Police and council's plea for order to be renewed to combat crime and anti-social behaviour in Coventry city centre - The Coventry Observer

15th Aug, 2022

Police and council's plea for order to be renewed to combat crime and anti-social behaviour in Coventry city centre

A MEETING will take place on Tuesday, April 12, to discuss renewing the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Coventry city centre.

The PSPO was introduced in 2019 in the St Michael’s ward and surrounding area in a bid to combat the violent crime across Coventry especially in some locations around and on the edge of the city centre.

For it to be renewed the proposal – put forward by West Midlands Police and Coventry City Council – will need the majority support of local councillors.

Senior police officers say the PSPO assists them in combating crime by enabling officers to act quicker and more effectively if they suspect people have gathered in the city centre intent on causing trouble.

It gives the police the power to move on any groups who they believe are an anti-social behaviour or crime risk.

Daryl Lyon, Chief Inspector for West Midlands Police, covering Coventry, said: “Whilst we know no tool on its own will address all matters, we are supportive of the renewal of this PSPO.

“It will greatly assist my officers to be able to use these powers, when proportionate and necessary, to address matters within the city to reduce issues with gangs and public place violence.

The report states that although there has been a downwards trend in the seriousness of incidents and some excellent partnership work to address matters, there is a high possibility some reduction was as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and it is felt there is justification for the renewal of the order.

The extent of the proposed PSPO boundaries aims to avoid displacement of criminal activity in parts of the city centre and other areas including the Canal Basin and Gosford Green.

PSPOs are intended to provide a means of preventing individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space where behaviour is having, or likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those locally, be persistent or continuing in nature and be unreasonable.

Only local authorities can declare a PSPO. If Councillors support the proposal the PSPO will be renewed from June 2022 and would be valid for three years.

Ch Insp Lyon concluded by saying the tool had the potential to keep and maintain order and there was a clear and legitimate need for it to be used.



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