Proposals for a safe and welcoming city

 

Gloucester City Council wants to hear what residents and businesses think about a new strategy to make sure the city centre is safe and welcoming for all.

To keep Gloucester a vibrant and safe place to work and live, the city council is looking at ways to deter the minority of people who engage in problematic behaviour, and is considering whether a proposed new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) could be helpful in the city centre.

The new rules would not affect the majority of people who use the city centre responsibly. The council already works proactively with outreach agencies and police, taking an ‘engage and support’ approach to working with those who get involved in negative behaviours. Helping people to make positive choices will always be the preferred option: the council recognises that there are often complex reasons behind anti-social behaviour issues and does not intend to use the proposed PSPO to punish vulnerable people.

A PSPO could act as a deterrent and make it much easier for action to be taken against issues including the consumption of alcohol in public places, littering and anti-social behaviour. An order could offer dispersal powers and the ability for agencies to issue fixed penalty notices for a number of offences.

At next week’s cabinet meeting, members will discuss whether to go ahead and investigate the proposals further, to fully review whether a PSPO would be a useful option for Gloucester. This next step would involve launching a survey to find out what residents, partners and businesses have to say about this approach.

Cllr Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods said: “We know the majority of residents are proud of Gloucester, so we want to send a clear message to those who let the side down that anti-social behaviour has no place in our city.

“A PSPO is not about stopping people enjoying a night out responsibly or preventing young people from spending time with their friends in public places, but is intended to be a deterrent, and if, necessary, will allow us to deal with a small number of persistent issues in our otherwise vibrant and thriving public spaces.”