Fixed penalty notices for alcohol and drug misuse have been handed out in Dartford town centre, after enforcement of the area’s Public Space Protection Order was stepped up.

The PSPO, which was renewed last year following consultation with local residents, is designed to clamp down on various forms of anti-social behaviour, including public drinking, drug misuse and street racing, within the restricted area.

Failing to follow the rules of a PSPO puts an offender at risk of a £100 fixed penalty notice, reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days. Breaching a PSPO is considered a criminal offence and carries a maximum penalty of a £1,000 fine.

On September 28th Dartford Borough Council and Dartford Town Against Crime Business Crime Reduction Partnership (DTAC), began enforcing the PSPO.

Since then, there have been 27 fines issued for street drinking and four for public drug abuse.

Leader of the Council Jeremy Kite MBE said: “It’s always a shame when we have to get heavy on enforcement, but when we do, we have no hesitation.

“Alcohol and drug abuse can significantly impact the rights of other people to enjoy the town centre.

“We are here to assist people who may have problems with addiction, but the protection of the wider community is fundamental to us and we will always take whatever steps necessary to enforce and make the area safe.”