PEMBROKESHIRE council will be asked to agree moving to the next stage of bringing in extra police powers to deal with anti-social behaviour and crime in Haverfordwest town centre.

A ‘scoping exercise’ on the need for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Haverfordwest town centre – including the skatepark and Picton Playing Felds Area – did not find “strong evidence,” but councillors pushed forward with the plan in case matters deteriorated in future.

Members of the Pembrokeshire County Council policy and pre-decision overview and scrutiny committee voted in favour of asking full council to progress to public consultation, the next statutory step in creating a PSPO.

The committee heard that good progress had been made in addressing anti-social behaviour through local intervention by Dyfed-Powys Police and council youth service, with Superintendent Anthony Evans saying there had been a 67 per cent reduction in anti-social crimes in 2021.

Supt Evans added that when the matter was first discussed 18 months ago there were “some challenges in the town that we needed to address,” and a lot had been done since, including issuing a behaviour order to an individual “influencing young people in the town,” discussions with parents and warning letters sent to other young people.

The committee heard that “diversionary services,” including a youth club, had been increased in the town, following closure during the height of the pandemic and this, along with outreach, would continue.

Councillors welcomed the reduction in anti-social behaviour, but agreed that the PSPO process be continued.