Anti-social behaviour is being “positively addressed” in Soham and Ely thanks to public space protection orders

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned - Credit: Archant

Orders to prevent anti-social behaviour in Soham and Ely have been hailed as “positively addressing” nuisance and harassment in the area.

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned - Credit: Archant

The Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) enable police to move people on from an area when they suspect they may be causing trouble.

The PSPO for Soham was introduced in March 2016 next to the Ross Peers Sports Centre, while Angel Drove car park, Ely, and St George’s Church, War Memorial open space and Parsons Lane Recreation Ground in Littleport were put in place in October 2017.

Each order was for the duration of three years and was adopted due to the “high levels of anti-social behaviour”.

Councillors said the orders had been “extremely positive”, which only one fixed penalty notice issued to a person since October last year.

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned - Credit: Archant


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A report from the community services committee on June 26, said: “The neighbourhood support officer said the vice principal of Soham Village College had found the PSPO to be so effective that he was looking to renew it.

“When asked by the chairman, Cllr David Ambrose Smith, about displacement, she replied that she was not aware of any.

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“Councillor Mark Hugo recalled that when members agreed to support the adoption of an order, it had been suggested that it was a heavy handed measure.

“But he believed this report validated the decision to impose the PSPO.”

However, it was discussed that there had been some anti-social driving on the college field in Soham and “steps were being taken to address this”.

Cllr Christine Ambrose Smith said there had been “consistent low level vandalism” on the Parsons Lane Recreation Ground and this was causing a “degree of concern”, but it had not been reported to the police.

Cllr Hugo said that similar problems were being encountered in Haddenham involving youths on bikes and incidents were fed back to the Parish Council.

Social media was also praised for being at the forefront of issues, with Cllr Lis Every adding that in Ely issues were often picked up via Facebook and then logged with ward members for a response.

The report added: “The chairman said that because of the good that was being done, officers should be encouraged to engage with the parish councils and get across the message that the district council was here to help.”

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