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Plans to extend zero-tolerance area after ‘persistent’ antisocial behaviour in Maesglas

Maesglas Shops in Newport (Pic: Google)

“PERSISTENT” antisocial behaviour in Maesglas could lead to Newport Council extending a zero-tolerance zone to the whole neighbourhood, with offenders risking £1,000 fines.

The city council renewed a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) last September around the area known generally as Maesglas shops, and banned access to a back lane plagued by drug-taking and “intimidation of nearby residents”.

But now the council believes it has “sufficient evidence” to consult residents on extending the area to effectively cover all of Maesglas.

Council officers have “observed antisocial behaviour and crime in the proposed extended area” and believe it will be “beneficial to have the same restrictions in place for the same Maesglas area”.

PSPOs give the council and the police extra powers to crack down on antisocial behaviour where it “is having, or is likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality”.

Senior Gwent Police officers have also “confirmed their desire to expand the area” of Maesglas the PSPO covers, according to a council report.

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)

The restrictions of the current PSPO for Maesglas shops prevent the drinking of alcohol in public, behaviour that causes “harassment, alarm or distress”, and the use and distribution of “intoxicating” substances also known as “legal highs”.

Anyone breaching the PSPO’s rules on drinking alcohol faces a £100 on-the-spot fine or a maximum penalty, on conviction, of £500.

Breaking other terms of the PSPO could land culprits with a £100 on-the-spot fine or a maximum fine, on conviction, of £1,000.

If the council extends the PSPO, the same offences and penalties will apply to the whole Maesglas area.

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Cllr James Clarke, Newport Council’s cabinet member for regulation, is expected to approve a public consultation on extending the Maesglas PSPO later this month.