Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has announced the launch of its Calling Time on Street Drinking campaign, to promote new rules tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour across the County Borough.
From September 1, 2018, a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) will come into force, continuing to dedicate the whole of the County Borough as a Controlled Drinking Zone. Authorised Council and police officers will continue to request any person stops drinking and surrender alcohol if they are causing, or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour.
However, the PSPO will also introduce a new rule which the Calling Time on Street Drinking campaign will focus upon – the introduction of alcohol-free streets in Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres. Agreed by Cabinet in April 2018 following a public consultation, taking intoxicating substances – including drinking alcohol – will be banned within defined Town Centre boundaries.
These new rules were brought forward by the Council following the 2016/17 crime perception survey as part of the RCT Community Safety Partnership. Almost a third of participants labelled alcohol as the single-biggest contributor to crime and disorder in Aberdare and Pontypridd – and this viewpoint was further strengthened by the public consultation for the PSPO in early 2018.
The Council took that as a clear message – to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Aberdare and Pontypridd. Calling Time on Street Drinking, by creating alcohol-free streets, will contribute to the friendly and welcoming nature of the Town Centres.
Aberdare’s no-drinking zone will include the Town Centre, the nearby Ynys development including its playing fields, Aberdare Railway Station and the Gadlys Pit Car Park. Pontypridd’s zone includes Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd Railway Station, Pontypridd Bus Station and an area of lower Graig. These areas will be outlined in detail on maps produced by the Council as part of the campaign.
Authorised Council and police officers will carry out patrols within these areas, and any person caught drinking alcohol will be asked to hand it over or dispose of it. If they do not, they will be fined £100 – but the Council would much rather people adhered to the new rules than issuing fines.
The campaign will focus on raising awareness of the rules, so members of the public know exactly what to expect from September. The campaign will have a presence in Aberdare and Pontypridd, while a number of public engagement events will be held in the towns throughout August.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being & Cultural Services, said: “I am pleased the Council is taking pro-active steps to tackle the issue of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Aberdare and Pontypridd, by listening to what residents have told us about the effect of people drinking alcohol on the street has on our Town Centres.
“When Cabinet agreed to the new PSPO in April, having considered the extensive public consultation, Members agreed that the Council undertakes a significant marketing campaign to fully-inform residents about the new rules. Calling Time on Street Drinking will engage with communities so residents know exactly what is expected of them from September.
“This move by the Council is about ensuring our Town Centres are friendly and welcoming to residents and visitors. Authorised officers from the Council and police will have a visible presence in Aberdare and Pontypridd from September, in order to enforce the no-drinking rule within the defined zones. They’ll also target times when the Town Centres are very busy – for instance, when international sports events are being held.
“The PSPO also allows the Council to waiver the new rules for certain events – such as the Big Welsh Bite in Pontypridd and Christmas Markets – while permitted outdoor areas for licensed premises are also exempt.
“I would urge residents to engage with the Calling Time on Street Drinking campaign before the new rules come into force on September 1.”
The Council will also communicate the campaign’s message through its Twitter and Facebook accounts, while all you need to know about the campaign – including answers to Frequently Asked Questions – will become available through a homepage at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/alcoholfreestreets
Posted on Thursday 19th July 2018