A CLAMP down on street-drinking and antisocial behaviour in Newbury town centre could see revellers fined up to £1,000.

New rules could make it a criminal offence to refuse to stop drinking if asked by an officer, as part of a proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). 

PSPOs were introduced in 2014 and let councils restrict certain behaviour in an area, to make people feel safer in public spaces.

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In Newbury town centre, West Berkshire Council wants to introduce a PSPO to restrict street-drinking and antisocial behaviour. Failing to comply could see a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or a fine of up to £1,000 if prosecuted. 

Councillor Rick Jones (Con, Tilehurst & Purley), lead for public health and community wellbeing, said: “Antisocial behaviour is an issue in many town centres nationally. However, we want to do everything possible to provide the best balance for Newbury. 

“The PSPO will help people to feel safer and happier in our town centre without stopping them enjoying themselves.”

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The restricted area would cover most of the town centre, bordered by the A339 from the Robin Hood roundabout to the junction with Station Road, around the train station and up Bartholomew Street, then Oddfellows Road, Northcroft Lane, Strawberry Hill and London Road. 

People who live, visit or work in Newbury town centre can make their voices heard through a public consultation on the proposal. The deadline to respond is Monday, April 6.

Specifically, the council wants to know the views of the public on how big a problem street-drinking and antisocial behaviour is, and what the PSPO should cover.

Cllr Jones said: “We need people’s views on this and I would urge everyone to take part in the consultation.”

A final decision on the new rules was due to be made in July, but will likely be postponed because of the Covid-19 outbreak.