Bans on street drinking and begging in Yeovil town centre will remain in place until October 2025 in an ongoing bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The town centre has been subject to two public space protection orders (PSPOs) since October 2019, giving the police and local authority powers to stop people from drinking in public and begging if requested.

South Somerset District Council’s district executive committee voted in October 2021 to expand the drinking PSPO to cover a wider area, following reports of anti-social behaviour around Wyndham Hill.

The council’s district executive committee voted on Thursday (October 6) to extend both existing orders – meaning they will be in place for a further three years.

The PSPO makes it an offence for an individual to fail to stop consuming intoxicating liquor when asked by a police officer, a police community support officer (PCSO) or a council officer.

It will also be an offence to fail to surrender the liquor if the officer requests it.

This will be enforced over a wide area in the centre of Yeovil, from the hospital grounds on Higher Kingston in the north to Brunswick Street in the south, and from the A30 Queensway in the west to the top of Wyndham Hill in the east.

The begging PSPO makes it an offence to “approach another person either verbally or through action in order to beg from the other person.”

This is enforced over a smaller area, including the full length of Clarence Street, High Street and Middle Street.

Anyone found violating either PSPO will be served with a warning letter and/ or issued with a fixed penalty notice for £100, payable within 14 days.

Councillor Peter Gubbins said it was essential to have these orders in place to protect and improve the town centre’s reputation as town centre improvements moved forward.

He said: “The idea is to attract more people into the town centre. I’ve had numerous people saying they are concerned about being in the town centre.

“For this to work properly, the police have to step up and they have to act on this. The town centre is not a place where we want to see people regularly taking drugs in the daytime or laying about drinking.

“If you want to give these people help, you’ve got to integrate them back into society. I totally believe we need to help them, 100 per cent – but we’ve got to do it in the right way.”