MORE than 50 people have been slapped with £100 fines in a crackdown on anti-social behaviour across Colchester.

A study of the use of public space protection orders across the UK found 58 fines were issued by Colchester Council in 2019.

These include for urinating in a public place, begging, cycling on a footpath and being in possession of an open ‘vessel’ of alcohol.

Colchester Council has five public space protection orders which cover the town centre, car parks, Mill Road and East Bay where police or council officers can issue fixed penalty notices of £100 to, or may prosecute, anyone who does something which may cause harm.

A report also found the council had handed out 12 community protection notices for drinking and begging.

They can be issued against a perpetrator of persistent anti-social behaviour.

Failure to comply can lead to a fixed penalty notice, remedial action or a court order.

Campaign group the Manifesto Club has called for the orders to be scrapped.

But Colchester Council safety boss Mike Lilley said the council would not turn a blind eye to persistent anti-social behaviour.

He said: “We know that where PSPOs have been enforced in the borough, they have proven effective in curbing repeated anti-social behaviour, which can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the community.


“PSPOs are not indiscriminate blunt instruments at all.

“Their introduction or renewal must follow due process, whereby we listen to the concerns of residents and businesses and consider the responses submitted, before the order can be implemented.

“Nor are PSPOs aimed at penalising specific individuals or identifiable groups, but about making our borough a safer and more attractive place for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“Put simply, if people are handed fixed penalty notices for violations such as urinating in a public place or littering, that is because they are not at liberty to do so – because we cannot and should not turn a blind eye to anti-social behaviour – and not for any ulterior motive.

“Having said that, enforcement is almost always a last resort, particularly with repeat offenders, upon whom it can have a detrimental impact.

“And we always try to align this approach with strenuous efforts to support those who are most vulnerable.”