PSPO is making Kettering a safer place, say police

Will Bolter (KBC Environmental & Parking Warden) and Barrie Dodd (PCSO) on one of their PSPO patrols.
Will Bolter (KBC Environmental & Parking Warden) and Barrie Dodd (PCSO) on one of their PSPO patrols.

Police say the controversial Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) is making Kettering a safer place.

The law, which was introduced in July, bans activities such as drinking, skateboarding and begging in areas of the town centre and makes then punishable by a fine.

In recent weeks the police have issued six Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs), five for street drinking and a sixth for begging.

One person has been issued with two FPNs.

Northamptonshire Police Sergeant Nathan Murray said: “The PSPO is proving to be an important and useful tool, helping us provide an appropriate and robust response to anti-social behaviour issues in the town.

“It gives the police, supported by the local authority, the relevant powers of enforcement needed to tackle the issues specific to the local area and we will continue to work closely with Kettering Council to make our community a safer, more pleasant place for anyone who visits, lives or works in our town.”

The PSPO will be in place for three years and council officers are in the process of building prosecution files for those that have failed or refused to pay the £80 fine.

Where appropriate, they will be seeking Criminal Behaviour Orders on the back of any conviction in court.

Environmental wardens are working with the police to identify those who have committed offences within the PSPO to lead to further prosecutions.

Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Council, said: “The PSPO gives powers of enforcement to allow us to tackle issues that are particularly relevant to Kettering town centre.

“The council, together with Northamptonshire Police, are seeking to improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors to the town.”

Cllr Mark Dearing, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “The PSPO is a relatively new tool that is already enabling us to address any issues that may arise in and around the town centre. 

“This is about taking joint responsibility for our town centre, while also allowing people to enjoy it in the way they would want.”