Families are avoiding an area of the town centre and businesses are “suffering badly” because of anti-social behaviour and drinking, a councillor says. 

Frogmoor in High Wycombe town centre is becoming a “nuisance”, says Cllr Arif Hussain – despite a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) banning anti-social behaviour on town centre streets. 

The order was put in place in July 2016 and covers the whole of the town centre and The Rye – but Sarah McBrearty, community services team leader at Wycombe District Council, said the ban does not appear to have had much of an impact. 

Police have used powers under Section 35 (dispersal order) and five fixed penalty notices have been issued for breaching the order.

The PSPO is not a ban on alcohol, but gives powers to take action against anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Hussain said people are now avoiding the area of the town because groups of people gather to drink there. 

He said: “If you go to Frogmoor during the day, there is a bunch of people who are really drunk and are being anti-social. I can’t see that it’s an attractive part of High Wycombe. 

“Families are very reluctant to come and walk through Frogmoor - they will bypass it. It is a nuisance. It needs something more substantial [than a PSPO]. We need to manage these people in a better way. We need to look at the wider picture because businesses in the area are suffering badly.” 

Ms McBrearty said a “multi-agency” meeting will be called to discuss the problem area. 

She said: “There are a lot of different agencies dealing with different aspects, including the drinkers, the homeless and rough sleepers who are using that area. Because there are so many agencies, we need to come together and see what we’re all doing and see what we can put in place. 

“We have tried enforcement with some of the beggars, we have tried supporting their health needs and looking at housing and I think we need to bring it all together.”

Wycombe District Council spokesman, Catherine Spalton, added: "We know that some of those who gather in Frogmoor are vulnerable and need support.

"We are working with our partners in High Wycombe, including the police, to provide this support, while at the same time creating a place that visitors to the town can enjoy and feel safe in."