Street drinkers could be fined £1,000 in Chichester

People who refused to stop drinking in the city centre could be fined if new powers are approved

People who refused to stop drinking in the city centre could be fined if new powers are approved

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City centre drinkers could be fined up to £1,000 under new measures being proposed.

District councillors are considering whether or not to adopt new powers which would crack down on groups and individuals drinking on the streets of Chichester.

As well as targeting street drinkers, Chichester District Council is also considering tackling illegal street trading.

On Tuesday the cabinet launched a public consultation to find out if residents want the council to introduce two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO).

PSPOs have been created by the government to give councils and police more flexible powers when dealing with nuisance behaviour in public areas.

Councillor Roger Barrow, cabinet member for environment, said: “The law governing Public Space Protection Orders is designed to put victims at the heart of the response to anti-social behaviour, and give councils and the police the flexibility they need to deal with any given situation.

“Drinking in public places and illegal street trading have been highlighted as issues and we want people’s views on whether the behaviour meets the test for introducing such an order.”

Initial discussions between CDC Sussex Police have identified drinking in public areas and illegal street trading as nuisance behaviour that could be controlled with a PSPO.

The orders allow councils to deal with these offences in variety of ways, including Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £100 or a fine of up to £1,000.

“A number of these PSPOs have been introduced around the country and some have had mixed reactions, with a few councils trying to prevent too many different activities,” cllr Barrow said.

“Our proposals relate to two activities - namely antisocial street drinking and the ongoing issue of illegal street trading but a PSPO can include multiple descriptions if there is evidence.”

Cllr Clare Apel told the meeting the city’s pubs were quieter since Thursdays closed last year, and suggested building a new nightclub out of town. She said: “I know this is a contentious issue but some of us (City) Angels do feel that Chichester should possibly consider some sort of a nightclub, possibly in an area where retail outlets are and away from any residents live.”

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