Introduction

The number of complaints to Gosport Borough Council (GBC) and the Police of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in Gosport High Street, Falkland Gardens, the Bus Station and surrounding areas arising from the consumption of alcohol, the use of drugs and begging has increased significantly over recent months.

Complaints include:

  • Persons loitering by cash and ticket machines and asking members of the public for money
  • Persons openly injecting drugs
  • Discarding used needles which may pose a risk to members of the public
  • Persons in drink being verbally abusive to passers by
  • Urinating in the street

In 2008 GBC successfully applied for a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) for the borough to address ASB linked to the consumption of alcohol in public places. The order gives a Police Officer the power to require a person to cease the consumption of alcohol and surrender any alcohol or alcohol container if asked. It is an offence for a person to, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this request.

On the 20 October 2017 this DPPO will automatically become a PSPO. However, under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 councils have the power to introduce a PSPO which deals with a particular nuisance or problem in a defined area that is detrimental to the local community's quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone.

A PSPO is designed to make public spaces more welcoming to the public and communities by stopping individuals or groups committing ASB in a public space. GBC is therefore asking members of the public if they should implement a PSPO to restrict ASB which impacts negatively on people’s quality of life. Under the proposed PSPO it would be an offence, without reasonable excuse, for a person in a proposed area to:

  • engage in conduct causing harassment, alarm or distress to any reasonable member of the public arising from the consumption of alcohol or use of drugs or begging
  • fail to on request by an Authorised Person to cease consuming alcohol or drugs and surrender any alcohol or drugs containers or drug paraphernalia.
  • fail to disperse from a specific public place and not return for up to 12 hours on request by an Authorised Person.
The views of businesses, residents, visitors, partner agencies and other stakeholders is important to GBC and as such a period of consultation will run for six weeks from 25th August 2017 to 6th October 2017.
 
The Community Board at a public meeting  to be held at at  6pm on 17th October 2017 Gosport Borough Council Town Hall will have regard to the results of the consultation exercise and make the final decision as to whether the PSPO proposed should be adopted.  If adopted the PSPO will come into force on 17th November 2017.

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