Sunderland's leaders launch all-out crackdown on begging, booze, bin-raking and dog problems

Mowbray Park, one of the areas of Sunderland covered by the order.
Mowbray Park, one of the areas of Sunderland covered by the order.
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New powers to crackdown on problems such as begging, drinking in public irresponsible dog ownership are coming into force next week.

A Public Space Protection Order to restrict and reduce nuisances in and around central Sunderland will go live on Monday April 3 after being drawn up by Sunderland City Council.

The orders, which were been made possible as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, were introduced as a way of limiting and restricting activities which cause nuisance or problems for people in a community.

More than 60 signs notifying the public of the orders are going up in time to warn Wearsiders of the new rules. It comes after an eight-week consultation exercise at the end of last year , which saw more than 300 responses.

The council said the majority of people who responded backed the order, which was approved by Sunderland City Council's ruling Labour cabinet on Wednesday February 8.

The three-year order covers an area encompassing the city centre, Mowbray Park, Sunniside, and the University of Sunderland site in and around Chester Road. You can view a map here.

The order includes (in the council's words):

:: Alcohol control – Police and authorised officers have the power to confiscate alcohol in a public space excluding licensed premises where they believe it is causing or is likely to cause anti-social behaviour

:: Begging – restricts any person engaging in anti-social/nuisance behaviour while begging. Begging includes any passive and active methods, including but not limited to, non-verbal signs, hand held out, written notice, or verbal attempts to exhort, press, pressure, urge the giving material help, assistance, food or money

:: Bin raking – restricts any person engaging in bin raking. Bin raking is the searching and taking of any items whatsoever from rubbish bins, bags or items clearly left to be disposed of or belonging to another

:: Street trading and peddling – restricts any person engaging in anti-social/nuisance behaviour whilst street trading

:: Dog control – prohibits dog fouling, exclusion of dogs to play areas and dogs on lead by direction

:: Skateboard and cycles – prevents the anti-social use of skateboards, cycles and stunt cycles causing damage to property, or nuisance or annoyance to one or more persons

:: Psychoactive substances – restricts any person eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, smoking or otherwise taking any psychoactive substance in a public place.