Croydon will have new street drinking restrictions in the town centre after two-thirds of locals surveyed said it is a “big problem” in the area.
The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which allows the council to control street drinking and anti-social behaviour in marked areas with on the spot fines, was presented to cabinet on November 20.
Under the order, those consuming alcohol or in possession of a container of alcohol in the restricted spaces can be fined £80 on the spot. Those over the age of 18 can be prosecuted and if found guilty, fined up to £1,000.
The PSPO area will cover North End, High Street and Wellesley Road near the Whitgift and Centrale Shopping Centres, Park Lane near the City Council office, as well as the area near East Croydon train station.
The restrictions will into force by December 18 once the new signage in the proposed area is in place and information about it is put up on the council website.
The final decision for implementation will be made by the council’s director of safety.
The PSPO hands power to the council and replaces the Town Centre Controlled Zone regulations enforced by the police.
Cabinet member for communities, safety and justice Hamida Ali said the area governed by the new smaller PSPO area will be a more efficient way of targeting alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.
Ali said: “It is a much smaller footprint than previously. We took a data-driven approach to where we experience anti-social behaviour and street drinking.”
39% of the violent offences in the past year happened in the North End and High Street area, while about a third of criminal damage offences were recorded in the PSPO area, police data shows.
PSPOs were created under the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, providing local government with more powers to deal with issues affecting their residents.
The same penalties can be imposed on those “behaving in a manner which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress” within the restricted area.
The order does not apply to licensed premises.
Close to 800 respondents participated in the consultation with 66% agreeing with the designated restriction zone.
91% also agreed that individuals told to surrender their alcoholic beverage by an authorised person must do so in the restricted zone.
90% felt anti-social behaviour was a “big problem” in Croydon’s town centre and 93% agreed with a PSPO being used to curb this.