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Proposed anti-social behaviour powers moved forward

Extra powers to fight anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough are now being officially put to the town's residents.

An informal consultation concluded last month on introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which would outlaw a number of unwelcome activities in the TS1 area.

Middlesbrough Council received 451 responses to the idea with 95% of people identifying troubling issues.

Now the authority has used those responses to build a formal proposal for what could be contained in the PSPO and is asking the public once more for their views on the final order.

The measures would be introduced alongside the beefed up use of existing powers to tackle anti-social behaviour town-wide including Fixed Penalty Notices for offences.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has made a priority of the issue including a pledge to increase the number of Street Wardens across the town by 30.

Additionally Street Wardens and Neighbourhood Safety Officers are being trained in issuing Fixed Penalty Notices, Street Wardens are now wearing body-worn CCTV cameras and two Community Enforcement Vehicles are patrolling Middlesbrough's streets.

Today the Council's Executive committee supported the increased use of existing powers and to formally consult the public on a proposed PSPO for TS1.

Once in place a PSPO allows Middlesbrough Council to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for any offence prohibited by the order.

The formal public consultation on the PSPO will start on 22 July and will run for six weeks. The results will be brought back to the Executive committee no later than the month of October.

Mayor Preston said: "The first informal consultation brought back a big response and 95% told us they were concerned to some extent by anti-social behaviour - sadly that reflects exactly what people have been telling me.

"I believe these orders can make a real difference. I want to stand up for the future of the town, stand up for the people who create jobs in the town, and stand up for the people who live in the town - but don't like coming into the centre anymore.

"The Public Spaces Protection Order is not about punishing people who are poor or victimising the homeless. It's about introducing consequences for the bad behaviour that is plaguing our streets. We hope that we don't have to issue fines - we just want people to behave well.

"I would now like the public to take a look at the formal proposals and give us their feedback to help shape the PSPO."

To take part in the formal consultation, either complete the short online questionnaire or email pspo@middlesbrough.gov.uk.