a small residential population, ASB in this location generally has an overarching impact on local businesses by reducing the visiting number of shoppers. This in turn makes the town centre less appealing to new business ventures, commercial growth, the creation of new jobs, prosperity and general appearance of the main commercial centre.

"Whilst ASB is subjective in that it affects different people in different ways, consideration has to be given by the Council to those that are most threatened by it. The proposed PSPO advocates for those individuals by clearly defining what behaviour the Council is willing to accept and what it is not; and to put in place the appropriate enforcement resources with its partners to supervise the Order."

Rotherham Council has recently started working in partnership with private sector contractors, Kingdom who have two officers deployed to enforce against littering in the town centre using the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).

As the table above shows, Rotherham town centre has experienced lower levels of crime and ASB than other nearby towns and cities but Alan Heppenstall of the Council's Community Safety Unit, explains: "Very often the climate of an area cannot be measured using quantitative statistical data alone, but is reliant on the anecdotal qualitative experience of stakeholders. Therefore, the evidence used to shape the prohibitions of a given PSPO can be used both to address actual ASB incidents as well as those aspects that are difficult to measure; relating more to the way the town centre feels and is perceived by those visiting it."

Consultation on the proposed PSPO runs until August 16 2017.

Images: RMBC / Bilfinger GVA


1 comments:

Mr me July 30, 2017 at 7:22 PM  

Wonder who cooked those figures up?No way do I believe that Barnsley and Doncaster town centres are more crime ridden.than Rotherham?No way

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