Public asked how to tackle anti-social behaviour in Durham city centre

Durham Market Place
Durham Market Place -Credit:Copyright Unknown

Members of the public are being asked how to tackle anti-social behaviour in Durham city.

The council are looking to put additional measures in place in public spaces in Durham.

The consultation focuses on people begging, urinating or defecating in a public place, and using intoxicating substances/drugs in a public place. It is also seeking views on whether people would support the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to help address these issues.

Coun John Shuttleworth, the council’s Cabinet member for highways, rural communities and community safety, said: "Durham is a very welcoming, friendly and safe place. As with any city anywhere in the world, there will always be some anti-social behaviour and we appreciate this could affect residents, businesses and visitors.

"We have always sought to work with partner agencies to look at how we can tackle anti-social behaviour wherever it occurs and we have continued this in preparing this consultation.

"We want as many people as possible to have their say so we can build a picture of any anti-social behaviour they have experienced, if it’s affected their quality of life and whether they support a PSPO being brought in or if there are other measures they would like to see."

This consultation comes after the council’s Cabinet agreed in March that the authority should gather evidence and consult on the possibility of putting additional measures in place to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city.

Joint work by council staff, Durham Constabulary and the City of Durham Parish Council has been undertaken to identify persistent or nuisance beggars who employ aggressive techniques in the city centre area. PSPOs are put in place to make sure people can use and enjoy public spaces safely away from anti-social behaviour.

They look to tackle anti-social behaviour in areas where it has been evidenced that there is a persistent and ongoing problem that is having an adverse impact on residents, businesses, and visitors. Councils have the power to make a PSPO under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and one is already in place to restrict the consumption of alcohol in public spaces within a defined area of Durham City.

The consultation will run until 5pm on Sunday June 23. People can take part online at the Durham.Gov website here.