A NEW conurbation wide measure to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour could be in force from the start of next month.

A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) covering 29 of the 33 BCP Council wards has been proposed by civic leaders.

If approved, the PSPO will give police and community safety officers powers to remove alcohol from anyone behaving anti-socially.

The local authority has said this is not an alcohol ban for public paces and it does not make it an offence to drink alcohol in the large area covered by the order.

However, it would be an offence to fail to comply with a request from an officer to cease drinking or surrender alcohol in the area covered by the PSPO, if the individual is or is likely to cause anti-social behaviour.

Councillor May Haines, portfolio holder for community safety, said: “We want to ensure that people visiting, living and working in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole feel safe and that street based anti-social behaviour is addressed robustly. We also need to make sure we take a consistent and balanced approach, applying effective solutions to the complex issues around anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve seen from the operation of Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) in our town centres that this approach is effective at addressing harmful behaviours of a few individuals through the combination of support and enforcement, helping those most vulnerable and helping keep our communities safe.”

A report to the local authority’s cabinet meeting on June 23 by head of safer communities Andrew Williams says the order will cover all of the council area except for the Broadstone, Bearwood and Merley, Commons and Highcliffe and Walkford wards.

Mr Williams’s report says these areas have been excluded as there is “insufficient evidence to demonstrate that there are persistent problems with adults consuming alcohol and behaving anti-socially in public spaces”.

The PSPO proposal, which does not apply to licensed premises, follows a public consultation earlier this year.

Of the 294 responses, 89 per cent strongly agreed or agreed that community safety should be improved with the introduction of the order.

In response to the plans, Dorset Police Superintendent Gavin Dudfield said: “The PSPO is an appropriate and lawful method to address Anti-Social Behaviour but it should not be used in isolation. Often Anti-Social Behaviour can manifest due to a gap in other services.

“I would welcome the PSPO being introduced alongside a Public Health problem solving approach to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour.”

He added: “I note that within the Local Authority area there are acute ‘hot spots’ where there is evidence of high volumes of disorder, yet the PSPO application is for a broad area. The feedback that I have from operational staff is that this broad approach is welcomed, as previously, individuals have found areas where there is no PSPO in place, whereupon they have then caused further anti-social behaviour.”

If backed by councillors, the PSPO will come into force on July 1 and it will be reviewed after three years.