Delighted councillors representing a crime-ridden Walsall estate have welcomed an extension of powers designed to tackle offenders.
Walsall Council has extended a public spaces protection order (PSPO) covering Beechdale for a further three years until May 2022.
The order has been in place since 2016 and was aimed at tackling issues that had plagued the lives of residents and visitors in the area.
Birchills-Leamore ward member Lee Jeavons said he, Councillor Tina Jukes and their former councillor colleague Chris Jones had been canvassing for an extension to the order for some time.
He added that, while there were still some problems on the estate, the PSPO has had a major, positive impact on making life better for residents.
Issues included gangs congregating and shouting, swearing, fighting, being abusive and intimidating people who lived and worked in Beechdale.
There was also cases of drug use, drunken behaviour, missiles being thrown at buildings and noise nuisance caused by motorbikes.
The order states that the following things are prohibited:
- It is prohibited in a public place for any person to engage in activity which has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, including but not limited to any activity capable of causing nuisance or annoyance, verbal abuse, damage to property including graffiti or vandalism, littering, drug or alcohol related activity capable of causing nuisance or annoyance, violence or threats of violence.
- It is prohibited in a public place for any person to cause nuisance, annoyance, alarm or distress involving any vehicle including but not limited to cars, motorbikes, mini motos, push bikes, scooters and skateboards.
- It is prohibited in a public place for any person to cause nuisance or annoyance by playing any ball game including but not limited to those played in the street or car parks.
Councillor Jeavons said: “We have been campaigning for this for quite a while so we are pleased that the order has been extended.
“The PSPO gives police the powers that people of Beechdale want them to have for tackling anti-social behaviour.
“There continues to be problems such as noise disturbances, minor vandalism, motorbikes being ridden around the estate and this is not good for the health and well-being of the people.
“We want a peaceful estate so not extending it would have given the wrong message.
“The order has had an impact as things are a lot quieter and Stephenson Square used to be a lot worse than it is now.”
Anyone who breaches the PSPO will have committed a criminal offence which could result in court summons. Fixed penalty notices of £100 can also be issued.