Crackdown on drinking in Lancaster

New powers to help curb anti-social behaviour in Lancaster will come into force on Monday February 20.

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) will cover the city centre and provide police with new powers to stop people drinking alcohol on the streets and, if necessary, confiscate it.

It replaces the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) - more commonly known as the no-drinking zone - that covered the city centre and was due to expire later this year.

As well as restricting the drinking of alcohol in the city centre, the new PSPO includes additional powers for the police to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

These have been included due to an increase in anti-social behaviour in recent years in some hotspots in the city centre.

A task group recently set up by Lancaster City Council to discuss the late night economy heard there was broad support for a PSPO and additional powers for the police to help reduce anti-social behaviour.

A fixed penalty notice of £100 can be issued for anyone in breach of the Public Spaces Protection Order, which can be reduced to £65 if paid within 10 days.

Non-payment could lead to prosecution at court.

There are also plans to introduce similar restrictions in Morecambe in the near future, subject to public consultation.

PC Chris Smith, Community Beat Manager for Lancaster City Centre, added: “Whilst most people come into the city to enjoy the ambience it offers, there are those individuals that continue to blight the lives causing disruption, nuisance and general anti-social behaviour. The Public Spaces Protection Order allows the police to target these individuals in order to make the city of Lancaster a harmonious place for all to live, work, visit and enjoy.”

Coun Brendan Hughes, cabinet member with responsibility for community safety, said: “Lancaster is a great place to live, work and visit, but there are some hotspots in the city centre that suffer from anti-social behaviour and onstreet drinking, especially late at night.

“The introduction of the PSPO sends out a clear message about the type of behaviour which is not acceptable within the city centre and provides additional powers to the police to help them tackle the problem.”