COUNCILLORS have backed the ‘draconian’ measures required to crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour in Teignmouth.
Teignbridge District Council’s executive, when they met on this morning (Thursday), unanimously backed the introduction of the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for large parts of the town.
The prohibitions proposed reflect the concerns relating to general anti-social behaviour and specifically to address the issues relating rowdy and nuisance behaviour, substance misuse and alcohol consumption in public places.
It follows police data showing that the number of recorded anti-social behaviour incidents in Teignmouth has risen between May – September 2020 by 36 per cent – an additional 53 incidents – in comparison to the same period in the previous year.
Cllr Martin Wrigley, executive member for communities, said that while he loathed to have to use the draconian restriction of a PSPO, it was considered necessary.
He said: ‘This is about trying to clamp down on antisocial behaviour and poor behaviour when people are abusing and misusing alcohol and other substances. I am always loathed to look at PSPOs as they can be a draconian instrument, but this come forward at the request of the local police and unanimously approved by the town council.
‘There have been problems and this is an extra tool to help the police clamp down and solve the problems. We continue in the efforts to have less draconian interventions before it gets to this point, but in terms of having an extra tool, this is considered necessary.’
The recommendations follow almost unanimous support from consultees within the town, which councillors to be told that the failure to have this order in place could potentially impact on visitor experience and the quality of life of Teignbridge residents.
It would cover The Den, The Seafront, the Back Beach, The Triangle, Wellington Street and Lower Brook Street, and the restrictions would prohibit people from shouting, swearing or acting in a manner as to cause annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to any person.
There would also be a ban on the eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, smoking or preparing substances ‘intoxicating substances’, while any person must surrender any intoxicating substances in their possession, cease drinking alcohol, or surrender or dispose of any alcohol in their possession if asked to do so. Those who fail to do so would be subject to a £100 fixed penalty notice.
Teignbridge’s executive unanimously recommended to recommend to full council that the PSPO for the prescribed parts of Teignmouth be introduced.