Begging and “chugging” could be banned from the town centre

Chugger in street
Chugger in street

Begging and other “anti-social behaviour” in Burnley town centre is set to be targeted in a major clampdown.

A public consultation has now ended on Burnley Blorough Council’s proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

It follows complaints from businesses, shoppers and other visitors about certain behaviour including charity “chuggers”, which was putting off people coming into the centre.

The council says that persistent and aggressive begging has been a consistent priority of the town for a number of years.

A final decision on whether to impose the order, will be made by the council’s Executive Committee in the autumn.

The proposed order would fill gaps in existing legislation that have hampered efforts to address this problem to date.

The legislation is intended to give agencies improved options for dealing with persistent offenders with a view to getting them into services to help.

Joanne Swift, the council’s head of streetscene, said: “It has come to the council’s attention via complaints, PACT meetings and representations from businesses that there may be a need to introduce a PSPO for the town centre to control aspects of anti-social behaviour that are affecting it.

“We are working hard to make Burnley town centre as attractive as possible, to bring in more shoppers and boost businesses and the local economy.

“We’re currently in the middle of a £3m. regeneration of the centre. However some behaviour in the centre isn’t acceptable and is putting people off from coming into town.

“This needs to be tackled and a Public Space Protection Order will give the council and police more powers to do that.

“Burnley has a lovely town centre and we’re not suggesting people shouldn’t come here – we just want to make it even better by tackling some of those issues that traders and shoppers want to see dealt with.”

The order willl also cover young people under 16 going into town at night.