Extra powers planned for police and wardens to tackle anti-social behaviour in Birmingham city centre

A six-week consultation has launched so residents can have their say on the issues in the city centre

Plans are underway to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle anti-social behaviour in Birmingham city centre.

The city council has applied for a PSPO which would last for three years and cover an area from Five Ways and Ladywood, across to Digbeth, including the Jewellery Quarter, Chinese Quarter, Snow Hill and Lee Bank areas.

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Under the rules of the proposed order, authorised officers can request people to stop street drinking in these areas, and hand over any alcohol they may possess if it’s suspected that person is causing, or is likely to cause a nuisance or disorder.

Groups or individuals who are causing disorder, harm or harassment would also be banned from the areas for 24 hours, and people will also be banned from marking any surfaces in the area with unauthorised graffiti.

PSPOs were introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to provide police forces and local authorities with additional powers in a defined area to tackle a wide range of anti-social behaviours.

In the city centre, this would be introduced to address the anti-social behaviours mentioned above, including groups gathering, urinating / defecating in public, graffiti and verbal abuse, as well as anti-social street drinking.

Any person found to be in breach of the proposed order would be referred to the appropriate service such as substance misuse or a mental health or wellbeing service.

Birmingham city centre

How much of an issue is anti-social behaviour in Birmingham?

The city council said that anti-social behaviour is causing significant concerns for local residents, businesses as well as those visiting the city and surrounding areas.

The proposed order has been informed by evidence from local businesses and professionals, demonstrating the scale of the issue for the local community and a desire for measures to be put in place to tackle the problems.

Mike Olley, the chairman of Westside BID, says street drinking is an issue which needs to be addressed in the city centre.

Speaking to BirmingamWorld, he said: “The police are particularly keen that public drinking is something that could be prevented because that does provoke a lot of anti- social behaviour.

“I would be keen to prevent that in the city centre - for many years as a BID we have effectively had a ban on public consumption of alcohol in the area, so it would be nice to see that and other progressive measures coming back in.

“We actually report all of our graffiti as a criminal offence, but street drinking isn’t something we’ve seen large amounts of, but make no mistake it’s still something that needs to be attended to.”

Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, at Birmingham City Council said: “Our city is a fantastic place to live in, work in and visit, and I want Birmingham to be a place where people feel safe as they walk around the city centre, enjoying all that it offers, day and night. Now more than ever there is a real onus to ensure public safety is a priority.

“However, I am also aware there may be vulnerable people in the city centre, so this is also about ensuring we get help to those who are struggling, by signposting them to suitable support services to tackle some of these behaviours. Our approach is always to offer help to individuals first.”

People will also be banned from marking any surfaces in the areas with unauthorised graffiti

How to have your say

The council is now asking residents to share their views on plans to implement the order.

To have your say visit the Birmingham Be Heard website or attend one of the pop-up consultation sessions, details of which will be available on the website soon.

This consultation closes at midnight on Friday 17 December 2021.

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