Patrols for town ‘blighted’ by anti-social issues

The Public Space Protection Order covered offences such as alcohol consumption, loud and rowdy behaviour and begging

Extra enforcement patrols will begin in a town that has been “blighted” by anti-social behaviour.

A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was put in place in Rushden, Northamptonshire, which banned alcoholic street drinking, aggressive behaviour, begging, and public urination.

North Northamptonshire Council said anyone who was caught breaking the rules would be fined up to £1,000.

Conservative leader of the council, Jason Smithers, said bad behaviour would not be tolerated “in any shape or form”.

Public Space Protection Order notices in Rushden

Signs that explained what the protection order covers, have been put up around the town

There were more than 850 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the town centre between January and August last year, the council said.

Mr Smithers hoped the PSPO and extra patrols would “reduce some of the anti-social behaviour that has blighted this town for a while now”.

Will Boulter, the community protection enforcement officer for the authority, said patrols aimed to “take those persistent anti-social behaviour offenders off and away from the streets”.

He hoped to target problem hotspots in the area, such as the town’s war memorial, where there were reports of public urination.

A War Memorial in Rushden, Northamptonshire

The town’s war memorial was one of the places were anti-social behaviour had taken place, the authority said.

Councillor Melanie Coleman, who sits on Rushden Town Council, said: “Where we used to be able to walk down the streets at four, five o’clock in the afternoon and into the evening, there are 1710870378 certain areas that people know not to go.

“So, we’re hoping that this will actually make people realise we do care, and we want to make our town safe, and we want to make it a nice place for people to come back to and be able to bring their families.”

Two men walking down Rushden High Street

People can be fined up to £1,000 if they do not comply with the order

Paul Wilcox, amenities and contracts supervisor at the town council, said: “We want to improve the High Street – we do planting and then to see the plants all ripped out is very disappointing. We want to make the place inviting for people to come to.”

He added that the authority had launched a campaign called ‘Don’t Rubbish Rushden’.

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