Local residents are being invited to provide feedback on the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering Woking town centre, to help tackle alcohol and substance related antisocial behaviour.
Over the last year, several locations have been identified in which residents have experienced prolonged antisocial behaviour, and alcohol or substance abuse has been identified as an underlying cause.
The PSPO enables the Council to apply restrictions to a particular area with the aim of stopping individuals, or groups, committing anti-social behaviour in public spaces. The proposal would make it a criminal offence to drink alcohol or consume certain substances, such as nitrous oxide, within a defined boundary, if asked by an authorised officer to stop.
A requirement can also be made to surrender any other alcohol or psychoactive substance in an individual’s possession.
This order would not prevent any member of the public from drinking responsibly within the mapped area, for example as part of a picnic.
Failure to comply with the request of an authorised officer could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) being issued or a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction.
The proposed order would remain in place for three years after which a full review would take place with a view to a further extension, taking the views of the community into consideration once again.
Cllr Debbie Harlow, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said “Carefully considered measures can enable both Surrey Police and Woking Borough Council, along with partners, to take appropriate action on antisocial behaviour and act as an effective deterrent, having a positive effect on the community’s quality of life.
“To ensure the PSPO also considers the needs and freedoms of our residents and visitors, we are inviting anyone who wishes to comment on the proposals to participate in an interactive consultation on the new Woking Community Forum, where you can view and comment directly on a map of the proposed PSPO boundary.”
Residents and those working in Woking, local businesses and visitors to the area as well as those responding on behalf of individuals who may be impacted, are invited to comment on the proposed order by visiting www.communityforum.woking.gov.uk/pspo-consultation
For an accessible version of the consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01483 755855 or write to Community Safety, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking GU21 6YL.
All comments and feedback should be received no later than Sunday 5 September 2021.
For more information about PSPOs, please visit www.woking.gov.uk/pspo