A NEW order cracking down spitting, anti-social behaviour and littering in Rotherham has come into force.
The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which was officially launched on Friday (Oct 20), also aims to control drunkenness, pestering charity workers, and uncontrolled dogs.
Council enforcement officers and the police will be able to use the new rules to hand out fines.
The order lasts for three years but will be reviewed after 12 months to make sure it is working.
Rotherham Borough Council and South Yorkshire Police have welcomed the PSPO, which they said had tightened up the law.
Peoples who break the prohibitions could receive a £100 penalty or, if they fail to pay the fine, could be prosecuted.
- Behaving in a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress;
- Making unsolicited approaches for fundraising and marketing without permission from the council;
- Failing to keep a dog on a leash and under control unless within the dog exercise area at Clifton Park;
- Urinating or defecating in a public place;
- Spitting saliva or any other product from the mouth;
- Consuming alcohol other than on licensed premises or at a licensed event.
Cllr Emma Hoddinott, cabinet member for community safety, said: “It’s going to make the town centre a nicer place for people to come to.
“Wherever you go the fact is there is a small amount of people causing trouble for everyone else.
“This order now gives the police officers and enforcement officers the ability to enforce the rules.”
Cllr Hoddinott said that in a recent public consultation 94 per cent of the public said they supported the PSPO.
Rotherham Youth Cabinet gave its unanimous support, alongside 99 per cent of local businesses who were consulted.
Following concerns by dog owners in Clifton Park, the council introduced a dog exercise area and has agreed to review the order.
Cllr Hoddinott said: “Members of the public were highly supportive of this approach, and the new powers will enable us to tackle the minority of people in the town centre that prevent other people enjoying it.
“The council listened to the feedback received during the consultation and we have amended the order to reflect this.”
The new order was welcomed by Chief Insp Paul Ferguson, neighbourhoods and partnerships inspector for Rotherham, who said it would “fill the gaps” in the law which previously curtailed some enforcement.
He said: “It is to make the town centre a pleasant place.
“I believe the vast majority will see it as the best thing to do.
“It’s not a golden bullet but it gives extra powers.”
Steven Parry, the council’s anti-social behaviour manager, said that although people will be fined now, officers will initially take a “soft approach” to get across the message about the new order.
He said: “Unless we come across something bad we will use a bit of common sense.
“The idea of the PSPO is it’s a bit of legislation to nip problems in the bud before they become big problems.
“The approach will be proportional to the problem.”