New rules introduced regarding drinking alcohol in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area

March 14, 2012

The entire county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) – which includes Treforest and Pontypridd – is now covered by a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO). This means anyone drinking alcohol in public places could have their drinks confiscated by the police – and anyone refusing to cooperate with the police could face a fine of up to £500.

Designated Public Place Order – what it means

Designated public places orders (DPPOs) are a tool that can be used by local authorities to deal with the problems of anti-social alcohol drinking in public places. This tool will allow the police to use confiscation powers to enforce the restriction.

It is not an offence to consume alcohol within a designated area, but failure to comply with an officer’s requests to stop drinking and surrender alcohol without reasonable excuse is. The police will normally only make such requests if antisocial behaviour or disorder have occurred, are deemed likely to occur unless the drinking stops, or complaints by members of the public have been received.

Penalties for failing to comply with a request by the police can include:

  • a penalty notice for disorder of £50;
  • arrest and prosecution for a level 2 fine (max £500);
  • bail conditions can stop the individual from drinking in public.

DPPOs are available in areas that have experienced alcohol-related anti-social behaviour problems. They have been used across the country in areas ranging from a single street or park, to town centre or city/borough wide areas. This DPPO is being introduced by the RCT after consultation with stakeholders as they are satisfied that the Borough-wide order is justified in dealing with anti social behaviour issues.

Police powers

Once a DPPO is in force enforcement police powers immediately become available. Any enforcement of this law is carried out entirely at the discretion of the police. A DPPO may be enforced by:

  • a police officer
  • a police community support officer (PCSO)
  • an accredited person

If an officer suspects that a person has recently drunk alcohol or intends to drink alcohol in a DPPO covered area, in order to prevent public nuisance and disorder, police can require a person to:

  • stop drinking alcohol (or anything believed to be alcohol)
  • hand over the containers they are drinking from (sealed or unsealed)
  • hand over any other containers believed to contain alcohol.

Please note that the DPPO signs themselves are only displayed in certain parts of the borough, and not everywhere. However, the DPPO covers the entire county borough.

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