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A woman from Barnstaple has been fined by magistrates for breaching a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), following a successful prosecution by North Devon Council.

Katie Rutherford, of Gould Road, Barnstaple, was found guilty of breaching a PSPO in an incident in Pilton Park on 19 July 2022.

The PSPO, which is in place in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe town centres, aims to target antisocial behaviours such as street drinking, drug use, public urination and aggressive begging (using intimidating language or actions, or begging within five metres of a pay point or cash machine).

In a hearing on 2 December, magistrates heard the 44-year-old was part of a group who were seen to be drinking in the Barnstaple park by a Police Community Support Officer. After being told about the PSPO Rutherford refused to relinquish her open can of alcohol and walked away from the officer, who subsequently reported her for the breach.

A council ASB officer saw Rutherford in Pilton Park a week later on 26 July, where she refused a Fixed Penalty Notice for the offence.

Rutherford, who was not present at court, was ordered to pay a total of £220 which includes a £100 fine, a victim surcharge of £80 and £40 in costs.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: "Antisocial behaviour is committed by a small minority but can have a huge impact on peoples lives and businesses. This is why we have our PSPOs in place and why we take action against those who decide to breach them. We are committed to working in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police and other agencies to ensure North Devon remains a safe and pleasant place to live, work and visit."

The council's Facebook page provides regular updates from its ASB team about the work it conducts in the community on a daily basis. All activity relating to the council's work to combat ASB can be found using #NDCsaysnotoASB.

More information on the antisocial behaviour PSPO in place in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe can be found on the council's website.

A person who fails to comply with the PSPO requirement has committed an offence under section 59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.