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Reducing Anti-social Behaviour in Guildford Town Centre

Published on: 15 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 17 Jul, 2022

The borough council says it is to get tough on anti-social behaviour with its updated Guildford town centre Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

The order gives the police and authorised officers of the council additional powers to tackle persistent anti-social behaviour in town centre public places, including confiscating alcohol and legal highs.

Fines of up to £1,000 can also be issued to those who ignore warnings and repeatedly breach the PSPO by causing anti-social behaviour.

Deputy leader of the council and lead councillor for Community and Housing, Julia McShane (Lib Dem, Westborough), said: “It is important that our residents and visitors to the town centre feel safe and can enjoy our beautiful town.

Cllr Julia McShane

“That’s why we have made changes to the PSPO, with the town centre boundary being extended to include the whole of Stoke Park, several adjacent roads, and The Mount.

“We are tackling anti-social or nuisance behaviour to improve everyone’s experience in Guildford.

“We have worked with the Safer Guildford Partnership to develop the updates and make sure we can tackle nuisance behaviour together. We are putting up new signs across the town centre to make people aware of our PSPO.”

One of the signs publicising the new measures that have been posted around the town.

The following behaviours can be enforced against if they are causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour.

  • Alcohol - drinking alcohol or possessing alcohol in public when you have been asked not to by a police community support officer, police officer or GBC compliance officer
  • Legal highs - possessing, taking, selling or supplying legal highs in a public place
  • Rowdy and inconsiderate behaviour - persistently behaving or encouraging others to behave in an anti-social way, which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to others.

The Safer Guildford Partnership brings together key agencies, including Surrey Police, to share information and plan a coordinated response to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Alick James, Guildford borough commander at Surrey Police, said: “The Public Space Protection Order is a valuable tool which helps Police and partners to keep people safe and address nuisance and anti-social behaviours.

“The Specialist Neighbourhood Team work closely with the Safer Guildford Partnership and I encourage anyone witnessing or suffering anti-social behaviour to report it. This community intelligence is vital to ensure we are focussing our activity towards those people and locations causing greatest harm to our communities.”

Amanda Masters, chief executive of Experience Guildford, added: “Experience Guildford are very supportive of any move which helps to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre.’

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