Residents, businesses and visitors are urged to have their say on new proposals to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour in West Bromwich town centre.
Following concerns raised by local people, Sandwell Council is looking to introduce a public spaces protection order, also known as a PSPO.
Among activities that could be covered by the proposed PSPO for West Bromwich town centre are alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour, threatening and intimidating behaviour and violence in a public place.
The PSPO would give the police and council extra powers to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
PSPOs can be used to ban behaviour or activities that are causing concern in an area.
Authorised council officers, police and police community support officers can enforce PSPOs. People breaching a PSPO face a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 on prosecution.
Police would continue to deal with criminal offences as they happen. The PSPO would be used in addition to existing council and police powers. It would also complement existing PSPO orders in place in Sandwell, including a borough-order that helps council wardens and police tackle nuisance drinking in public places.
Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “It’s unacceptable that residents, businesses and visitors should have to suffer crime and anti-social behaviour and we’re putting forward these proposals in response to their concerns.
“We already work very closely with the police and other partner organisations to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. The PSPO would be an extra tool to help us make sure the law-abiding majority of people can enjoy using the town centre.
“We encourage everyone with an interest in West Bromwich town centre to have their say, so we know if the community supports a PSPO and ensure we address the things that matter most to local people.”
As part of the consultation, the council is also asking for views on begging and nuisance parking, both issues raised by local people.
Councillor Costigan added: “People often raise concerns with us about begging and people sleeping rough in the town centre. We want to protect vulnerable people and make sure rough sleepers receive the support they need, while also tackling anyone begging fraudulently.”
People can find more details, including a map of the proposed PSPO area, and have their say before 18 April at the council’s www.sandwell.gov.uk/consultation webpage. Letters are also being sent to residents and businesses in the area.
For further information please contact:
Sandwell Council Communications Unit
0121 569 3031
Out of hours/emergency: 07920 027 723