FEARS have been raised that plans for a begging order in a town centre could lead to anti-social behaviour in other areas.
Proposals for a public space protection order (PSPO) in Fareham’s town centre were discussed by the borough council’s executive last week, with councillors backing a forthcoming public consultation over the plans.
We must not migrate a problem from one area to anotherCouncillor Shaun Cunningham
The order would give police and appointed officers additional powers to punish anti-social behaviour, begging, street drinking, drug-taking and rough sleeping in public areas.
Currently, the order would apply to only Fareham town centre. However, some councillors fear that by narrowing the PSPO to just that area, it would lead to problems spreading to other parts of the borough.
Tory Councillor Tiffany Harper, executive member for Streetscene on the council, said: ‘I do not believe this order will sort the town’s homelessness issues and we need to work more with other authorities and charities to help these people.
‘I do have my concerns that by implementing the order in the town centre, it will just push the problem out to areas such as Locks Heath or Portchester.’
Councillor Shaun Cunningham, who represents Portchester East, added: ‘This problem needs attention but Fareham town centre is not a disorderly place.
‘We must not migrate a problem from one area to another.’
An officer can issue a person breaking the order with a fine of up to £100 and if a person continues to ignore it, they may receive a fine of £1,000.
The order would cover the reach of the shopping centre up to Miller Drive to the north, down to Redlands Lane and going from the A27 Station Roundabout across to Wallington Way.
Councillor Sean Woodward, the council’s executive leader, backed the proposal for a consultation.
He said: ‘People should have the right to go about their business and not feel vulnerable or intimidated.
‘So we need to give more powers to the police to help them out.
‘There needs to be a deterrent for people.’
The consultation will be launched later this summer.