New powers have come into force today (Thursday July 25) at Salford Quays as part of measures against anti-social behaviour.
The good news is that the ludicrous ban on swearing is no longer being renewed after the much criticised restriction was condemned by human rights group Liberty after being put in place in 2015. The highly controversial move by the Council was deemed to be necessary in order to cut down on foul and abusive language being used in the cities flag ship area as they sought to cut down on antisocial behaviour, however, Liberty claimed it was simply a restriction on freedoms of speech.
Instead a new public spaces protection order (PSPO), valid for three years, gives police and enforcement officers the power to hand out £100 fixed penalty notices for offences including interfering with lifesaving equipment or throwing items into the water.
Salford City Council has already announced it is to spend £33,000 replacing lifebuoys with locked, code access only throw-lines to prevent vandalism.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said:
“Thousands of people have chosen to make Salford Quays their home and visitors flock to the area because it is safe and family-friendly area and has a wealth of activities and facilities to enjoy.
“We don’t want a small minority to spoil it with anti-social behaviour which is why we have brought in new legal powers and extra CCTV cameras. Council and police patrols will work with the public to educate them about responsible behaviour and the new powers but can now issue £100 fixed penalty notices to anyone caught in breach of the order. If people refuse to pay they will be taken to court and could face up to £1000 in fines.”
The order also prohibits jumping from bridges – which the council has repeatedly warned is dangerous and puts lives at risk – and unauthorised swimming, both of which residents have complained about.
Councillor Lancaster added:
“Anti-social behaviour often goes along with gangs of teenagers jumping from bridges risking injury and crashing about in the water creating a nuisance for residents. The order gives us new powers to take action against that.”
Chief Inspector Ben Ewart of Greater Manchester Police said:
“We continue to work closely with Salford City Council, other key partners and the local community to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime for the benefit of residents, business and visitors.
“Salford Quays offers a range of organised and safe events, including open swimming events, for visitors and local residents which we are encouraging people to engage in. We are providing an increased police presence, supporting local authority enforcement officers, to educate visitors and enforce this PSPO.”
Salford’s range of events for young people over the summer holidays can be seen on Salford City Council’s website for young people WUU2 (what you up to) www.wuu2.info/ or see www.salford.gov.uk/healthyholidays
The new order, which covers the whole Quays area, prohibits people at any time from:
Jumping from, climbing upon or hanging from any bridge to which this order applies or aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring such an act.
Except in case of emergency, removing, displacing or otherwise interfering with any lifesaving equipment
Depositing or throwing into or onto the water, any animal, or any large object unrelated to water activities, including wheelie bins.