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Public invited to give views on anti-social behaviour order

Measures to crackdown on street drinking and drug taking, begging and littering in Middlesbrough town centre could be extended.

A public consultation on the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has been launched by Middlesbrough Council.

In force for the last three years, the PSPO covers the entire residential, shopping and leisure area in TS1 and is designed to stamp out anti-social behaviour caused by individuals and gangs of troublemakers.

The public are now being asked for their views on the PSPO, before Middlesbrough Council’s Executive will decide whether to extend it for the next three years.

It’s proposed that the scope of an extended PSPO would also outlaw bin rummaging, a growing problem in the town centre, and prohibit those without a proper licence asking people to donate money or sign up to charitable schemes.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “People in Middlesbrough are rightly sick to death of bad behaviour from a small minority of people in our town centre.

“We introduced the PSPO to stamp out things the public told us they’d had enough of – things like begging, urinating, littering and the problems caused by people openly drinking on the street.

“An extended PSPO will also tackle a growing problem we have with people rummaging through bins for scrap or information, leaving our streets and back alleys turned upside down.

“While things still aren’t perfect, the PSPO will help us continue to make our town centre a place where decent people want to live, work, play and learn.”

Cllr Tony Grainge, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Safety, said: “The PSPO gives us specific powers to stop the type of antisocial behaviour that has the potential to put people off visiting the centre of Middlesbrough.

“Extending the order would help us keep fighting for a cleaner, safer and more attractive town centre on behalf of decent people.

“It’s important that visitors and people who live and work in TS1 let us know what they think of the proposal.”

The current PSPO allows Fixed Penalty Notices to be given out for things like urinating, spitting and failing to control or pick up after a dog. If Fixed Penalty Notices are not paid it could lead to prosecution.

It also bans large gangs gathering to cause harassment, alarm or distress to others – while those causing damage to property or public nuisance on bikes, scooters or skateboards are also targeted under the scheme.

People in Middlesbrough are encouraged to share their views on the PSPO by taking part in an online survey.

Hard copies will be also available at Newport Community Hub, Streets Ahead for Information on Parliament Road and the Central Library.

The survey must be completed before midnight on October 26.