People are being encouraged to have their say about proposals to introduce a 'Public Space Protection Order' (PSPO) to help tackle anti-social behaviour in Wolverhampton city centre.

The order would give police powers to ask groups of 3 or more people to vacate the area if there is reason to believe they are causing or likely to cause a nuisance, threat or alarm to others, and to remove face coverings if they have no reasonable grounds to wear them.

These proposals have been specifically developed to target those who cause anti-social behaviour in the area and would not affect people gathering to shop or visit the city centre, nor would it discriminate against those legitimately wearing a face covering, for example for medical reasons or religious purposes.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "Public Space Protection Orders are designed to ensure the law abiding majority can continue to use and enjoy public spaces, safe from the threat of anti-social behaviour or nuisance.

"Data shows an increase in incidents of anti-social behaviour in the city centre over recent years, and while a number of measures have been put in place to address this, more robust and long term measures are needed to ensure that Wolverhampton remains a safe place to visit, work and live.

"Where a group of people or an individual is likely to cause, or is causing, anti-social behaviour, the PSPO would give police the authority to request that they leave the area and remove any face coverings being purposefully used to disguise their identity.

"We want to hear what residents, businesses and visitors to our city centre think of this proposal, so please have your say."

To comment, visit Wolverhampton City Centre Public Space Protection Order to complete a short survey by 31 March, 2024.

If approved, the order would cover the whole of the city centre inside the ring road. It would come into effect in the Spring and would initially be put in place for a period of 3 years.