In September 2021, Cabinet approved a new Alcohol related Public Spaces Protection Order for RCT to replace the existing Order which came into force in 2018 and had been in place for 3 years.
The PSPO dedicates all of Rhondda Cynon Taf as a Controlled Drinking Zone to give Authorised Officers powers to control alcohol-related anti-social behaviour across the County Borough with 2 ‘Designated No Alcohol Zones’ in Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres.
Aberdare’s ‘no alcohol zone’ has included the town centre, Sobell site and its playing fields (the Ynys), Aberdare Railway Station and Gadlys Pit Car Park. The zone in Pontypridd has included the town centre, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, and the railway and bus stations. These zones also apply to the use of intoxicating substances, not just alcohol.
The PSPO was introduced for an initial three-year period, and is jointly enforced by the Council and South Wales Police. Authorised Officers can therefore request that a person hands over their alcohol and stops drinking if they are causing, or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour. The maximum penalty for non-compliance is £100.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said: “The Public Spaces Protection Order was introduced three years ago to tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, with specific rules targeting Aberdare and Pontypridd Town Centres. The PSPO intends to contribute to our town centres and wider communities being friendly and welcoming places.
“As outlined in the Cabinet report, the PSPO is a useful tool to tackle complex problems such as alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, with the Council having strong established links with South Wales Police and other support agencies in responding to such issues. The RCT Community Safety Team is also in discussion with partners to develop a more streamlined reporting process so it’s easier for the public to report incidents of street drinking. This is a priority issue, to give more confidence to people reporting such incidents.
“Figures show that Aberdare and Pontypridd town centres have still had the highest rates of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour between 2017/18 and 2020/21, even during the length of the current PSPO – suggesting that its retention remains important at this time. It is also important to note that, over the past three years, the vast majority of individuals approached by an authorised officer have complied with the request to stop drinking.
“Having taken into consideration the consultation feedback, the latest data relating to alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, and the proposals to extend the Pontypridd zone to three further areas, Cabinet Members have agreed all Officer recommendations outlined in the report. The PSPO will therefore be implemented over the next three years, from October 2021.”