Tuesday, October 24, 2017

News: New order comes in to force in Rotherham town centre

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An important measure to address declining footfall in Rotherham town centre has come in to force as partners aim to tackle perceptions around antisocial behaviour.

Rothbiz reported in July on proposals for 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.

Reassuring members of the public that the town centre is safe, the order 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.

The new orders replace a range of other orders, including dog control orders and alcohol orders.

Enforcement will be carried out by both the Council and Police officers and individuals who break the order may receive a £100 penalty or face prosecution.

Chief Inspector Paul Ferguson said: "We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to reduce anti-social behaviour, as the inconsiderate actions of a handful of people are tainting the enjoyment and experience of Rotherham town centre for others.

"Our officers will support those of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in robustly dealing with those who choose to break the prohibitions contained within the Public Spaces Protection Order."

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Prohibitions include:

- Behaving in such a way or using language that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to another person
- Making unsolicited approaches, in the open air, for the purposes of face-to-face fundraising and marketing of commercial products, carried out by organisations without prior written permission from the Council
- Failing to keep a dog on a leash and under control (otherwise than within the dog exercise area within Clifton Park, where dogs may be off leads but must remain under control - see maps at bottom of the page)
- Littering
- Urinating or defecating in a public place, other than within designated public toilets
- Spitting saliva or any other product from the mouth
- Consuming alcohol other than on licensed premises or at a licensed event

As part of the consultation, visits were made to 82 town centre businesses and a report on the development of the PSPO showed that support for the order was given by 99% of the local businesses consulted regarding conditions relating to rowdy behaviour and foul language.

In total, officers gathered 525 responses through the various methods. Of those responses, 492 (93.7%) were in favour of the introduction of the PSPO.

Cllr Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Rotherham Council, said: "Members of the public were highly supportive of this approach, and the new powers will enable us to tackle the minority of people in the town centre that prevent other people enjoying it.

"The Council listened to the feedback received during the consultation and we have amended the order to reflect this."

Rotherham Council has pledged to support existing businesses in the town centre until the catalyst regeneration schemes featured in the new masterplan come to fruition.

Images: SY Police

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