Fines for bad behaviour as order is extended across wider area of Exmouth

Fines for booze-fuelled bad behaviour and antisocial antics can now be dished out across a wider area of Exmouth.

It is hoped penalties of £80 will also crack down on begging and use of public places as a toilet.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) chiefs have approved plans to extend a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which already covered part of the town centre.

Rules have been in place in The Strand, Magnolia Centre, Station car park, Manor Gardens, and The Plantation areas since May 2020.

They have now been extended to the mean low tide mark on Exmouth beach, as well as some surrounding spaces.

The PSPO restricts certain activities such as:

  • Possessing an intoxicating substance including alcohol;
  • Urination and defecation within a street or public place;
  • Aggressive requests for money;
  • Intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “This is not an alcohol ban for Exmouth, the police will be proportionate and sensitive in its delivery; seizing alcohol where it is linked to antisocial behaviour or is a result of that.

“It will be used at officers’ discretion of when to engage, when to educate, when to encourage and when there is a need to enforce.

“The PSPO will be reviewed again in May 2023.”

PSPOs are tools under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 intended to ‘deal with particular nuisances or problems affecting a specified area that are detrimental to the local community’s way of life’.

Police and some council officers can issue £80 fines for rule-breakers – with the alternative being enforcement action in magistrates’ court.

Councillor Nick Hookway, EDDC portfolio holder for culture, sport, leisure and tourism said: “Working in conjunction with the police, the enlarged Public Space Protection Order for Exmouth seafront and Exe Estuary and surrounding areas has now been activated by EDDC.

“Residents and visitors can be reassured that in the event of a range of antisocial behaviours, police officers have the power to deal with offenders swiftly and efficiently by confiscating alcohol, moving persons away from the scene and/or imposing an £80 fine as appropriate.

“EDDC thanks the police for their cooperation in this matter.”

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