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Have Your Say: Plans to Make it Easier To Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour In Tavistock

West Devon Borough Council is inviting residents and business owners in Tavistock to have their say on a proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the town.

Glass bottles of different shapes and sizes filled with alcohol on a shelf

The Council is proposing the introduction of a PSPO to tackle anti-social behaviour and outdoor alcohol consumption in the Meadows and surrounding area.

What is a Public Space Protection Order?

A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) deals with potential anti-social behaviour in an area, which could have a harmful effect on the quality of life for those in the local community.  The proposed PSPO for Tavistock is not a ban on the consumption of alcohol within the area and it also does not mean an automatic fine if you are found drinking alcohol in public in that area.

What a PSPO does give is the power to ban, or limit, certain behaviours. In this case, the PSPO applies to drinking alcohol in the designated public areas. If a person continues to drink alcohol after being requested not to by an authorised officer, they can be fined, or in some cases, taken to court. 

What is the proposal for Tavistock?

If agreed, the Order would impose the following restrictions in the designated area.

Anti-social behaviour 

  • At all times, persons will not act in a manner that is causing or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress in the designated area.


  • Alcohol must be disposed of or surrendered if requested by an authorised officer

The Council is working closely with the local Police, Town Council and community to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town. The Council has to be sure that a PSPO is an appropriate measure to take to deal with anti-social behaviour. This process involves consulting with the community and partners to identify the need for a PSPO, as well as taking into consideration evidence of anti-social behaviour in the past. A PSPO will only be introduced where there is sufficient evidence that it is needed.

Why is a PSPO being considered for this part of Tavistock?

The Council is aware that anti-social behaviour has taken place in the Meadows and the surrounding areas. This has resulted in criminal damage to public property, concealed broken bottles being inserted into the ground and visitors avoiding the area at certain times due to concerns about their personal safety. 

West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Tony Leech, said: "PSPOs are a useful tool in managing anti-social behaviour to help maintain a safe and happy atmosphere in our towns.  We're not trying to stop businesses from serving alcohol outside in these areas if they have a licence to do so. This order is about protecting local residents and visitors from the impact of anti-social behaviour that may arise as a result of alcohol consumption.

"We know that we are very fortunate to have outdoor spaces like the Meadows on our doorstep and we are committed to ensuring that it is a safe and enjoyable area for us all to use. We regularly work with local partners, such as the Police, to identify areas of concern and we want to introduce additional measures where they are needed, to help keep such areas safe in the future.

"Now it's really important for us to gauge the feeling of local residents and businesses, so we need your feedback on the proposed PSPO. Your opinion counts, so please do get in touch and have your say before 5 September 2021." 

The public consultation will be running from Wednesday 5 August to Sunday 5 September 2021. Once we receive the results of the consultation, a decision will be made at the September Full Council meeting.

You can have your say in the consultation and find out more information online at:

You can also email your comments to:

Or write to us at:

Tavistock PSPO Consultation, West Devon Borough Council, PO Box 237, Totnes,  TQ9 5DL 


Issued 4 August 2021

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