Consultation opens on proposal to tackle anti-social behaviour in West Kirby

Wirral Council is about to begin a public consultation on a proposed new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) affecting large parts of West Kirby and into Hoylake.

This consultation seeks people’s views on a proposed PSPO to address reports of crime and anti-social behaviour being received by the council and Merseyside Police in these areas perpetrated by groups of offenders.

Their actions are said to be causing nuisance, annoyance and disruption to members of the public, business owners and their employees within the areas earmarked for coverage by the new PSPO.

A PSPO is a power created by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It is intended to deal with activities in a defined area that are considered to be detrimental to the local community’s quality of life. It can do this by imposing conditions on the use of that area so that the majority of people can enjoy the public space.

The West Kirby PSPO is proposed to cover built-up areas between the Kings Gap roundabout in Hoylake to the north and Cubbins Green, West Kirby to the south, extending at its furthest point east to the Gilroy Road/Saughall Massie Road junction.

If implemented, it would give police or other authorised officers the power to ask anyone who is in a public place within the PSPO boundary, who is in a gathering of four or more people, to leave the area if the officer reasonably believes that they might be involved in or intending to be involved in behaviour that is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to anyone else within the PSPO area. They must then remain outside the PSPO boundaries for a further 24 hours, unless they have a reasonable reason to be there.

The wearing of face coverings – except those required by law, or worn for religious or health reasons relating to an existing medical condition or vulnerability, would also be prohibited under the PSPO.

If adopted, anyone guilty of breaching the terms of the PSPO is liable to a fine on prosecution not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000).  Alternatively, authorised officers can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (£100) if appropriate.

The consultation on the proposed PSPO begins on Wednesday, 22 May 2024. Details of how to get involved and register views can be found at https://haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk/west-kirby-pspo

Police and local authority officers will be staging regular Community Surgeries during the course of the consultation period where people can discuss this proposal with authorities before registering their views.

These are scheduled to take place at West Kirby Concourse on:

  • Wednesday 5 June 2024 5pm – 6pm
  • Wednesday 19 June 2024 12pm – 1pm
  • Wednesday 3 July 2024 5pm – 6pm
  • Wednesday 17 July 2024 12pm – 1pm
  • Wednesday 31 July 2024 5pm – 1pm

The consultation ends on Wednesday, 14 August 2024. A decision on whether to implement the proposed PSPO will take place after the consultation ends.

Cllr Helen Cameron, Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee, Wirral Council, said, “The actions and behaviours of a small minority of people can have a disproportionately negative impact on many residents’ feelings of safety, which in turn effects their quality of life and their confidence to get out and enjoy leisure time and time spent socialising in the area around where they live.

“Introducing a PSPO would give the authorities much more power to take action against those who are acting in an anti-social, irresponsible or intimidating manner.

“PSPOs in force in other areas, including in parts of West Kirby, have proved effective in reducing levels of crime and anti-social behaviour and it is hoped that by introducing an order covering a wider area, this progress will continue.

“I hope as many people as possible share their views on the proposals during this consultation period.”

This proposed PSPO will be in addition to the existing order which covers West Kirby Beach and Cubbins Green which is due to expire on September 2024. There are several prohibitions already in place within this area to tackle anti-social behaviour. 

Image: Merseyside Police

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