Proposed new public places orders could help tackle anti-social behaviour

Released on October 23, 2017

Police in Thame could get new powers to help tackle anti-social behaviour in response to several incidents in the town. 

Following local feedback, South Oxfordshire District Council is proposing to introduce a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which would allow police to target specific anti-social behaviour offences that occur in public areas. 

The PSPO being proposed for Thame would allow police to prohibit groups of three or more from congregating if there were concerns they were behaving anti-socially, or likely to cause alarm, distress or a nuisance in a public place.  Groups causing a problem could then face fines if they failed to disperse when requested.  

The order would only target anti-social behaviour and would not prevent groups from gathering together who are doing so peacefully. 

The proposed new order for Thame would also continue to give the police powers to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour, which they currently have under the town’s Designated Public Places Order (DPPO), in place since 2009, which this new order will replace.  

Public Spaces Protection Order for Henley 

The district council is also proposing to introduce a PSPO in Henley-on-Thames to retain the existing powers the police currently have to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour under the town’s DPPO.  The police find these powers particularly useful in helping to maintain safety at larger events in the town such as the Henley Regatta. 

Members of the public can now comment on the draft Public Spaces Protection Orders: 

For assistance, or to request a paper copy of either consultation, please call 01235 422154. 

Responses to the two consultations need to be made by midnight Monday 20 November.  The council will then use the feedback to help finalise the two PSPOs and hopes to have the new Orders in place by Spring 2018. 

Cllr Elizabeth Gillespie, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “In Thame the proposed order would give police greater powers to address anti-social behaviour caused by groups congregating in public areas.  In Henley police want to retain the existing alcohol related powers but don’t see a need for any new measures to be implemented. 

“We now want to hear what people think of the proposals.  PSPOs can be tailored to the needs of a specific town and it’s important that the schemes we implement are suitable for Thame and Henley.”

NOTE FOR EDITORS: 

Under the existing Designated Public Places Order police in both towns can take alcohol off anyone who is behaving anti-socially in a public area – if they refuse to hand the alcohol over they can be fined. 

People drinking responsibly will not be affected by the proposed orders.  The orders would apply to public areas and not to licensed premises.