A public order aimed at controlling alcohol drinking in public spaces across Harrogate town centre has been extended for a further three years.
Following concerns from business operators and the public about the anti-social behaviour linked to street drinking across the town, Harrogate Borough Council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for an area within the town centre in August 2016. The area included the interior of the railway station, the bus station, Victoria Shopping Centre, and Victoria and Jubilee Multi Storey Car Parks.
Putting the PSPO in place for Harrogate town centre has not meant a ban on drinking alcohol across the town centre, but it has given enforcement officers the power to ask a person to stop drinking in a public place and ‘surrender’ their alcohol. A refusal to hand over the alcohol is an offence which could result in a fixed penalty notice to a maximum of £100.
In July 2017, the council undertook a public consultation asking local businesses, property owners and people who use Harrogate town centre for their views on the PSPO, which was due to expire on 16 August 2017.
After considering the responses and following further discussions with partner agencies including North Yorkshire Police, the council made the decision to extend the PSPO for a further three year period with the same conditions.
Councillor Richard Cooper, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council said:
The PSPO has been effective in reducing anti-social behaviour caused by street drinking within Harrogate town centre. We are pleased that we have received support for extending the PSPO from North Yorkshire Police, various partner agencies, residents and businesses, so that we can continue to effectively tackle the problem of street drinkers behaving badly in the future.
Inspector Penny Taylor of North Yorkshire Police Safer Neighbourhood Team said:
We are pleased that the PSPO will continue for a further three years. It has been a useful tool in tackling drink related anti-social behaviour in Harrogate town centre. It sends a message that police, partners and the community will not tolerate such behaviour.