£100 fines for Wakefield city centre street drinkers to be extended

Legislation allowing street drinkers to be given on-the-spot fines in Wakefield is likely to be extended.

By David Spereall
Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 6:26 pm
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 4:34 pm

A three-year public space protection order (PSPO) was brought in in 2017 to curb booze-fuelled anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

A report on the issue said that some individuals were urinating and defecating on the streets "for years".

Although street drinkers remain a common sight around the Kirkgate end of the city centre, police say the order, which allows fines of up to £100 to be issued, has worked.

PSPOs to curb booze-fuelled behaviour in public were brought in for Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford in 2017.

A total of 105 fixed penalty notices have been handed out for alcohol-related anti-social behaviour since the order came in. A further 17 were handed out for causing a general nuisance.

As a result, Wakefield Council is likely to extend the order for another three years.

Councillor Maureen Cummings, portfolio holder for communities, said: "Wakefield is a great place to come for something to eat, drink and shop and we want residents and visitors to enjoy and feel safe in the city centre, as well as attracting new businesses into the area.

"We need to send out a clear message that anti-social behaviour will never be tolerated and extending the PSPO gives us the powers to be able to continue to tackle this issue."

Problems have occurred at the Kirkgate end of the city centre.

The issue is due to be discussed at a Cabinet meeting, pencilled in for next Tuesday. At the time of writing the meeting is expected to go ahead.

A report going before councillors said: "Prior to the introduction of the PSPO in and around Wakefield city centre for a number of years visitors, residents and local businesses have suffered from anti-social behaviour arising from individuals who are in intoxicated, either by consuming alcohol or drugs, or

both.

"This fuels anti-social behaviour such as defecating and urinating in the street and causing a general nuisance.

"Such behaviour intimidates those that visit, work and live in Wakefield city centre.

"Evidence provided by West Yorkshire Police showed that this anti-social activity can be caused by large groups of men and women congregating in various locations within the city centre."

PSPOs were also imposed in Pontefract and Castleford in 2017. These are likely to be reviewed later on this year, when they are close to expiring.

Local Democracy Reporting Service