New police powers will tackle Lancaster city centre crime
Additional powers to deal with anti-social behaviour and alcohol related crime are due to come into force in Lancaster City Centre.
Lancaster City Council will bring in a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), to replace the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) currently in place.
Lancashire Constabulary has requested that the council put in place the PSPO as soon as possible to improve the way it manages the city centre.
Hotspot locations for anti-social behaviour are generally the main thoroughfares through, and to and from, the city centre.
Forty percent of assaults reported in the district were alcohol related.
The PSPO will provide additional powers to deal with shouting, swearing and behaviour causing annoyance harassment, alarm or distress, urinating and street drinking.
Lancashire Constabulary would enforce the PSPO on behalf of Lancaster City Council but payment of fines and any potential prosecutions would be the responsibility of the council.
A report asking Lancaster City Council’s cabinet to approve the new legislation said that a PSPO recently introduced on The Ridge in Lancaster has had a positive inpact on the community and surrounding area.
The PSPO, if agreed, would cover large parts of the city centre bounded by Lancaster Castle and Lancaster City FC’s ground, St George’s Quay, Sainsburys Supermarket, a section of Lancaster Canal, the Pointer Roundabout and the Royal Lancaster Infirarmy.
Offences would be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £100, reduced to £65 if paid within 10 days.
Anyone found drinking alcohol on the streets could be fined £500 if the case goes to court.
The report concluded: “The use of a PSPO would contribute to a number of the council’s priorities and would also support two of the priorities of the Community Safety Partnership, which are violence against the person and anti-social behaviour.”
A formal consultation launched in June found that members of the public backed the proposal in the city centre.