Rushden town centre could see a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) after North Northamptonshire Council launched a consultation on the proposal. The power would allow the council to impose restrictions to tackle nuisance or problem behaviour.
A PSPO is a power under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and can combat behavioural issues like street drinking, urinating in public and noise in a specific area. Earlier in the year, the Leader of the Council alongside council officers met with the Police and Fire Crime Commissioner, Northants Police, and Rushden Town Council to look at problems in the area.
Across the walkabout, visible hotspot problem areas in Rushden were looked at and it was agreed that the possibility of creating a PSPO for the town centre would be looked at. The proposed PSPO would cover Rushden town centre and the surrounding area.
It has been designed to cover antisocial behaviour hotspots in the town centre and prevent it from moving from the town centre to nearby parks and public spaces. If the PSPO is introduced, North Northamptonshire Council will work with the Police to make sure people are aware of the PSPO and the area it covers, so it is clear which behaviours and activities are not allowed in the area and individuals who carry on committing anti-social behaviour could be fined through a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Cllr Mark Rowley, the council’s Executive Member for Housing, Communities and Levelling Up said: “We are determined to make the towns and villages across North Northamptonshire as safe as possible and are committed to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and PSPOs are one option we have at our disposal.
“It is important that everyone has their say on whether they agree or disagree with the proposed PSPO and whether it meets the needs of Rushden. This will then help shape what happens next and whether the decision is taken to introduce a PSPO for Rushden town centre.”
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council added: “It is great to hear that following our walkabout in Rushden earlier in the year, we are now in the position to look at whether a PSPO in Rushden is a feasible option.” Consultation and engagement activities can be completed online via North Northamptonshire Council’s Consultation and Engagement Hub and the Public Space Protection Order – Rushden Town Centre consultation will be open until 31 December.