18/04/2017: Thetford residents to have their say on new powers to tackle nuisance behaviour

Breckland Council is calling on Thetford residents to have their say in shaping new powers that will help tackle nuisance behaviour in the town centre and surrounding areas.

Changes in legislation coming into force in October 2017 will mean that the Council's Designated Public Places Orders (more commonly known as alcohol exclusion zones), currently in place in all five Breckland market towns, will automatically be replaced by Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs). The new PSPOs are more flexible and can be used to place restrictions on other types of anti-social behaviour which are detrimental to the quality of life to residents, businesses and visitors, and are persistent and continuing in nature. The Council is using this opportunity to get the views of residents and put in place wider powers if these are appropriate.

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland Council Executive Member for Place explained: "We see this change in legislation as an opportunity to find out about the concerns of local people and then to develop tailored PSPOs for each of our market towns, shaped by their feedback."
 
The first consultation will run in Thetford from Friday 21 April to Friday 12 May 2107, asking residents if they would like to widen existing powers to include additional nuisance behaviours such as spitting and dog fouling. Thetford Town Council, the Police and the Safer Thetford Action Group will be asked for their views and people can also comment on which areas of the town centre they feel should be covered. 

Cllr Claussen continued: "The Council is committed to helping prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in our town centres. We want to make sure that the new PSPOs cover the issues that really matter to residents, so I would urge all those living or working in Thetford to make sure they have their say."

After the Thetford consultation closes, residents and organisations in Attleborough, Dereham, Watton and Swaffham will also be consulted. Once the findings have been analysed, a report will go to Cabinet in the summer outlining the proposed new restrictions that residents would like to be considered for each town. There are a number of statutory procedures which then need to be followed before all the new PSPOs come into force in October 2017. The online consultation for Thetford can be found at www.breckland.gov.uk/thetfordpspo  from 21 April, and there will be paper copies of the consultation in the Thetford Town Council offices, Breckland House and Thetford Library.