Police get new powers to tackle issues in Doncaster town centre

Doncaster town centre
Doncaster town centre

Police officers have been granted new powers to tackle issues in Doncaster town centre.

A Public Space Protection Order has been introduced to ban certain behaviour and activities and to gives officers the power to deal with issues including anti-social behaviour and aggressive begging.

The PSPO, developed by Doncaster Council’s Complex Lives Alliance, will see police and local authority partners, working with the council to address issues of concern and enforce the order.

The Complex Lives Alliance was established in 2016 to help homeless people and rough sleepers access help and support.

Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest , of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Our priority is to ensure we are protecting vulnerable people, keeping everyone safe and working to make Doncaster a happy and enjoyable place to live. By working with and supporting our partners to implement the PSPO, we hope we will be able to achieve this.

“I hope this illustrates our commitment to creating a happy and safe environment for everyone to live in and I hope our local communities feel reassured by this action.”

Councillor Chris McGuinness, Doncaster Council's Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The introduction of the PSPO is something that the majority of residents who responded to the consultation said they wanted to see in the town centre.

"The PSPO will be another tool to use to help those who may find themselves homeless or rough sleeping. We will be working with our partners to encourage people to get the help and support they need.

“However, we will not allow the continuation of the anti-social behaviour that is currently taking place in the town centre. For those who continue to breach the PSPO and who do not want to access support offered we will take direct action and they could receive a fixed penalty fine of £100.”

Coun Nigel Ball, the council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure and Culture, said: “Homelessness is now a major issue in all towns and cities across Britain.

"Since 2010 homelessness has increased by 134 per cent - over one million people use food banks in Britain regularly and we have an appalling position in that latest projections show that ‘children classed as living in poverty’ are expected to rise to 5.2 million within the next five years.

"This is ‘austerity’ in action and its consequences. Doncaster will do what it can to work with agencies and organisations within ‘Complex Lives’ to support our most vulnerable people”.

Stuart Green, of Aspire Drug and Alcohol, said: “We want to support people to live meaningful lives free from the chains of addiction, and create a healthier Doncaster for all.”