Fears for busking, angling and picnics under new clampdown on outdoor nuisances in South Tyneside

Fishing, busking and picnics could be targeted in a new clampdown on crime in South Tyneside.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 12:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 12:57 pm
Concerns were raised that there is a difference between drinking a glass of wine with a picnic in the park, and a large group drinking and being rowdy.

But fears have been raised that the current version of the proposed new rules could see overzealous officials treating minor breaches and serious offences the same.

“My concern is that the current wording of this document is so broad or so vague, as to potentially end up demonising and penalising potentially a huge number of non-problematic residents and individuals,” said Green Party opposition councillor David Francis.

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“If you’ve got, forgive me for stereotyping, three women in their 40s having a glass of prosecco [in the park], there’s a different perception of that than there is of three lads in their 20s having a can of beer down at the beach.

“According to the wording here, those are the same thing and could be potentially enforceable in the same way.”

Cllr Francis was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF) on January 26, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

The measures have been proposed as part of a wider Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) policy the council is in the middle of a public consultation on.

Among the activities which could be banned are:

:: Riding a ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’ in a way which could cause a ‘nuisance’

:: Drinking alcohol in public

:: ‘The placing of hats or containers for money, donations or goods’

:: Fishing in designated areas between 10pm – 6am

“There is no intention in this legislation to demonise any particular person,” said council officer David Owen, who presented details of the plans to the panel.

“We do have very successful festivals [in the borough], pre-COVID anyway, and they’re very well policed.

The police do use their discretion with regard to people who want to take a picnic basket and having a bottle of wine while they’re there enjoying the entertainment – the police are well averse to enforcing this type of legislation in that manner.”

Visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/pspo to find out more about the consultation and have your say.