A two-year Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has come in to force on West Kirby beach and at Cubbins Green in a bid to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
Earlier this year, when government lockdown restrictions were introduced, criminal offences and complaints of anti-social behaviour increased dramatically due to littering, drinking and damage.
Council officers say the measure will provide them with wider-reaching and longer-term powers than the dispersal zones which have been used previously.
The PSPO imposes conditions on the use of the area and failure to comply can lead to the issuing of a £100 fixed penalty notice, or a fine of up to £1,000 if found guilty by a court.
The new rules are:
- Groups of four or more are banned from congregating between 10:30pm and 4am (except for keep fit groups, dog walkers, sports teams, families and community groups)
- Any person or group instructed by an authorised officer to leave the restricted area must leave without delay, by the shortest route and not return for 24 hours
- No drinking of alcohol or inhaling, injecting or otherwise using or possessing any intoxicating substances or “legal highs” or drug paraphernalia including nitrous oxide canisters within the restricted area
- No dropping litter or waste other than in the bins provided
Cllr Julie McManus, Cabinet member for Community Services, said: “This anti-social behaviour is a nuisance and annoyance to members of the public who visit and live in the area.
“The action we have taken is our best chance at giving the police and other agencies responsible for community safety the powers to take immediate and robust action to tackle problems. That way, we are able to protect local communities and ensure that these popular spots can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Residents living around Ashton Park had called for it to be included in the area covered by the PSPO, as they fear the problem will merely be pushed away from the beach and in to the park.