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Backing for £1,000 fines in crackdown on drinking and drugs in Maesglas

Maesglas Shops in Newport (Pic: Google)

COUNCILLORS in Newport have backed plans to extend a zero-tolerance zone for antisocial behaviour in Maesglas.

Anyone caught misbehaving in public there could soon be hit with fines of up to £1,000.

Residents will shortly have their say on the plans, after a senior councillor signed off on launching a public consultation.

The council wants to tackle “persistent” bad behaviour in the neighbourhood by expanding a current Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), granting officers powers to slap offenders with fines if they are caught drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or causing distress and alarm.

An existing PSPO covers the area outside Maesglas shops and blocks access to a nearby back lane, but the council said it has observed antisocial behaviour and crime elsewhere, and is proposing to extend the order to effectively cover the whole neighbourhood.

Map showing the current and proposed PSPOs in Maesglas, Newport (Pic: Original map from Google, Imagery by Airbus, Bluesky, Infoterra Ltd & COWI A/S, Maxer Technologies)

Cllr James Clarke, a cabinet member, has endorsed the proposal, and two local representatives also spoke in support of extending the PSPO.

Ward member Cllr Stephen Marshall said he was “happy and pleased” to see the council’s plans take shape, and fellow Gaer councillor Bev Perkins said she would be “very happy for this to go through council and be implemented”.

The public consultation will ask residents to share their experiences of crime and antisocial behaviour in Maesglas, as well as give their views on the proposed extension of the PSPO’s limits.

Anyone found in breach of the PSPO faces on-the-spot penalties of £100 or, if prosecuted, fines of £500 for public drinking and £1,000 for other offences.

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