FROM Friday it will be illegal to drink in Basildon and Pitsea town centres – with police and council officers handed extra powers to crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

What began as a proposal to end to decades of boy racing at Pitsea Flyover has transformed over the last 18 months into a wider plan to tackle drinking, drugs, car cruising, racing, e-scooters and pony trapping across the borough.

At a meeting last week, Basildon Council voted unanimously to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

Councillor Luke Mackenzie says the council is working closely with the police to ensure the order is strongly implemented.


Cllr Mackenzie brought forward, along with coleague Craig Rimmer, the idea to outlaw boy racing at Pitsea Flyover 18 months ago

“Officers I have spoken to have expressed frustrations they could only move anti-social perpetrators on from the areas they were causing trouble in,” he said.

“Now with these new powers, they will be able to really tackle these issues making our residents’ lives a misery.”

Council leader Andrew Baggott told councillors work was underway to put new community safety wardens on the streets, who would also benefit from the powers.

He said: “It will strengthen the ability of our new wardens when we roll them out to go into estates, again with the idea of disrupting drug activity and anti-social behaviour.”

Beginning on Friday, April 1, the PSPO will be in place until March 31, 2025 – with options for it to be extended.

The PSPO will give council enforcement officers and police the power to demand troublemakers anywhere in the borough to hand over alcohol or face a £100 fine and will further outlaw the possession of any open container of alcohol in Basildon Town Centre and Pitsea Town Centre.

Repeat offenders may face a £1,000 fine and summoned to court, however, for the first six-weeks of the order, a grace period will allow offenders to challenge fines at court.

The order will ban car cruising in Pitsea Town Centre, Festival Leisure Park and Mayflower Retail Park, while outlawing the use of any motor vehicle or E-scooter in 14 public parks including Gloucester Park, Wickford Memorial Park and Victoria Park.

Pony trapping will also be banned in Cranfield Park, Wickford Barn Hall Recreation Ground, and Northlands Park.