A ‘zero tolerance’ approach on anti-social behaviour in a Wrexham park is set to be enforced under a new public order.
Members of Wrexham Council’s Executive Board todat unanimously approved proposals to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) at Rhosddu Park and Cemetery.
The PSPO will be introduced in a bid to clampdown on long running issues with anti-social behaviour in the area.
Last week Wrexham.com reported that in the six month period prior to September 2015 there were 48 incidents of anti-social behaviour reported to North Wales Police – including drunkenness, rough sleeping, urinating, excrement, drug dealing and abuse, rowdiness, and fighting. Incidents reported to the Council included similar behaviour but also litter, including dog fouling and dogs being out of control.
Speaking at today’s meeting, Cllr Hugh Jones said: “The problems of anti-social behaviour in Rhosddu Park and cemetery have been ongoing for a considerable time. Local member has been consistently been pressing for a response to the problems that exist.
“In 2014 new powers were given to local authorities to deal with this sort of behaviour that is detrimental to people’s quality of life. It has taken time for two reasons, new legislation is often subject to challenge and needs to learn lessons from how it has been implemented already. It’s also important that we carry out consultation.
“Now have proposal which says we are adopting a zero tolerance policy to anti-social behaviour in this area. I can assure you we will be robust in enforcing this proposal.”
Council Leader Mark Pritchard added: “I would like to thank the elected member for his patience. This has been difficult and I’m fully aware of issues for people in that area. People want to feel safe in the parks, it should be an enjoyable experience, we should not have yobs, anti social behaviour or paraphernalia in the parks.
“The message being sent out on the enforcement side will be robust. There will be zero tolerance.”
The PSPO will be enforced at the two locations for three years, with any persons found committing an offence faced with paying a fixed penalty noticed of £100 within 14 days (or £75 if paid within 7 days). Failing which they may be prosecuted (maximum penalty upon conviction, a fine not exceeding £1000).
The proposal was welcomed by local member for the Rhosddu area, Steve Wilson, who said: “I want to thank the lead member and officers for their work. I’m glad Cllr Jones said about robust enforcement, it’s a crucial thing. What happens once the three year period is over – does the order get renewed?”
Cllr Jones said: “Three years is the maximum statutory period we can enforce it. The intention is that it will have worked, if it hasn’t worked in three year it’s not the right solution and we would have to look at other options.”
The PSPO at Rhosddu Park and cemetery are expected to be introduced in the near future.
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