COUNCIL officers could be given powers to hand out £75 on the spot fines to beach-goers in Sefton in an effort to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
The local authority is looking at proposals to put the entire coastal area under a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for a period of three years.
This would allow authorised officers the opportunity to issue fixed penalty notices at the time of the offence being committed.
The council say by issuing a PSPO it would avoid them enforcing the rules through the existing byelaws, a process which they described as ‘laborious’.
The council are still developing the list of restrictions to be included in the PSPO, but rules on drinking alcohol is expected to be included. A consultation to get public feedback on the plans will run between May 20 to June 24 in the hope of launching the new PSPO from July this year to July 2025.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Sefton Council has introduced a PSPO, after they brought in stricter rules for dog walkers last year, including £75 on the spot fines for owners who fail to clean up after their dogs. A council report states: “Although by far most visitors adhere to appropriate behaviour, there are some visitors that act in an inappropriate manner, causing distress and disturbance, as well as causing damage to infrastructure. A PSPO is proposed to enable officers and partner agencies to better manage visitor behaviour at the coast.
“Sefton Council have numerous byelaws specifically relating to the coastal areas, which already cover the proposed prohibitions. However, enforcement of the byelaws is laborious and in practice it is rare for the council to be awarded the full legal costs of the prosecution.
“As such the usage of PSPO are favoured by many local authorities as there is the opportunity to issue fixed penalty notices at the time of the offence being committed, giving the public an opportunity to discharge the offence by way of a fine rather than receive a criminal conviction.”