Torquay Police have been given more powers to tackle anti-social behavior
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Torquay Police have been given more powers to tackle anti-social behavior

Torbay Council has introduced a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Torquay town centre, giving police and other authorized officers additional powers to tackle anti-social behavior and drinking on the streets.

This order will enable the police and authorized officers to expel people from the city who cause nuisance or disorder, and will also allow alcohol to be removed from people drinking on the streets before the situation escalates.

Inspector Chris Lithgow, who leads local policing teams in Torquay, said: “The introduction of PSPO means our officers can be even more proactive on patrol, identifying and stopping potential crime and anti-social behavior before it occurs.

“Previously, our officers could only remove alcohol from people who were deemed to be causing a nuisance or disorderly conduct. However, the new PSPO means we can now remove alcohol from people drinking in a specific area before the situation escalates into a crime. In addition, officers can be taken out of the city for a specified period of time for any anti-social behavior (ASB), after which they face consequences if they return. Thanks to this, our residents and guests will feel safer in the city center.

“We are working closely with Torbay Council to address community concerns by developing and enforcing initiatives like these, which aim to deter crime and reduce ASB across the city. We are aware that there are other issues in the town and we will continue to work together to bring about positive change across Torbay.”

Nuisance and disorder include; behavior that causes disruption to society, such as being excessively noisy, offensive, dangerous or disruptive. Anyone found to be causing a disturbance will be directed away from the PSPO area and will not be allowed to return for a maximum of 24 hours or face a penalty. An individual can receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of up to £100 if they fail to comply with the instructions of law enforcement officers.

Alternatively, if a person fails to comply with a PSPO, they may be subject to criminal prosecution. Breaching the PSPO is a criminal offense and the person can be fined a maximum of £1,000.

PSPO zones already apply in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. More information and maps of PSPO zones can be found on the website Torbay Council website.

You can report anti-social behavior through Devon and Cornwall Police website in non-emergency situations.

Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111 or via their website.

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