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BANNED: Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) proposed around Ashford

Council chiefs have proposed a series of banning orders to combat anti-social behaviour hotspots around Ashford.

The Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) target areas regularly plagued with anti-social activity, including street drinking and urinating in public.

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) is now asking residents whether the orders should be introduced in four key areas: the town centre, the churchyard, the Coney Bear site in South Ashford and Singleton Lake.

Ashford town centre
Ashford town centre

PSPOs were created by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and make predefined activities within a mapped area prosecutable.

A consultation began this morning (Monday) and residents have until midnight on Monday, November 28 to share their views.

The church passage PSPO would cover the footpath from the churchyard passage to the high street and would ban public right of way between 10pm on Friday to 6am on Saturday, and then 10pm on Saturday, to 6am on Sunday.

The PSPO for the Coney Bear site, in South Ashford, would block the path from Torrington Road to Eastmead Avenue.

One of the areas proposed is the churchyard
One of the areas proposed is the churchyard

In the town centre, the PSPO would target urinating or defecating in public, street drinking, nuisance cars (i.e. revving engine), ball games and foul or abusive language.

The Singleton Lake PSPO aims to target angling crimes, including fishing without a licence, night fishing and drinking.

Failure to comply with a PSPO enables authorised enforcement officers to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £100 or the person could find themselves prosecuted. A breach is a criminal offence and there is a maximum penalty of a £1,000.

Singleton Lake
Singleton Lake

Cllr Brad Bradford said: "Explaining to people why their behaviour is not acceptable is often enough to deal with a situation, without the need to resort to enforcement action.

"However, where problems may be persistent, by adopting these PSPOs, both council officers and the police will have more powers to prevent such anti-social behaviours.

"Our primary goal is for our residents (and visitors) to enjoy Ashford as an attractive and welcoming place to be."

For more information visit the council's consultation site here.

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