POWERS have been renewed to tackle street drinking in parts of York.

City of York Council say they want to help protect the city centre and nearby residential areas from alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and the measures follow two separate consultations in which over 90 per cent of people who responded called for the measures’ introduction.

The new measures allow police and council officers to confiscate alcohol from individuals or groups engaging in anti-social behaviour (ASB).

The Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) will be introduced in two areas: the city centre within the city walls, and an area originally outlined as covering Union Terrace car park, Union Terrace, Clarence Street and Clarence Gardens.

Following concerns put forward by residents during the consultation about the potential displacement of ASB into nearby areas, the boundary of the Union Terrace/Clarence Street PSPO has been extended to cover a wider area bounded by natural boundaries. This includes the River Foss, the Foss Island cycle path and the York-Scarborough railway line. This area therefore includes all of The Groves, Huntington, Haxby and Wigginton Roads up to the cycle path and streets off those roads, and the Bootham Park Hospital site.

Executive Member, councillor Denise Craghill, who approved the decision, also added Gillygate and roads off it, and Bootham Row, Bootham Square and the adjacent stretch of Bootham into the area.

The orders are being introduced to actively address anti-social activity such as street drinking by individuals or groups, and have taken into account responses to the consultation with residents and businesses and police data.

PSPOs across the city were reviewed in December 2021 and their effect was analysed. Inside the city walls in 2019, 1,464 reports of anti-social behaviour were reported to the police. In 2021 and despite covid restrictions reducing footfall, 1,044 such incidents were reported of which, 1,030 were alcohol-related. In Clarence Gardens and Union Terrace in 2021, 528 incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour were reported, of which 180 were related to alcohol.

Cllr Craghill said: “Thank you to everyone who contributed to the consultation. The introduction of the PSPO powers hopefully gives assurance that whilst informing, educating and warning will always be the approach ahead of enforcement, the powers will be used when necessary. We will not accept alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour and intimidation in the city.

“The PSPOs are only one part of our approach to anti-social behaviour. The award of the Purple Flag to York in recognition of our excellent night-time economy also recognises our multi-agency approach to tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, and is in addition to the council investing more than £1.6 million in drugs and alcohol rehabilitation schemes. Renewing the PSPOs will ensure officers can act promptly and reassure those enjoying the city.”