New measures and fines introduced to tackle anti-social behaviour in city centre
Worcester City Council is introducing new measures and £100 fines to discourage the intentional feeding of gulls, aggressive begging, and dangerous cycling and skateboarding in the city centre.
A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will be in place from 28 March, giving City Council officers and delegated partners the option to issue a fixed penalty fine to people in breach of the PSPO's terms.
New signs have been put up in popular open spaces and enforcement action will begin, when and where appropriate, in May 2021.
Cllr James Stanley, Chair of the City Council's Communities Committee, said: "Our aim is to make sure Worcester's city centre offers a safe and pleasant environment for everyone who visits it.
"We have consulted extensively with regard to the Public Space Protection Order.It is clear that there is strong local support to take tougher action to address these three issues."
The City Council worked closely with partners including Worcester Cares rough sleeper support affiliation, West Mercia Police and the Worcester Gull Forum regarding the terms and implementation of the Order.
There will be an escalating traffic light system in place for people who breach its terms. A first warning (green) and second warning (amber) will be given, with a fixed penalty notice of £100 only being given for a third offence or more.
The Order applies to people who cycle and skateboard at excessive speeds in the city centre, and who don't pay due care and attention to other people and their surroundings.
It also applies to people who deliberately feed gulls which helps to attract more birds to the city centre, causing noise and other issues for residents and businesses.
People found to be begging aggressively will be offered help and support – a fine would only be imposed if they repeatedly refuse to engage with homeless services.