The mayor of Bideford has praised proposals to tackle street drinking in the town.

Torridge District Council’s community and resources committee will be discussing plans to impose a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) at its meeting on Monday.

If implemented, the PSPO will focus on tackling antisocial behaviour from people drinking in public open spaces around the Quay, Victoria Park and Landivisiau Walk.

It can be enforced by police officers, PCSOs and council enforcement officers, and a breach is a criminal offence resulting in a fixed penalty notice of £75, or a court hearing.

Mayor Dermot McGeough, who vowed to tackle street drinking problems during his mayorship, said it was a positive way to finish his term as mayor.

Bideford Quay.Bideford Quay.

He said: “I think it’s the best they can do with the legislation they have from the government.

“It will give the police the power to enforce the issues we have within the town.

“Originally I had hoped for a complete ban but this would have affected all the events we held and punished the 99 per cent of the population for the antisocial behaviour of the one per cent.

“I am quite pleased and I think we will see things improve.”

A report to the committee stated police attended more than 50 incidents a year within the PSPO area, which involved antisocial behaviour due to alcohol consumption.

Since March 2017, these included 100 incidents on Bideford Quay, 13 in Victoria Park and five at Landivisiau Walk.

In the report, Torridge sector inspector Shaun Kenneally said: “The police would support this measure as a means of tackling alcohol related problems.

“It needs to be tackled in partnership with the district council to try and ensure a longer term solution and this legislation may provide the ability for this to happen.”

Victoria Park in Bideford. Picture: Sarah HowellsVictoria Park in Bideford. Picture: Sarah Howells

The Quay area is currently covered by a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO) which was granted in June 2010, but is due to expire in October.

The report concluded the proposals offered a ‘pragmatic, proportionate and enforceable response’ to antisocial street drinking, and recommended councillors approved the plans.

The proposals will be discussed at the public community and resources meeting in Bideford Town Hall on Monday, 6.30pm.