Authorities finally moved to clamp down on reported anti-social behaviour (ASB) linked to the Riverside area of Kingston town centre in recent days after a number of complaints were made related to social gatherings.

The Metropolitan Police and Kingston Council (RBK) joined forces to impose a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) 2020 in the area, which centres around the Eagle Brewery Wharf on the banks of the Thames.

RBK announced the measures last week (September 10) and offered further details of their move against the reported ASB at the site in a short statement:

“Anti-social behaviour in Eagle Brewery Wharf and the immediate vicinity has had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those living and working in the area for a considerable period of time.

“Local people have faced months of opening their doors to rubbish strewn across walkways, loud music and late night disturbances,” a spokesperson for RBK said.

As the Surrey Comet reported previously, socialising in the riverside area has remained popular even throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the site has been consistently impacted by littering in recent months.

After resident Joanna Scott shared a video with the Comet showing piles of plastic and glass litter on the Riverside Walk pathway in town back in June, RBK reacted by “placing additional bins and cleaning staff along the riverside” in an attempt to improve conditions in the area.

Kingston Riverside meanwhile experienced an uptick in the number of new Covid-19 cases reported in the borough last month, with three new cases confirmed in the associated post code between July 31 and August 6.

The latest response from the Met Police and RBK is aimed at clamping down more actively on the social gatherings that they say are fuelling ASB and other issues impacting residents and business owners in the area.

Under the new PSPO, police are now able to effectively disperse certain types of gatherings and uses of the area as they see fit:

“The order prohibits the operation of loud speakers within the restricted area from 9pm to 8am, and at any other time where it is likely to cause a nuisance. It also prevents the public consumption of alcohol if it is likely to cause a nuisance, unless on licensed premises.

“The possession and consumption of psychoactive substances is prohibited, along with urination and defecation. General antisocial behaviour is also prohibited,” RBK explained.

Enforcement officers can now require people in the area deemed to be in violation of the new rules to provide names and addresses, with potential criminal proceedings to follow.

People found in breach of the PSPO can face a fine of up to £1,000 if they’re convicted, RBK said, announcing the new rules alongside the nationwide ‘Rule of Six’ guidelines from the government that bans larger gatherings to suppress coronavirus.