Public orders to tackle street drinking in Oulton Broad and Kirkley near Lowestoft scrapped as 'no evidence' police use them
Public orders to tackle street drinking in two areas of Waveney have not been extended because there is no evidence police are using those powers.
Public space protection orders (PSPOs) were introduced in Oulton Broad, Harbour and Kirkley wards in 2009 as a means for officers to tackle street drinking and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.
PSPOs are measures introduced by local councils and enforced by police to tackle specific problems, with the Waveney orders due for renewal this month.
But East Suffolk Council’s cabinet agreed to only continue the order in the Harbour area of Lowestoft , because there was not enough evidence that police were using the orders in the Oulton Broad or Kirkley and Pakefield areas.
However, other police powers such as dispersal orders and alcohol confiscation are being used in those areas to help curb the problem.
Conservative councillor Mark Jepson, assistant cabinet member for community health at East Suffolk Council, said: “Suffolk police have indicated that they would like the existing PSPOs to be extended but in order to do so there must be sufficient robust evidence to support the statutory criteria and meet the legal tests laid out.
“The aim of the PSPO is to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, to stop groups of people causing alarm, distress, harassment or nuisance for the public, and to improve the quality of life for residents.”
Mr Jepson said the police system to record crimes could only record use of PSPO powers for anti-social behaviour generally, not specifically for alcohol.
However, the evidence indicated that PSPO powers have not been used at all for any kind of anti-social behaviour in the last three years in Oulton Broad, and only twice in Kirkley.
Mr Jepson added: “The PSPOs do not appear to have been used, but [police] have relied on other relevant legislation.”
However, the council agreed to extend the orders in the Harbour ward of Lowestoft, as evidence indicated orders were used 295 times in the same period for anti-social behaviour.
Labour councillor Peter Byatt said that it was acknowledged there were still some problems in the Harbour area.