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Consultation on making drinking alcohol in public and aggressive begging in Durham City an offence

We wanted your views on the extension of the existing Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Durham City which bans the drinking of alcohol in public spaces. We also wanted your views on the potential to bring in a PSPO to make aggressive begging in the City an offence.

What's the latest?

Thank you to all those who responded. 74% of responses were in favour of extending the current PSPO, banning drinking in public spaces in Durham City, for a further three years. This has now come into force - more details at Enforcement powers for anti-social drinking in Durham city centre.

A PSPO for aggressive begging is still under consideration.


PSPOs are put in place to make sure that people can use and enjoy public spaces safely away from anti-social behaviour. We have the power to make a PSPO under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Drinking alcohol in Durham City

Following consultation in 2019, a PSPO came into force for three years which bans drinking alcohol in a specific part of Durham City. The order means that if we believe that people are drinking alcohol in this area (or anything which is reasonably believed to be alcohol) we have the power to stop them and take it from them.

We proposed to extend this order for a further three years until 30 June 2025 and wanted your views as part of a review, before a decision is made.

Aggressive begging in Durham City

We have been asked to consider the introduction of a new order to make aggressive begging in the Durham City centre an offence.

We appreciate we have genuine people who are homeless and require support. We have good and effective services in Durham to support people who are rough sleeping and they are encouraged to take up this support.

This order would not be targeted at those people who are begging in a peaceful manner but at those whose actions may be viewed as aggressive, intimidating or threatening by the person being approached for money, such as:

  • trying to intimidate a person into giving money or goods by repeatedly asking
  • continue to beg from someone even after the person has said no
  • following somebody with intent to beg  
  • begging using false or misleading information
  • begging using activities that are unsafe or dangerous to people or property
  • exploiting children to beg
  • providing or trying to provide services not requested and then asking for payment

The area the PSPOs cover

Both PSPOs would cover the same area.

Current boundary of the Public Space Protection Order in County Durham

Cabinet agenda and minutes 16 March 2022 (PSPO agenda item 8)

Icon for pdf Map showing area for Alcohol Control (Durham City) PSPO (PDF, 103.2kb)

Have your say

We wanted to hear all views regarding the PSPOs including:

  • are they needed
  • is the language clear
  • what difference would it make to you

We sought the views of local residents, visitors, businesses, rough sleepers, charities that support rough sleepers and other interested parties including the police and the City of Durham Parish Council.

The deadline for comments was 5.00pm on Friday 29 April 2022.

Contact us
03000 263 593