Consultation on city centre order to be launched
Birmingham City Council is asking people who live or work in or visit Birmingham to share their views on plans to introduce measures to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city centre.
The council is looking to implement a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to prevent certain anti-social behaviours within the city centre – covering an area from Five Ways and Broad Street to Snow Hill and Digbeth.
A six-week consultation, which begins tomorrow (Friday 22 March ) will involve an online questionnaire, surveys and a series of pop-up sessions at key, central locations – starting on Saturday (23 March) at Birmingham New Street station and Edgbaston Street (near Bull Ring Markets), between 11am and 1pm. Similar events are also due to be held in St Philip’s Square, the Jewellery Quarter and Southside during this period.
PSPOs - introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 – provide the police and the council with additional powers within a defined area to tackle a wide range of anti-social behaviours.
In the city centre, this would be introduced to address groups gathering, anti-social behaviours (such as urinating / defecating in public, graffiti and verbal abuse), begging that causes a nuisance or disorder, and anti-social street drinking.
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, at Birmingham City Council said: “Our city is a fantastic place to live in, work in and visit, and I want Birmingham to be a place where people feel safe as they walk around the city centre, enjoying all that it offers, day and night.
“However, I know that there are vulnerable people in the city centre so this is also about ensuring we get help to those who are struggling, rather than taking punitive measures. Our approach is always to offer help to individuals first.”
Any person found to be in breach of the proposed order would be referred to the appropriate service or services, such as housing and benefits support, substance misuse or mental health / wellbeing services.
Superintendent Ian Green, from West Midlands Police, added: “We have been working in partnership with other agencies and businesses to improve the environment of the city for all those people who live, work and visit each day.
“Like other cities we experience crime, anti-social behaviour and other social issues, for which police powers are often disproportionate to use.
“The PSPO will allow us to tackle these issues across the city with partners to provide relevant support to individuals using civil powers instead of prosecution.”
If introduced, this PSPO will replace the current orders covering Dale End and Eastside areas.
To have your say visit the Birmingham Be Heard website – www.birminghambeheard.org.uk – or attend one of the pop-up city centre sessions, details of which can also be found on the website.
This consultation closes at midnight on Thursday 2 May.