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Council issues new restrictions on behaviour in Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 16:51 06 July 2016 | UPDATED: 17:07 06 July 2016

Gravesend Town Centre

Gravesend Town Centre

Archant

The council previously consulted on the PSPO and had more than 650 responses

A public space protection order that was branded ‘unlawful’ by a human rights organisation came into force in Gravesend days ago.

Gravesham council consulted on the PSPO, which had originally suggested a ban on feeding pigeons, and fines for rough sleepers.

More than 650 people responded to the consultation, and human rights group Liberty branded a ban on begging and sleeping rough in the high street as ‘unlawful’.

Following the consultation, the council has decided to leave feeding pigeons, street collections and busking out of the PSPO, which could have seen proposed fines of up to £75.

A spokesperson said: “There was also support to prevent people lying in the street. This measure has been amended to deter people lying in the street who are not homeless.

“The council will continue to support and work alongside agencies that are able to assist those who find themselves homeless.”

Out of seven possible restrictions, four were supported by respondents, these were alcohol restriction zones, a no cycling area, no lying on the street and no littering of legal highs.

The order came into force on July 1, but no fines will be issued until the beginning of August while people get to grips with the new rules.

Samir Jassal is the cabinet member for community safety.

He said: “This protection order who was proposed because of concerns about anti-social behaviour and some other issues within the town centre. This consultation has provided us with a clearer sense of what the public consider their key concerns.”

“The introduction of this public space protection order is a really positive outcome for the people of Gravesham. I’m expecting to see a real difference to the quality of life of our residents, visitors and businesses that come to the town.”

A copy of the order is available at www.gravesham.org.uk

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