Street drinking will continue to be targeted in Harrogate town centre after Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) approved retaining its public space protection order (PSPO) for a further three years.
Following consultation with residents, North Yorkshire Police (NYP) and the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, the council will keep the order, which has been in place since 2016, to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
Councillors heard at a meeting of the Housing and Safer Communities group there was little use of the PSPO in terms of arrests or fixed penalty notices, but the Order had been effective as a deterrent. Officers will continue to have the power to stop public drinking and confiscate alcohol.
Housing and Safer Communities Cabinet Member, Coun Mike Chambers said: “I thought it was a useful tool to have in our arsenal.
“The police have also said they wish for it to remain in place, as it has carried a message to those known offenders that there is an Order in place.”
He added: “There were difficulties in the past and it seems to have played a part in addressing anti-social behaviour. It targeted a group of hardened drinkers who were making a nuisance, while targeted they also received support through outreach workers to help them.
“It shows a commitment by the council to the people of Harrogate that we are doing what we can to get on top of anti-social behaviour.”
North Yorkshire Police figures show that across High and Low Harrogate wards, arrests for alcohol related anti-social behaviour rose from 305 to 311 incidents from 2015 to 2017, while a total of four fixed penalty notices were issued by NYP for the same period in the PSPO area.
With the Order in place NYP have said it has enabled them to target regular offenders and young drinkers.
An NYP spokesperson said: “We know that the behaviour of those who were targeted by the order has improved, it’s also allowed us to confiscate alcohol from young people in the street, which is the main cause of anti-social behaviour and the reason for the PSPO.
“For those reasons and the many others outlined in the report, we support its extension along with our partners and the majority of residents and business owners in Harrogate.”