Keeping Bexley Safe
Keeping Bexley Safe
A borough-wide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will come into force from Monday 25 October following a recent consultation with Bexley residents and businesses and will be in place for three years and subject to future reviews.
The aim of the PSPO is to help reduce the community impact of drug and alcohol misuse, specifically the health impact of nitrous oxide along with problematic street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour, including litter.
The consultation that ran from 6 to 20 October followed a request from Bexley Police to introduce the PSPO.
1663 responses were received with 97% of residents supporting a boroughwide PSPO to address the misuse of nitrous oxide canisters, and 85% of residents in support of a boroughwide PSPO for street drinking.
Prohibited behaviour within the PSPO area will include –
· committing or being likely to commit, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour
· being in possession of (without a lawful or reasonable excuse) nitrous oxide cannisters
· consuming, inhaling, injecting or smoking any substance capable of stimulating or depressing the central nervous system (eg nitrous oxide)
· behaving in an anti-social manner within any public car park or any park
· behaving in an anti-social manner in any other public space, whether on your own, or with any other person(s)
Anyone found to be in breach of any of these by an authorised person – including a delegated officer of the London Borough of Bexley, a police constable or a police community support officer – will be issued with a brief intervention card offering access to substance misuse helplines; as well as being asked to surrender any psychoactive substances (e.g. nitrous oxide) and dispose of any alcohol in their possession. If over 18 they will also be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100 with an early pay reduction to £60.00.
Information on the local support available for drug or alcohol addiction will also be shared with anyone in breach of the rules who may need it. Inhaling nitrous oxide gas can include headaches, nausea, dizziness, unconsciousness, collapse and consequent injury. Taking it can lead to a range of health problems, such as burns, a dangerously increased heart rate, swelling on the brain, nerve damage and anaemia, as well as serious psychological problems.
Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Sue Gower MBE said:
“It isn’t just the anti-social or the litter side to this issue that concerns us – more important there are the very real health implications for anyone inhaling nitrous oxide. We are hoping that this order will deter people from risking their lives in this way.
I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation. It was clear from the responses that our residents feel that this is the best way to tackle this kind of behaviour. We shall be monitoring the PSPO to see how successful it is over the next few months.
We are keen to also hear from residents on any other local crime and disorder issues that may concern them. The Bexley Crime survey is currently live online. The results of this survey will help the Community Safety Partnership decide its priorities for 2022/23.”
The Bexley Crime survey runs until 31 December and is available online at www.bexley.gov.uk/crimesurvey
A paper version of the Bexley Crime Survey can be requested from the Community Safety Team by calling 020 8303 7777 or writing to the Community Safety Team at Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath DA6 7AT. Once complete, please return your paper survey by post to the same address.
All information, conditions and future updates in relation to the new PSPO will be available at www.bexley.gov.uk/PSPO
For further Community Safety information including PSPO updates, please sign up to our BCSP e newsletter www.bexley.gov.uk/newsupdates