Have your say on whether to keep Hatfield public spaces protected from anti-social behaviour

Hatfield town centre. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

Hatfield town centre. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin - Credit: Archant

Residents and businesses are invited to have their say on whether to retain the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) currently in place in parts of Hatfield, including the town centre.

A PSPO helps to protect shared spaces and the community from anti-social behaviour, giving the police additional powers to issue fines and prosecute those responsible.

Hatfield town centre is a non-cycle zone. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

Hatfield town centre is a non-cycle zone. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin - Credit: Archant

The PSPO cannot be applied for longer than three years without review and the current order in Hatfield was introduced in summer 2018.

The aim of the consultation is to understand any concerns residents may have about the town centre environment - including the impact of street drinking, begging and rough sleeping - and whether or not a PSPO is the right solution to address these concerns.

Although the emphasis is on outreach and support work to tackle these issues, a PSPO could provide a useful tool in some cases where more serious action is necessary.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for regeneration, economic development and partnerships, said: “It’s important that everyone can safely enjoy our shared spaces so we’re keen to hear of any concerns people may have and their thoughts on how the current PSPO has worked.

“The PSPO is just one part of the work that goes on across the borough and in partnership with other local organisations to reduce anti-social behaviour and help residents access the relevant support services for their needs.”

Hatfield Town Centre has reopened four weeks after lockdown. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

Hatfield Town Centre - Credit: Archant

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Last year, traders voiced concerns about anti-social behaviour in Hatfield town centre in a series the WHT ran on the problems facing those working in the shopping centre. 

A shop owner, who did not want to be named, said constant rubbish and street drinking affects her business.

“One of my employees just doesn’t feel comfortable with the drinking outside and going past them,” she said. “I’m always removing rubbish from the back – beer bottles and food. They just don’t care. And they scratch my car all the time as well.”

Residents and businesses can find out more and complete the consultation survey online at one.welhat.gov.uk/PSPO.

Alternatively, consultation documents are available by calling the ASB and Communities team on 01707 357706.

The consultation is open from Wednesday, February 10 to Thursday, March 18.