Why are we consulting on a PSPO?
A PSPO allows the Council to introduce new measures to reduce antisocial behaviour in the city centre. As well as enforcement, there would be a continued focus on support for those involved in this behaviour.
We have considered the findings from consultation about the development of Manchester’s 2018–2021 Community Safety Strategy, which ran for three months from August 2017. We consulted widely with residents and stakeholders through an online survey and face-to-face engagement sessions with specific groups including young people, offenders, businesses and the voluntary and community sector.
The results of the survey found that 79% of respondents identified antisocial behaviour as an issue. Feedback often raised concerns relating to antisocial behaviour in the city centre which the Community Safety Partnership will prioritise over the next three years. Tackling crime and antisocial behaviour is the first priority in the 2018–2021 Community Safety Strategy.
The Manchester City Centre Survey, which took place from 27 July to 24 August 2018 received a total of 3,002 responses. The survey asked questions about people's perception of the city centre. Themes identified through the survey as being problematic included alcohol, begging, defecation and urination and the overall cleanliness of the area. Nearly half the respondents were city centre residents.
To meet the strategic objectives of a safe and clean city centre the Council and the police use a wide range of measures to protect the public and tackle crime and antisocial behaviour. These measures include community resolution, warnings, Acceptable Behaviour Agreements, Community Protection Notices, injunctions, dispersal powers, arrests, prosecution and Criminal Behaviour Orders, alongside appropriate offers of intervention and support. However, we continue to receive reports of antisocial behaviour involving begging, alcohol, people obstructing commercial and residential buildings (including fire exits), people urinating and defecating, people littering by disposing needles in public spaces and tents and other temporary structures. Antisocial behaviour can cause people to feel harassed, intimidated, distressed and anxious. A city centre PSPO would give authorised officers an additional power to address this kind of antisocial behaviour.