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Consultation launched on extension of street drinking crackdown

23 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd. Photo via Google

Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter

A public consultation has been launched to gauge support for a further crackdown on street drinking.

Recent figures show there remain high rates of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Pontypridd and Aberdare town centres, which Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council suggests means controls need to remain in place.

The council is consulting on plans to extend and/or amend the alcohol-related public spaces protection order (PSPO) which was introduced In October 2018, in a bid to tackle problems including alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

The council has worked with South Wales Police and other agencies over the last six years to enforce the order, which was introduced for an initial three-year period and extended in 2021.

Controlled Drinking Zone

The current PSPO dedicates all of RCT as a “controlled drinking zone” to give authorised officers powers to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour across the county borough.

This means officers can request a person hands over their alcohol and stops drinking if they are causing, or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is £100.

If someone is found drinking alcohol within the two designated no alcohol zones in Aberdare and Pontypridd town centres, officers have the powers to take open containers of alcohol from a person. If they refuse, they will receive a fine of £100.

People who have been warned and continue to drink face further enforcement action, including a ban from the town centre.

Aberdare’s “no alcohol zone” has included the town centre, Sobell site and its playing fields (the Ynys), Aberdare Railway Station and Gadlys Pit car park.

The zone in Pontypridd has included the town centre, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, and the railway and bus stations. These zones also apply to the use of intoxicating substances, not just alcohol.

Complied

Over the past six years, the vast majority of individuals approached by an authorised officer have complied with the request to stop drinking, it added.

The existing PSPO is jointly enforced by the council and South Wales Police.

Under the conditions of the PSPO, the council must review and consider the order every three years, to ensure the controls still meet the needs of the public so the council is now once again seeking residents’ views on how successful they feel these measures have been and whether they should remain in place.

The current consultation ends on Monday, July 29. The council said the PSPO intends to contribute to town centres and wider communities being friendly and welcoming places.


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