Public spaces protection order on Soham footpath - which could see those caught swearing fined £100 - looks set to stay until 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:53 30 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:53 30 November 2016

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned 2

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned 2

Archant

A public spaces protection order on a footpath in Soham - which could see those found swearing or loitering fined up to £100 - is likely to be continued after the principal of Soham Village College said it has reduced anti-social incidents to zero.

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned 2Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned 2

The order, placed on the path between Soham Village College and Ross Peers Sports Centre, came into effect in March this year after concerns of abusive language and drugs-related offences were raised by the centre’s customers.

It threatened to fine those found using abusive language, displaying threatening or intimidating behaviour or loitering up to £100, and now looks set to be continued until 2019 after it was praised by the principal of Soham Village College, the manager of Ross Peers Sports Centre and the police.

Principal George Price said he was “not aware of any” anti-social incidents in the area since the PSPO was put in place, and that its effectiveness “has been proven and has helped to break the cycle of issues we had previously.”

He also said that the college has “now had a whole cohort of leavers who have not had bad examples set for them by older youths hanging around,” and that if the order is continued for its full term “change of habits will be well and truly established.”

Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned 2Soham footpath where swearing and loitering is to be banned 2

Ross Peers centre manager Sharon Hickmott said the centre has “not had any problems like we were having” since the order came into effect, and that it would be “highly helpful” to keep it in place for the full three years.

Since the order was place the police say there has been just one incident logged on the path, but Constable John Bailey dismissed it, saying it “does not qualify as anti-social behaviour.”

The responses were put to East Cambridgeshire District Council’s commercial services committee on November 22, and Nick Ball, neighbourhood support officer, said progress achieved had “been noted.”

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