New powers could crack down on nuisances in Sunderland city centre

A Public Space Protection Order could be brought in for Sunderland city centre.
A Public Space Protection Order could be brought in for Sunderland city centre.
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City centre nuisances in Sunderland could be curbed with the help of new powers.

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) could be drafted in for a three-year period by Sunderland City Council, with the police to enforce the antisocial behaviour rules.

They would replace current controls on drinking alcohol and issues including dog fouling and keeping dogs on leads.

Consultation has been carried out with residents and businesses, with 356 people having a say on what issues should be tackled.

Problem drinking, begging, bin raking, street trading and illegal pedalling, dog control, skateboards and cycles and psychoactive substances have been listed for action.

As part of discussions, the Green Party told the council those who search through bins were homeless or in need, but Northumbria Police has said many it has to deal with are not homeless, but are trying to make cash to fund substance habits or make money.

Referrals have also been made for those found begging so they can get support, with the Green Party given assurances the order will not be used to "target genuine vulnerable people."

A report, which will go before the council’s cabinet tomorrow, states: "The PSPO will help us to protect our environment and infrastructure from antisocial behaviour and environmental crime, which will have a positive impact in improving the quality of life through making the city safe for our residents, and attract visitors and business alike."