Council urged to make order to prevent anti-social driving in town
- Credit: Archant
Car fans will be banned from gathering in groups of two or more if a police crackdown on anti-social behaviour in St Ives is approved.
Police have urged Huntingdonshire District Council to make a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) covering the town centre through to the park and ride site and Warners Park.
The move follows "numerous complaints" about drink-related problems and inconsiderate vehicle use in and around the town.
Consultations on the order finish on October 31, but St Ives Town Council is already backing the plan.
Mayor Cllr Daniel Rowe said: "I can confirm that, when this was discussed at the meeting earlier this month, the council were all in favour of these measures being introduced, as we have all witnessed or had experience of such anti-social behaviour in those areas.
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"The one additional comment we made was that we actually wanted to see the area being covered in the town centre to be extended down the length of the Broadway, as we felt that it would be useful there as well."
Cllr Rowe said: "If members of the public also wish to see these measures in place, having experienced anti-social behaviour themselves, the recommendation is to make sure they report any instances as they happen, as this helps to provide the evidence necessary to proceed."
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Cllr John Palmer, district councillor responsible for partnerships and wellbeing, said: "The police have reported increasing concerns about the levels of alcohol-related disorders and anti-social vehicle use in and around the town.
"We know that PSPOs have been effective in tackling similar issues elsewhere so we are interested in hearing views about whether similar measures would be welcomed in St Ives."
Cllr Palmer said: "To enable a successful PSPO implementation, it will need to be supported by a commitment to enforce by all partners."
The district council received a request from the council to impose the order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
It covers much of the town centre, including the historic riverside Quay area and the bus station, though to the park and ride site's parking area which has attracted car "meets" where enthusiasts gather to show off their vehicles - and which have also led to anti-social behaviour.
The order covers anti-social behaviour and specifies that people will not act in a manner that is causing, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress in the designated area.
Under alcohol-related issues it says people must leave the designated area immediately for a period of 24 hours if ordered to do so by a designated officer and that alcohol must be disposed of or surrendered if requested by the officer.
The order also sets out to tackle vehicle-related nuisance by specifying that people must not use vehicles in a manner likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress, that drivers should no gather in their vehicles in groups of two or more for the purposes of congregating in a way which cause alarm, harassment or distress, that vehicles should not create unreasonable levels of noise from engines, exhausts or music systems and that vehicles should not be driven in an antisocial way.
If approved, the order will remain in place for three years and will be enforced by police officers police community support officers and district council officers with delegated authority.
A breach of a PSPO is a criminal offence and those found to be breaching the order will be at risk of being issued with an fixed penalty notice of £100 or a fine on prosecution.
As consultees, the Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership (HCSP) and the sub-group the Multi-Agency Problem Solving Group have been informed of the PSPO request.
The consultation is now live and runs until October 31. Information about the order can be found at: https://huntingdonshire.gov.uk/consultations/public-space-protection-order-st-ives-town-and-parkand-ride-consultation.