Protection order to stop anti-social behaviour at Richmond falls ends

Police at the falls in Richmond during the lockdown when the district was visited by large numbers of people from other regions. Photo: Jue Thornton.

A public space protection order (PSPO) put in place to tackle anti-social behaviour at Richmond Falls is no longer in place.

The courts granted the order to problems caused by large groups of people gathering at the beauty spot on hot, summer days.

The order helped police tackle issues with drinking, drug taking, littering and barbecues by giving them extra powers.

However, the order ended in March and there are no plans to reinstate the measure.

Inspector Martin Metcalfe, from Richmondshire neighbourhood policing unit, said: “This order was brought as a result of issues during Covid as the council had the evidence to obtain this order from the courts, but they only last 3 years, unless they are extended, varied or renewed.

“North Yorkshire Council, along with their legal advisors, decided that they did not have the required evidence to renew, extend or vary the order.

“Ideally, I wanted the PSPO to be renewed or extended, as did Richmond Town Council, so we recommended this, but also respect North Yorkshire Council’s decision not to do so based on the available evidence to apply again.”

Insp Metcalfe said his officers still had powers to tackle problem anti-social behaviour.

“We can still seize alcohol from anyone under the age of 18, or from anyone we suspect is supplying anyone under 18 years of age and we have dispersal power options.

“We can of course deal with any criminal offences that may occur.”

Insp Metcalfe said in order to ensure there was enough evidence in the future to apply for an order if needed, the public should report any problems that occur at the Falls and Batts.

“Therefore, with some nice weather expected very soon according to the forecast, it is therefore imperative that anyone who visits or lives near to Richmond Falls reports any issues at the Richmond Falls or Batts area.

“This can be done via the 101 system, POLICE.UK app or the on line reporting system via the North Yorkshire Police website. Of course, if it is an emergency, consider the use of 999.

“We will continue to work with the North Yorkshire Council and other relevant agencies,  to ensure the Falls and Batts area are as safe as possible and will be having two weekly meetings over the Summer period to monitor events there.”

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