Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Thatcham Town Centre
PSPOs allow council's to place restrictions in an area to make sure that everyone can feel safer and enjoy public spaces
An application for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for Thatcham town centre has been granted by West Berkshire Council.
PSPOs allow council's to place restrictions on certain behaviours in an area to make sure that everyone can feel safer and enjoy public spaces.
Thames Valley Police asked the Council to consider introducing such an Order for the centre of Thatcham, as a result of which the Council undertook a public consultation, with people who live, visit or work in the area taking part and answering questions on anti-social behaviour.
84.67% of respondents supported the proposed anti-social behaviour restriction and the Council has now formally granted the application.
The restriction is preventative - if people are asked to stop their behaviour by a Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer they must do so. If they don't comply, they will be committing a criminal offence which could result in a fixed penalty notice of up to £100, or a fine of up to £1,000 if they are prosecuted and convicted.
Inspector Matt Gow from Thames Valley Police says,
"This PSPO received significant public backing and we'll be supporting it by using the engage, explain and encourage approach with enforcement only being used as a last resort.
"Together with the Council, we hope that the PSPO will make the town centre an even better place to live, work and visit."
Councillor Graham Bridgman, the Council's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing says,
"We are pleased to have been able to assist Thames Valley Police by undertaking the public consultation to gauge the desire for, and then undertake the formal process to introduce, a PSPO for Thatcham town centre - we are committed to working with partners to ensure that our town centres remain as places for everyone to enjoy."