'˜Are you bitter about litter? Us too' - Rob Hall, head of the SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service
Two of the top five issues people in Peterborough tell us they are concerned about are littering and anti-social behaviour. Recognising what is important to people is crucial to what we do in the SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service (PES).
One of the ways we are trying to tackle these problems is with the introduction of what we call Public Spaces Protection Orders which we sometimes refer to as PSPOs. And they do exactly what it says on the tin - they protect our public spaces.
You will, I’m sure, have heard about the city centre PSPO which has been hugely successful - even some of the sceptics have changed their minds! So now, building on this, we have implemented another PSPO which covers the areas of Millfield, New England, Gladstone, Lincoln Road, Central Park and the Embankment. From Monday, if you are caught littering or causing anti-social behaviour you will be fined. A hefty £80 in fact. And best of all this doesn’t have to be issued by a police constable. Kingdom and PES officers will be patrolling the area ready with their hand-held devices and blank tickets.
With officers poised and ready to go I’m sure it won’t be long until the first fixed penalty notice is issued. So watch this space, as we’ll be regularly updating social media on the numbers of fines issued.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to have to fine anyone, but there are a select few who we cannot convince to act within the law in any other way. I’d like to make a plea to anyone who lives in Peterborough or visits to have a bit of pride in the city. You will be fined if you drop litter and you will be fined if you spit on the pavement. Is it really worth £80 for the pleasure? I think not!
One person tweeted us recently saying it’s ‘like playing hopscotch avoiding the phlegm on the pavements down Lincoln Road. This is what we want to stop. The time has come to say enough is enough, and I think the majority of Peterborians will agree.
And now let’s move on to the other conditions of the PSPO - being asked to throw away or hand over alcohol if asked to do so and being asked to leave an area if you are causing harassment or distress. Public areas are for everyone to enjoy, this is why we’re implementing the PSPO. So, if you are asked to move away from an area or hand over your booze, do it so you don’t go home with a fine. And all fines need to be paid in full within 28 days - no extensions, no exceptions.
So, for any would-be offenders reading this ..... I don’t know about you, but I’ve got better things to spend £80 on.
Please think twice before dropping that litter on the floor or doing something else that brings our city down. Just think, £80 could be spent on a night out with friends, or some new clothes, not a fine.