CRIME hotspots are being targeted with new signs warning of £100 fines for “naughty behaviour” including car cruising, drug taking and peeing in the street.

Basildon town centre, Billericay High Street, Wickford High Street and Elm Green, Pitsea, will all see the new signs to help police and council bosses ram home the risk of fines.

Basildon Council is required by law to install signs in relation to a public space protection order (PSPO).

This follows the full council’s approval of the PSPO and hopes to stop people claiming ignorance over the locations.

Andrew Baggott, leader of the Conservative-run council, said: “The signs let people know it’s a PSPO area because it’s a legal requirement.

“If someone was naughty in the area, they are fined and bring up the excuse of: ‘I didn’t know it was a PSPO area’. Now there’ll be evidence that it was an affected area.

“Some of the areas receiving these signs include Billericay High Street, Basildon town centre, Wickford High Street and Elm Green.

“Its aim is to tackle antisocial behaviour in these areas and allow community wardens and police to fine those people.”

Basildon Council’s PSPO stops antisocial behaviour linked to alcohol and substance use, urination and defecation, use of motor vehicles, pony and traps, and car cruising.

It first came into force on April 1, 2022, and will stay in place until 12pm on March 31, 2025.
The PSPO provides powers to enforce the prohibitions, for which the penalties are up to £1,000.

A fixed penalty notice can be issued for £100 for not listening to an officer’s request to stop drinking or hand over alcohol.

Mr Baggott added: “The PSPO is going really well, and we’ve seen fewer cases of antisocial behaviour because of it.

“This includes boy racers in Pitsea being more low-key.

“If you don’t take action, people will do what they want.

“The PSPO allows us to take action to keep the public safe.”