A PUBLIC spaces protection order in Teignmouth once described as a draconian measure to tackle anti-social behaviour is set to be scrapped.

Police and community partners say they have found a more effective way of dealing with low level crime after issuing 100 ‘community protection warnings (CPWs)’ in a six-month trial.

In contrast, just eight warnings have been issued under the public spaces protection order (PSPO) over three years and no-one has been fined.

Teignbridge District Council leader Martin Wrigley (Lib Dem, Dawlish North East) said getting rid of the PSPO, which councillors had “reluctantly” agreed in 2021, was not a bad thing.

“PSPOs are specific to places and in Teignmouth it just pushes the problem somewhere else outside the zone. It’s not that effective and doesn’t do our town any favours by having signs everywhere. It makes it look like the place is troubled, but it’s usually only a minority causing the problems.”

CPWs give people a chance to modify their behaviour without formal sanctions being issued. If they do not change their ways, it can lead to a fine or prosecution.

The PSPO in Teignmouth was designed to reduce anti-social behaviour caused by people drinking alcohol. It covers The Den, The Seafront, the Back Beach, The Triangle, Wellington Street and Lower Brook Street. The restrictions prohibit people from shouting, swearing or acting that causes annoyance harassment, alarm or distress to another person.

People who flouted the order could have been given £100 fixed penalty notices, but none were.

The order will cease at the end of this month.

The South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership says the pilot had “a significant impact on  tackling anti-social behaviour.”