New legal plan to crack down on street menaces

Gosport Borough Council is hoping to introduce Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
Gosport Borough Council is hoping to introduce Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

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A COUNCIL is looking to bring in new orders aimed at clamping down on nuisance behaviour by young people and beggars.

Gosport’s borough leader Mark Hook says people are being threatened and abused in the town – and that enough is enough.

The Public Space Protection Orders would mean that police officers can engage people who are behaving in an anti-social manner – for which they can be fined up to £100, with further fines of up to £1,000

They are being considered not only because of town centre trouble, but after residents complained about the state of Hardway Green to Cllr Diane Furlong.

Cllr Furlong said: ‘Both cllr Roger Allen and I fully support the call for a PSPO, and we are liaising with the legal team at the council to get such an order implemented. However, in view of the problems also being experienced with some homeless people – who have refused all offers of help – this order will encompass the whole borough and enable more positive action to be taken in all areas within the town that need it.’

Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘We are looking at putting a PSPO in place because of the issues that we are having.

‘People are being threatened and abused – by young people, homeless people and more – it has to stop.

‘It is a shame because in many instances, this is a small minority of people who are causing the issues.’

One person who has received abuse in the town is Rosemary Lessiter, 79.

Ms Lessiter says that she has been the recipient of abuse in numerous cases.

She said: ‘I have had people follow me into shops, steal from me – I even had one man on the street threaten to slit my dog’s throat.

‘People in the town are feeling scared and insecure – the council needs to stop talking and get on with things.

‘Fareham is less tolerant of these issues and we should follow suit.’

A Public Space Protection Order was introduced into Fareham town centre last year.

Currently, a timescale for the introduction of a PSPO in Gosport has not been announced.

Hampshire police say that the PSPOs would also give them more authority.

A spokeswoman said: ‘PSPOs provide extra powers to enforce and deter antisocial behaviour.

‘These powers are also available to designated officers such as local council enforcement officers.’