A ban on street drinking has been brought into force in Staple Hill to tackle increasing levels of anti-social behaviour.
The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is being implemented on Friday and Saturdays from 9pm to 4am from the junction with Lower Station Road and Broad Street to the junction with Park Road. It means drinking alcohol in public areas within this location during these times will be prohibited.
The order, which came into effect on Friday 11 June, will be enforced by the police and breaking it could result in a fixed penalty notice for £100, discounted to £75 if paid within 10 days (or liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2, or level 3, on the standard scale depending on which offence the defendant is prosecuted for under the Anti-social Behaviour, Police and Crime Act 2014).
Community safety and licensing teams from South Gloucestershire Council have been working with Avon and Somerset Police as the problem of street drinking and anti-social behaviour has increased in Staple Hill High Street, coinciding with the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Licensed premises in the area are now closing at 10pm, which has led to significant numbers of people buying alcohol in off licences and continuing drinking in the High Street. This is leading to larger groups gathering, fighting and general nuisance behaviour.
Over the past two months, there have been 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 with other members of the community, dealing in controlled substances and some evidence of individuals carrying knives and weapons.
Neighbourhood Police Inspector Clive Summerill said: “We’ve been working closely with South Gloucestershire Council to deal with these ongoing issues, which have become more prevalent since the easing of lockdown measures in the spring. Unfortunately, a small minority of people are continuing to engage in public disorder and anti-social behaviour, which is having a negative impact on the local community.
“This PSPO gives us additional powers to tackle the root cause of the criminality we’ve been experiencing.”
South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Local Place Cllr Rachael Hunt said: “We know the problems we are seeing in Staple Hill are the result of a minority of people and we will not tolerate it. Street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour is affecting other members of the community as well as businesses which have already struggled so much over the past year.
“The PSPO will allow us all to prevent these issues and will also allow the police to manage this area positively, in turn reducing the anti-social behaviour and boosting confidence within the community.”
As part of the wider plans to tackle this problem the Police and Licensing Teams will work with licensed premises to re-establish the Pub Watch Scheme in Staple Hill, which will introduce the ‘Behave and Be Banned’ Scheme.