EVENTS held in Basingstoke will be excluded from a proposed order which could see people banned from drinking alcohol in parks and open spaces around the town centre.

As previously reported, the borough council wants to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which would stop antisocial drinking in various places including the town centre, War Memorial Park, Eastrop Park, Glebe Gardens, Holy Ghost Cemetery and parts of Brookvale, Kings Furlong, Grove and Norden wards.

It is consulting on the plans until July 25 and, if given the green light, the order will make it an offence to drink alcohol after being asked by an authorised officer not to.

However, questions were raised as to whether this meant people could be stopped from drinking alcohol at events, such as the Legends Festival being held in War Memorial Park in September.

The council has now confirmed that events held within the proposed PSPO area will be managed separately.

A statement said: “Licensed events or those holding a Temporary Events Notice, such as the Legends Festival which is due to take place later this year, will be managed separately to the proposed Public Space Protection Order in accordance with the event’s own licensing conditions or policies.”

A Gazette online poll revealed a split opinion over the plans, with 59 per cent of those who voted believing the council should ban antisocial drinking in town centre parks, while 41 per cent thought they should not introduce the PSPO.

The council said the proposed plans to introduce a PSPO are based on evidence which suggests that alcohol related antisocial behaviour has “a detrimental impact on the quality of life of the local community”.

There was previously a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) which covered parts of the area proposed for the new PSPO. DPPOs were converted to PSPOs in 2017 and have now expired.

The council said: “The new proposed PSPO provides an opportunity for a completely new order relevant to addressing present and future issues. Feedback from patrol based officers demonstrates that enforcing the PSPO is an effective tool for tackling alcohol related antisocial behaviour.”

Between 2017 and July 2020 there were 778 alcohol related offences recorded by the police across the areas covered by the PSPO, including the town centre.

Just over half of these incidents related to the night-time economy.

There were 1,077 incidents of antisocial behaviour reported to the police during the same period, with 74 per cent during the daytime and 41 per cent alcohol related.

The council said this is “significantly more” than other areas of the borough.

Community Safety Patrol Offices enforced the previous alcohol related PSPO on 110 occasions.

A consultation document prepared by the council said that during the Covid-19 pandemic there has continued to be incidents of alcohol related antisocial behaviour reported to the council and its partners.

However, the pandemic has resulted in a reduction in complaints because of businesses being closed and a decrease in the number of people visiting the town centre area.

The document said: “We would expect reports of antisocial behaviour to rise as businesses re-open and more people visit the town centre.”

The order would require individuals to stop drinking and surrender any alcohol in their possession including any opened or sealed containers. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a fine of up to £1,000.

The council is proposing the FPN is set at £100.

The council wants the PSPO to be in place for three years, after which it would be reviewed.

To take part in the consultation visit