PLANS to introduce on-the-spot fines for begging or letting dogs roam free in the town centre are being floated with residents.

Swindon Borough Council have has been working alongside the town centre neighbourhood policing team to draft a Public Spaces Protection Order to encompass the town centre.

It is a power under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and, once in force any breaches can incur an instant fine of up to £100, or a maximum of £1,000 if the breach goes to court.

The proposed order for Swindon town centre focuses on issues such as keeping dogs on leads, begging and aggressive charity collecting.

Insp Steve McGrath, of the town centre neighbourhood policing team, said the order would assist with a number of ongoing issues and would be a positive thing for the town.

“This is another tool in the arsenal, and the ethos behind it is looking at problem solving, and something we can use to make the town centre a better place to live,” he said.

“This is very much a partnership way of looking at things at the moment.

“We already have a variety of powers under the new legislation, and use dispersal orders in the town centre.

There are also parts of the Licensing Act we can bring into play in areas of the night time economy which may be seeing problems.

“We would be very supportive of this order, and have been involved in working alongside the council in planning all the way through to the consultation.

“It is something positive to allow us to focus in on some of the issues we have got.

"Swindon is a nice safe place to live, but has its share of issues like any large town.

“That will include things like cycling through the town centre and street drinkers, which have been ongoing issues, so it will encompass all these things but will also be married up with diversionary tactics – giving people that little push in the right direction.”

Coun Emma Faramarzi, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: “A PSPO will focus on nuisances and problems that have a negative impact on people using the town centre.

“We want the town centre to be a safe, welcoming place and this order will act as a deterrent to those who are intent on spoiling that, so I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation survey.”

The PSPO consultation is at where there are details of the proposed order and a short survey. The consultation expires on October 31.

Anyone requiring a paper copy of the survey should call the Swindon Community Safety Partnership on 01793 466506.

Further consultations will be posted for future PSPOs, including one that covers the whole borough.