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Council set to extend orders targeting antisocial behaviour in public places

News release from 25 March 2022

PUBLIC Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) covering two parts of Cambridge are set to be extended for 12 months by Cambridge City Council.

During this time the council will work alongside communities to gather more information on the scale of the anti-social behaviours (ASB) in the areas covered by both PSPOs to inform future decisions about how to address ASB.

The PSPOs – one covering the consumption and open carrying of alcohol in Mill Road Cemetery, the front of Ditchburn Gardens and Petersfield Green, and the other preventing punt touts from operating in large parts of the city centre – were due to lapse later this year.

During consultation with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, community representatives, local councillors and landowners, 92% of respondents favoured extending the PSPOs.

PSPOs are intended to deal with nuisance or antisocial behaviour problems in a particular area or public space. A local authority such as Cambridge City Council can make these orders on designated public spaces within its own area, but only following consultation with local organisations and the police.

The PSPO can be used to prohibit activities such as drinking alcohol in a public place where it regularly causes a serious nuisance or disturbance to local people, or address matters such as dog control in a problem area or illegal touting for business.

The purpose of the PSPOs are to ensure public spaces are welcoming to all residents, both young and old.

The Mill Road Cemetery, Petersfield Green and Ditchburn Place Gardens PSPO first came into force in 2016 following concern about persistent street drinking and alcohol related disorder in the area.

The PSPO focused on touting in Cambridge city centre was also first introduced in 2016 to deter verbally advertising or soliciting for custom by punt tour operators following a large number of complaints from members of the public.

Behaviours prohibited under both PSPOs had decreased since 2016 and there was support for the PSPOs to continue.

Cllr Alex Collis, Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing, said: “I’m pleased that these two PSPOs will be extended, as both have been effective in reducing antisocial behaviour.

“It’s important that local communities have the option of using this carefully targeted measure to tackle behaviour which is affecting the quality of life where they live, work or spend time.”

The extension of the PSPOs was approved at Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 24 March.