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Final chance to have your say on future of local laws to tackle problem street drinking

Published on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Public Space Protection Order signpost

PEOPLE who want to give their views on laws to tackle problem street drinking and use of so-called ‘legal highs’ in public places across Leicester have just over 10 days remaining to have their say.

The city council is running a consultation on its Public Spaces Protection Order, which was introduced back in 2017 to deal with issues such as antisocial behaviour caused by street drinking or the use of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) anywhere within Leicester.

The order gives the police the powers to confiscate alcohol or substances from people who are causing a nuisance in a public place, under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Initially the PSPO was for a maximum term of three years, meaning it now needs to be reviewed.

As part of that review, Leicester City Council is giving people a chance to have their say on whether they think the PSPO should continue, and whether the measures are appropriate, proportionate or even necessary.

People have been giving their opinions in a seven-week online consultation, which runs until November 15, 2020.

The existing PSPO covers the whole city, including areas of parks that cross over into the county.

Police can request a person not to drink or take a NPS in public, can confiscate and dispose of it, and arrest the person if they fail to comply with the request. Breaching the PSPO can result in fines of up to £500 for public drinking, or up to £1,000 for using new psychoactive substances.

Leicester deputy city mayor for regulatory services, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “The order that was granted back in 2017 has been vital in enabling us to tackle antisocial behaviour and other problems linked to public use of alcohol and psychoactive drugs.

“We now need to renew that order and want to hear from as many people as possible before the closing date of the consultation. We would very much like to continue using PSPOs, which offer a

much quicker and simpler way for the police to deal with alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour.”

Figures show that between January 2018 and January 2020, police in central Leicester alone used PSPOs to tackle alcohol or substance-fuelled antisocial behaviour on 573 occasions – 419 of them in the area around the Clock Tower and adjacent streets. In May 2020 PSPO powers were used a further 196 times in the city centre.

To take part in the consultation visit: https://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/

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