Strict measures to stop people street drinking in Rhondda Cynon Taf could be extended

A picture of Pontypridd town centre
-Credit: (Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)


Figures show there are still high rates of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Pontypridd and Aberdare town centres, which the council says suggests controls need to remain in place. The council is considering extending measures to crack down on street drinking in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) and has launched a public consultation.

The council is consulting the public on the potential to extend and/or amend the alcohol-related public spaces protection order (PSPO) that is currently in place across RCT. Recent figures show Pontypridd and Aberdare town centres are still seeing high rates of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour even during the length of the current PSPO, suggesting there is still a need for it to remain in place at this time, the council said.

In October 2018, the council introduced the PSPO in a bid to tackle complex problems such as alcohol-related anti-social behaviour. The council has worked with South Wales Police and other agencies over the last six years to enforce this and crack down on street drinking in RCT.

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The PSPO, which was introduced for an initial three-year period in 2018, was extended in 2021. This was a result of the consultation feedback, the latest data relating to alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in 2021 and the inclusion of a further three areas in the Pontypridd zone.

The current PSPO dedicates all of RCT as a “controlled drinking zone” to give authorised officers powers to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour across the county borough. This means officers can request a person hands over their alcohol and stops drinking if they are causing, or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is £100.

If someone is found drinking alcohol within the two designated no alcohol zones in Aberdare and Pontypridd town centres, officers have the powers to take open containers of alcohol from a person. If they refuse, they will receive a fine of £100. People who have been warned and continue to drink face further enforcement action, including a ban from the town centre. To get the latest Pontypridd news straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Aberdare’s “no alcohol zone” has included the town centre, Sobell site and its playing fields (the Ynys), Aberdare Railway Station and Gadlys Pit car park. The zone in Pontypridd has included the town centre, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, and the railway and bus stations. These zones also apply to the use of intoxicating substances, not just alcohol.

Over the past six years, the vast majority of individuals approached by an authorised officer have complied with the request to stop drinking, it added. The existing PSPO is jointly enforced by the council and South Wales Police.

Under the conditions of the PSPO, the council must review and consider the order every three years, to ensure the controls still meet the needs of the public so the council is now once again seeking residents’ views on how successful they feel these measures have been and whether they should remain in place. The consultation ends on Monday, July 29. The council said the PSPO intends to contribute to town centres and wider communities being friendly and welcoming places.