Councillors back Scarborough town centre street drinking ban to tackle ‘massive issue’ of antisocial behaviour

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Councillors have given their ‘wholehearted’ support to banning street drinking in Scarborough’s town centre.

The council wants to curb anti-social behaviour with a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

The PSPO seeks to tackle a “massive issue” of behaviour associated with alcohol consumption and urination and defecation in public spaces.

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Failure to comply with the rules could lead to a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice or a fine of up to £500 upon conviction by a Magistrates’ Court, according to the plans which have received public support.

Councillors at the Scarborough And Whitby ACC meeting.Courtesy Anttoni Numminen/LDRSCouncillors at the Scarborough And Whitby ACC meeting.Courtesy Anttoni Numminen/LDRS
Councillors at the Scarborough And Whitby ACC meeting.Courtesy Anttoni Numminen/LDRS

At a meeting on Friday (June 7), councillors said action was needed “as soon as possible” to protect residents and visitors.

Coun David Jeffels told the area constituency committee meeting: “It is disappointing that it has come to this, but if we don’t do something, the consequences will be worse.

“We need to take a tough line in the interest of the town’s image and economy.”

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Coun Rich Maw added that “a PSPO cannot be the only tool in the armoury against antisocial behaviour” and said that fixed penalty notices “mean nothing to people who have nothing.”

Proposed street alcohol prohibition zone in Scarborough town centre. picture: North Yorkshire Council.Proposed street alcohol prohibition zone in Scarborough town centre. picture: North Yorkshire Council.
Proposed street alcohol prohibition zone in Scarborough town centre. picture: North Yorkshire Council.

However, officers said they could not give an exact estimate of when the ban would come into force.

It would see the introduction of two different “enforcement zones” with varying restrictions.

A smaller street drinking prohibition zone would have a total ban on the consumption of alcohol (map outlined in red).

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A wider zone would only prohibit the consumption of alcohol in “a manner that causes or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress”.

A wider zone would would prohibit the consumption of alcohol in “a manner that causes or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress."A wider zone would would prohibit the consumption of alcohol in “a manner that causes or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress."
A wider zone would would prohibit the consumption of alcohol in “a manner that causes or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress."

Meanwhile, a ban on urination and defection would apply to both areas and could lead to fines of up to £1,000.

The targeted “hotspot areas” are based on reports of antisocial behaviour from North Yorkshire Police.

Coun Liz Colling said residents were concerned that the ban would displace drinking to other areas, including parts of Falsgrave Road, and asked how the ban could be changed if necessary.

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Council officers said that the ban could be reviewed at least every three years when it expired.

Several councillors also questioned how the ban would impact people who “want a can of special brew on a picnic”.

Committee members resolved that ensuring public safety was a priority and noted that the ban would not apply to licenced premises.

Coun Heather Phillips said: “I would love the culture to change so that we can have enjoyable street drinking and you go on holiday with everyone enjoying themselves, so I look forward to this ban helping to change perceptions of Scarborough.”

Coun Roberta Swiers said: “We don’t want people to feel unsafe and it shows we are doing our best, even if we can never fully stop it.”

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