The three-month crackdown on street drinking and anti-social behaviour in Staple Hill is being hailed as successful.
The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was introduced on Friday and Saturday nights in June after the easing of lockdown restrictions saw licensed premises closing at 10pm, leading to significant numbers of people buying alcohol in off-licences and continuing drinking in the High Street.
The legislation followed nine separate incidents of assaults and public order offences, as well as reports of groups of up to 100 people gathering, verbal abuse towards members of the public, fighting, dealing in controlled substances and some evidence of individuals carrying knives and weapons.
As a result of residents reporting late-night anti-social behaviour, South Gloucestershire Council, together with South Gloucestershire Neighbourhood Policing, were able to set up the PSPO.
From 9pm to 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, the order banned street drinking from the junction with Lower Station Road and Broad Street to the junction with Park Road. The relevant licensed premises were The Old Mail House, The Staple Hill Oak, the 11Eleven convenience store, The Portcullis and 501 Bar.
This week a spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said: “The PSPO that has been running in Staple Hill since 10th June this year ended on 30th September.
“The PSPO has provided an effective means for the police to respond to potential incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) before they escalated. This has resulted in a reduction of reported ASB and drink-related disturbances compared to the period before it was implemented.
“There have been no fixed penalty notices issued for contraventions of the order. This illustrates the effectiveness of the powers given to the police who have been able to engage and educate the public without the need to move to enforcement measures, while having the option to do so if necessary.
“We will continue to work closely with the police to monitor the situation in Staple Hill and retain scope to reintroduce the PSPO if required. The flexibility of the legislation enables such decisions to be taken and implemented swiftly to ensure the community’s confidence in a safe environment can be supported and maintained.”
Local councillor Ian Boulton said: “As lockdown restrictions have eased this Public Spaces Protection Order has supported the Staple Hill night-time economy by providing a safe environment that is welcoming to locals and visitors alike.”
He said it is as important as ever that all instances of anti-social behaviour are reported so the police can target scarce resources and nip any developing problems in the bud.
Instances of crime or anti-social behaviour can be reported online at https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/ or by phoning 101. In the case of an emergency or if a crime is in progress, always phone 999.
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