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A man from Ilfracombe has been fined £284 after being found guilty of breaching a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) on Ilfracombe seafront following a successful prosecution by North Devon Council (NDC) on 11 March.

Magistrates heard that the offence occurred in January 2022, when Wayne McCluskey of Ilfracombe Holiday Park, Ilfracombe, was observed drinking alcohol within the boundary of the PSPO. The PSPO was introduced in 2021 to stop people drinking alcohol on the streets and, if necessary, allow an authorised person to confiscate it.

The court was told that McClusky was observed openly drinking from a bottle of vodka whilst obviously intoxicated, verbally abusive and physically unsteady. Despite being warned that he was committing an offence by drinking alcohol in breach of the PSPO, he continued to do so and refused to surrender the alcohol in his possession.

McClusky did not attend court and was fined £150, with a victim surcharge of £34 and £100 costs.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy our town centres without being subject to the detrimental behaviour of a small minority of people.

There are a range of support services available for people who would like support to recover from addictions, but the protection of the wider community is fundamental to us and we will always take whatever steps necessary to make the area safe for residents and visitors.

"This prosecution makes it clear to everyone that we take this issue very seriously. We will continue to work closely with the police and take formal action against those who breach the terms of the PSPOs we have in place.”

The terms of the PSPO are that any person within the restricted area, whilst in a street or any other public place to which the public have access without payment, shall surrender any intoxicating substance in their possession when requested to do so by an authorised person if:

  • they are found to be ingesting, inhaling, injecting or otherwise using an intoxicating substance, or
  • they are in possession of an intoxicating substance with intent to use such substance within the restricted area, or
  • the authorised person has reasonable grounds to believe that such person is using or intends to use the intoxicating substance within the restricted area 

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 and is liable to a fixed penalty of £100 or if they fail to pay and are convicted are liable to a fine of up to £500.