Begging in Luton’s streets could soon be a thing of the past.
Luton Council is considering a town centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), aimed at tackling a variety of anti social behaviours.
The order will hit people who continue to drink alcohol in the town centre despite being asked to stop, begging, spitting, urinating or defacating, failing to remove dog faeces and failure to control dogs.
Anyone caught breaching the orders could face a £75 fine, reduced to £50 for early payment. The report, which goes before the council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday (February 13), follows on from a public consultation last year.
The order affects areas bordered by Dunstable Road/Midland Road and extends to the Manor Road recreation ground.
The town already has a public order against drinking.
In the consultation more than 90% agreed with the suggested behaviours being included but there were concerns that issuing fines for begging could be counter productive. There was support for increased ‘wrap around’support being provided as well.
There were also concerns that there would be insufficient resources to enforce the order consistently, fears the problems would just be moved elsewhere and litter was identified as a significant concern, along with aggresive charity collectors.
There were requests for additional considerations i.e. cycling, bird feeding, littering, drug dealing/use and the Galaxy to be included.
While most people said spitting, urinating and defacating in a public place should be included in the order, 13 people didn’t believe spitting should be included, while five people didn’t believe defacating in a public place should be included.
The report states: “The majority of comments were of respondents who felt unhappy with the condition of the town/town centre, felt unsafe or in general, agreed with the PSPO restrictions. Respondents seem keen to see the town uplifted and made reference that the town is ‘no-go’ or they’re ashamed to be Lutonian.”