West Bromwich town centre legal order now in force
Published 23rd October 2018
A new legal order to help prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour is now in force in West Bromwich town centre, with the first four £100 fines issued last week.
Businesses have welcomed the public spaces protection order (PSPO) to help make the area safer and boost trade.
The first four £100 fixed penalty notices were issued by council environmental protection officers on Friday (19 October) to four people breaching the order by causing harassment, alarm or distress to others.
The order is now being enforced following the two-month education phase – during which police and council officers raised awareness of the new powers with shoppers, businesses and visitors.
This PSPO order bans the following activities within the restricted area:
- Causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone
- Threatening violence or being verbally abusive to anyone
- Begging or asking members of the public for money
- Blocking the road or footpath with a vehicle or trailer
Authorised council officers, police and police community support officers can enforce PSPOs. Anyone breaching a PSPO faces a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 on prosecution.
Speaking as West Bromwich began its Safer 6 campaign focus week yesterday (Monday 22 October), Councillor Elaine Costigan said: “We want everyone to feel safe, whether they are shopping, working or visiting the town centre.
“The PSPO is an extra power, used alongside other measures, to help the police and council prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour and give people added confidence to go about their lawful business.
“Officers have been telling everyone about the new order over the past couple of months to make sure people know about it. We’ve also installed signs.
“We hope people have got the message and we won’t need to issue too many fines, but people have been warned – if their behaviour breaches the order, they face being fined.”
Councillor Costigan, who is Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, added: “People have raised concerns with us about begging in the town centre. We will protect vulnerable people and make sure they receive the support they need, while also tackling anyone begging aggressively or fraudulently.”
Sergeant Mike Bradley, from West Bromwich Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I welcome the availability of extra powers to deal with key issues in the town centre under the PSPO.
“We are committed to working with our partners at Sandwell Council to use these extra conditions to have a positive impact on safety and security of the town centre.”
Paul Ramsey, local businessman and vice chair of the West Bromwich Business Improvement District, said: “We are very committed to working in collaboration with Sandwell Council and the Police to proactively combat anti-social behaviour in West Bromwich town centre to help make the local community an enjoyable and ultimately safer place to shop and socialise.”
The three-year order received overwhelming support in a public consultation in the spring.
The PSPO for the town centre complements existing PSPOs in place across the whole of Sandwell that restrict nuisance related to dogs and alcohol.
Go to our Safer 6 webpage for more information or follow the campaign on Twitter using the #Safer6 hashtag.