Measures to prevent nuisance street drinking in Yeovil to be extended
Measures to continue tackling anti-social behaviour in Yeovil including nuisance street drinking will be improved by extending the area where police and council officers can take action.
A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) bans or restricts certain acts or behaviour in a certain area. They are used in areas where certain behaviour is having a negative effect on the quality of life of those using the space.
In 2019, South Somerset District Council approved two PSPOs which made it an offence for an individual to fail to stop consuming intoxicating liquor when asked by a police officer, a police community support officer (PCSO) or a council officer. It covered a wide area in the centre of Yeovil, from the hospital grounds on Higher Kingston in the north to Brunswick Street in the south, and from the A30 Queensway in the west to the Wyndham Street area in the east - including the Yeo Leisure Park.
A separate PSPO made it an offence to "approach another person either verbally or through action in order to beg from the other person”, targeted at those who are begging for profit, have other known incomes or have accommodation options open to them.
This is enforced over a smaller area, including the full length of Clarence Street, High Street and Middle Street.
Members have now agreed to extend the PSPO regarding anti-social behaviour linked to street drinking to cover Wyndham Hill and parts of Sherborne Road.
Working with Avon and Somerset Police, council officers identified 72 alcohol related incidents in this area between January and July 2021.
The total prohibition on the consumption of alcohol was considered in the restricted area. However, looking at the experience of other councils and in consultation with the police, it was decided that the following proposed restrictions are more appropriate:
In the areas defined:
- No person shall fail to stop consuming alcohol when required to do so by a Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer or an authorised officer from the Council.
- No person shall fail to surrender anything in their possession which a Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer or authorised officer from the Council reasonably believes to be alcohol or a container for alcohol when required to do so.
Our primary aim is to ensure that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.
Not only do the restrictions we have approved link the behaviour directly to anti-social impacts, but it gives the person subject to the restrictions an opportunity to comply without the need for further formal enforcement action. Our dedicated work to support anyone who is in need will continue while we also take steps to make the centre of Yeovil a safe space to visit and to work.