Advice for businesses in Basingstoke Town Centre
Who do I report common issues and incidents to?
We are told by some businesses in the Top of the Town that they are unsure how to report common issues and incidents such as how to help a person who is sleeping rough or how to report antisocial behaviour.
In response to this, we have produced the following advice. The advice is aimed primarily at businesses in the Top of the Town, as those in Festival Place and the Malls may have different reporting processes depending on the type of incident.
Reporting incidents to the police
There are two numbers to report incidents to the police.
999 is for emergency calls only. For example:
- When there is danger to life
- A crime is happening now (or has just happened)
- There is something suspicious that needs immediate attention.
101 is for non-emergency calls. For example, when your property has been damaged or you suspect drug use or dealing in the area. It is also for reporting incidents of antisocial behaviour and is the number for general enquires to the police.
All calls to the police are assessed to make sure that officers are deployed to urgent incidents first. It is unlikely that an officer will attend a non-emergency call immediately, but they will usually make contact later to take further details.
Reporting incidents of antisocial behaviour to the 101 number is important as incidents are officially logged, intelligence is collected, patterns and trends identified and patrols arranged to deter further incidents. If you call the 101 number, please make a note of the incident reference number.
A quick guide to reporting common incidents and issues.
- A person or group being aggressive
If you find a person or group acting very aggressively and it looks like the situation could escalate to a violent incident, please contact the police immediately on 999.
- A person or group drinking alcohol
An alcohol related Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was introduced in November 2021 to tackle alcohol related antisocial behaviour in Basingstoke Town Centre and some other surrounding areas.
View the map of the full area.
This is as a result of alcohol related antisocial behaviour having a detrimental impact on the local community.
The order makes it an offence to drink alcohol after being requested by an authorised officer not to do so. Authorised council officers and police constables can request individuals to stop drinking and surrender any alcohol in their possession including any opened or sealed containers. If they fail to comply with the request, they commit a criminal offence. They are not alcohol exclusion zones.
This does not prevent members of the public drinking responsibly for example, as part of a picnic or with friends. It is aimed at those who are causing a nuisance which may prevent the enjoyment of the public spaces by others.
Failure to comply with the request of an authorised officer can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or a fine of up to £500 on conviction. The Fixed Penalty Notice amount is set at £100.
If you find a person or group drinking alcohol in public and involved in antisocial behaviour, please contact the police on 101.
- A person or group involved in antisocial behaviour
Antisocial behaviour is defined as anything that causes (or is likely to cause) harassment, alarm or distress to others. It includes individuals or groups being rowdy and intimidating, playing football in a shopping area and dangerous cycling.
If you find a person or group involved in antisocial behaviour, please contact the police on 101.
It is an offence to beg in a public place and offenders can be arrested and prosecuted. If you find a person begging, please contact the police on 101.
Busking is not illegal. Donations to buskers are given on a voluntary basis but buskers wishing to sell items, such as CDs and memorabilia, will require Street Trading Consent (please see below).
If the person or group busking is making excessive noise, please ask them to turn the volume down or to move to another location. If you have done this and they have failed to comply with your request, please contact us on 01256 844844.
- Criminal Damage / Graffiti
Criminal damage occurs when someone, without a lawful excuse, intentionally or recklessly damages or destroys property belonging to another person. It includes smashing windows, damaging doors and vandalising vehicles. Graffiti is also classed as criminal damage.
Graffiti can be easily removed from hard surfaces, such as street signs, by using special wipes. Graffiti on brick walls or other porous surfaces is more difficult to deal with and is usually removed by using a range of chemicals and a high pressure cleaner.
If you find any criminal damage, please contact the police on 101, but if the perpetrators are still at the scene, please contact them immediately on 999. If you find any graffiti, please contact us either by calling 01256 844844 or report it on our website . There may be a charge to remove graffiti from privately owned property.
- Discarded bedding
If you find bedding, such as blankets, duvets, and pillows, lying around, please contact us on 01256 844844.
- Dog fouling
Dog mess can be put in any of the litter bins in Basingstoke Town Centre. We have introduced a borough wide dog fouling Public Space Protection Order which means that:
- It is an offence for persons in control of a dog not to clear up after their dog has fouled in a public place.
- It is an offence for a person not to produce a means to clear up after their dog has fouled, such as not having sufficient dog poo bags, when asked to do so by an authorised officer.
Failure to comply with a PSPO could result in an on the spot fine of £100 or ultimately prosecution.
If you find dog mess on the street or see someone not picking up after their dog, please contact us, either by calling 01256 844844 or report it online .
- Faulty road or footpath
The roads and footpaths in Basingstoke Town Centre are maintained by Hampshire County Council.
If you find a problem with a road or footpath, such as a pothole or uneven paving, please report it to Hampshire County Council .
- Faulty street lighting
The street lights in Basingstoke Town Centre are maintained by Hampshire County Council.
If you find a faulty street light please report it to Hampshire County Council .
A landowner must give permission before a poster can be fixed to their property. Without permission, offenders can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
If you find fly-posting, please contact us, either by calling 01256 844844 or report it to us online . If you witness a person in the act of fly-posting, please contact us immediately on 01256 844844.
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste and large items, such sofas, TVs and mattresses, and is not only an eyesore and expensive to remove, but can also be dangerous.
If you find a fly-tip, please tell us, either by calling 01256 844844 or report it online If you witness a person fly-tipping, please try to make a note of some details of the incident if it is safe to do so, and contact us immediately on 01256 844844.
- Illegal drugs
Some illegal drugs, such as cannabis (green leaves), ecstasy (white or coloured pills) and cocaine (white powder), are sold in small clear plastic bags. Other drugs, such as heroin (white or brown powder), are sold in small wraps of cling film or tin foil.
If you find any illegal drugs, please contact the police on 101.
- Illegal drug dealing
If you witness or suspect a person or a group dealing illegal drugs, please contact the police on 101.
- Illegal drug taking
Illegal drugs can be taken by a variety of methods, such as smoking (cannabis), snorting (cocaine) or injecting (heroin).
If you find a person or group taking any illegal drugs, please contact the police on 101. If the person taking drugs requires urgent medical assistance, please also contact the ambulance service on 999.
- Illegal drugs paraphernalia
There are several hazards associated with handling drugs paraphernalia, such as needles and syringes.
If you discover any of these items please contact us immediately on 01256 844844 to have it removed .
Litter is unsightly and potentially dangerous and discarded food waste can attract rats and other pests. It is an offence to drop litter and offenders can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
If you find litter on the street, especially dangerous litter, such as broken glass, or see a person littering, please contact us by calling 01256 844844 or report it online .
- Overflowing litter bin
Litter bins in Basingstoke Town Centre are emptied daily.
If you spot a litter bin which hasn’t been emptied please tell us by calling 01256 844844 or reporting it online.
- Rough sleeping
If you find a person sleeping rough, please contact Streetlink online to provide them with support. Please note that you will need to register on the Streetlink website first. If you are unable to contact Streetlink this way, please call its 24 hours a day/seven days a week hotline on 0300 500 0914.
If you would like to provide further help to those sleeping rough, please visit the council’s Real Change Not Loose Change webpage.
- Street charity collections
Any person or group wishing to collect money in Basingstoke Town Centre, or any other public place within the borough, for the benefit of a charity must obtain a Street Collection Permit from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
Collecting money without a permit is an offence and offenders can be prosecuted. No charity collections are permitted in the Top of the Town on Wednesdays or Saturdays or on any other days when market events are held.
The council does not issue permits to collect money in Festival Place or The Malls, as these shopping centres are privately owned. In such cases, permission is required from the relevant site management company.
If you have any concerns about a person or group collecting money for a charity, please contact us on 01256 844844.
- Street trading
Street trading is defined as the selling of any article on the street. All streets in Basingstoke are designated as Consent Streets, meaning that any person wishing to sell items on the street must first obtain Street Trading Consent from the council. Street trading without consent is an offence and offenders can be prosecuted.
If you find a person street trading without consent, please contact Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on 01256 844844.
Please note that a pedlar does not require Street Trading Consent but must obtain a license from the police. A pedlar can sell goods but not food or drink. A pedlar’s stand must be on wheels and cannot remain in the same location for more than 20 minutes. If you have any concerns about a pedlar, please contact Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on 01256 844844.