New initiative in Torquay gives police additional powers to tackle antisocial behaviour

The order will allow the police and authorised officers to direct individuals out of the town who are causing a nuisance or disorder, and the power to remove alcohol from people who are drinking on the streets before a situation escalates.

A new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been introduced in Torquay town centre by Torbay Council, giving police and other authorised officers extra powers to tackle antisocial behaviour and street drinking.

The order will allow the police and authorised officers to direct individuals out of the town who are causing a nuisance or disorder, and the power to remove alcohol from people who are drinking on the streets before a situation escalates.

Inspector Chris Lithgow, who heads up neighbourhood police teams in Torquay, said: “The introduction of this PSPO means our officers are able to be even more proactive on their patrols, identifying and deterring possible crime and antisocial behaviour before it happens.

“Previously, our officers would only be able to remove alcohol from people who are deemed to be causing a nuisance or disorder. However, the new PSPO means we can now remove alcohol from people who are drinking within the defined zone before a situation escalates into an offence. Additionally, officers can direct people out of town for a set period of time for any antisocial behaviour (ASB), with consequences in place if they return. This will ultimately help to make our residents and visitors feel safer within the town centre.

“We work closely with Torbay Council to address concerns within the community, developing and enforcing initiatives like this, which seek to deter crime and reduce ASB across the town. We are aware there are other issues present in the town, and we will continue to work in partnership to drive positive change across Torbay.”

Nuisance and disorder includes; behaviour that causes a disturbance to the community, such as excessive noise, being offensive, dangerous or obstructive. Individuals found to be causing a disturbance will be directed out of the PSPO zone and must not return for up to 24 hours, or they will face enforcement. An individual can receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of up to £100 if they fail to follow the instructions of enforcement officers.

Alternatively, if a person fails to comply with a PSPO they could face prosecution. A breach of the PSPO is a criminal offence and the individual could be liable to a maximum penalty of £1,000.

PSPO zones are now in place in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. For more information and maps of the PSPO zones, visit the Torbay Council website.

You can report antisocial behaviour via the Devon & Cornwall Police website in a non-emergency.

Information can also be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111, or via their website.

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