Swear while walking along a Soham footpath and you could face a fine of £100 under new order being considered by district council

Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham

Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham - Credit: Archant

Swear while walking along a Soham footpath and you could face a fine of up to £100 under a new order being considered by East Cambs District Council.

Drugs, swearing and loitering will be banned from outside the Ross Peers Sports Centre in Soham and in the footpath next door if a public spaces protection order (PSPO) is passed.

Anybody caught breaking the new rule can be fined up to a maximum of £100.

The order is being recommended for approval at next Wednesday’s meeting of the East Cambs commercial services committee.

It is being considered after police report dealing with up to 20 incidents over the last two years.

Problems ranged in severity “from abusive language to drugs related offences and assault”.

Nick Ball, neighbourhood support officer for the council, said: “Many of these offences are originating from former pupils of Soham Village College.

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“Customers and staff at Ross Peers Sports Centre have also experienced abusive language and intimidating behaviour and trespass.”

Mr Ball carried out a public consultation into the idea.

The order can be approved thanks to new powers which allow local councils to introduce a PSPO.

The aim is to help deal with problems considered to be a nuisance and detrimental to a local community’s quality of life.

“They are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour,” said Mr Ball.

The order prompted five letters of support, one letter against due to a misunderstanding of conditions, one asking for more information and a reply from another council giving the scheme its support.

The order means the footpath must now only be used as a thoroughfare and loitering is banned.

Also nobody must display “threatening or intimidating behaviour or use foul or abusive language so as to cause nuisance, harassment, alarm or distress toward others using the path, pupils or staff of the college or staff and visitors to the sports centre.

At the sports centre nobody will be allowed to gather outside the entrance and must only be at the sport centre if they are using the facilities.