New powers to deal with anti-social behaviour in use from today
New legislation aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour is now in use.
From today (Friday 1st March) Darlington Borough Council and Durham Constabulary are able to use a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to address anti-social behaviour in Darlington.
A PSPO is a positive measure enabling the police and council enforcement officers to deal with anti-social behaviour across the town centre.
A consultation, aimed at seeking public views on the introduction of the legislation, was carried out between September and November of last year with the majority of responses being in support of the introduction of a PSPO.
The introduction of the legislation was agreed at Cabinet in early February.
Anna Willey, anti-social behaviour and civic enforcement manager for Darlington Borough Council, said: “Anti-social behaviour is something the public have told us needs addressing in our town centre.
“We want to make sure everyone feels safe coming into Darlington and to make the town centre as welcoming as it can be. A PSPO is simply an additional tool we now have available to us should other ways of tackling anti-social behaviour not be successful.”
Darlington Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Sue Robinson from Durham Constabulary said: “We would like to reassure everyone that a PSPO is not a blanket ban on certain activities in a certain area. Instead, it is a positive measure that enables the police and civic enforcement officers to deal more effectively with disorder, for example by confiscating alcohol from adults.
“This is so people can feel safe, comfortable and unconcerned as they go about their day to day business in the town centre which means a better experience for everyone.”
Signage, reminding people of the new legislation will go up around the town centre and all staff involved in any enforcement activity will undergo training.
More information about the PSPO, what it means and the area of Darlington it applies to can be found on the Darlington Borough Council website.
Anti-social behaviour can be reported to the Darlington Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or to the Council’s Civic Enforcement Team on 01325 406 999.