PSPO to Tackle Street Drinking Comes Into Force

Following public consultation, Bedford Borough Council has approved a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle street drinking and related anti-social behaviour in the area of Bedford town centre. This replaces the old Alcohol Free Zones.

This PSPO is set to come into force from Wednesday 16 December and is set to remain in place for three years initially.

This PSPO would prohibit people consuming alcohol or having an open container of alcohol in the defined area, to prevent anti-social behaviour. It covers the town centre from the Embankment in the south, St Cuthbert’s Street in the east, Landsdowne Road, Roff Avenue and De Parys Avenue in the north, and Ashburnham Road in the west.

Once in place, the Order gives the Police and authorised officers’ powers to enforce against those breaking it. This enforcement can range from asking the person to surrender the alcohol, issuing a Community Protection Notice, a criminal behaviour order, to issuing a fixed penalty notice. The Council will continue to offer support for people where appropriate, such as referral to alcohol support services.

This PSPO proposal followed a wide-ranging consultation conducted by the Bedford Borough Community Safety Partnership in 2019, where alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the town centre came back as a key concern for people.

In the consultation to introduce this Order, 90.7% of the over 500 respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal.