Bath & North East Somerset Council has been successful in its bid for a Criminal Behaviour Order for a man who attracted pigeons to Bath city centre.
Paul Charlton, aged 42, was prosecuted by the Council and prevented from providing food to members of the public to feed the pigeons and from feeding pigeons himself in Bath city centre.
This followed numerous public complaints that he was having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and that was unreasonable.
The Council served a Community Protection Notice on Mr Charlton in September 2015 for providing food for members of the public to feed pigeons and for feeding the pigeons himself in Bath city centre including the Abbey Churchyard. This is a popular area of the city often packed with large numbers of tourists.
His actions have resulted in a greater influx of pigeons in this part of Bath city centre, than would otherwise have been present, which has caused nuisances including:
- Pigeons snatching items of food left on tables outside cafes;
- Pigeons flying into café premises and landing on food products – food items then have to be thrown away for hygiene reasons;
- Cost to local businesses as a result of having to replace food items damaged by pigeons
Complainants have explained that whenever Mr Charlton is not around there is an immediate and dramatic reduction in the number of pigeons in the area.
Despite the fact that the notice meant that he had to stop feeding the pigeons immediately, he frequently continued to do so.
His continuing flouting of the notice meant that he was then committing a criminal offence under Section 48 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and as a consequence he was prosecuted in Bath Magistrates Court by the Council.
Mr Charlton initially failed to appear and the case was heard in his absence. He was found guilty of several breaches of the Community Protection Notice.
On Monday 23rd January he was sentenced by Bath Magistrates.He was fined £300 (£100 per offence) and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £300 in costs.
The Community Protection Order was granted for two years and prohibits Mr Charlton from feeding pigeons or causing others to feed pigeons in the city centre.
Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The Council has taken this action against Mr Charlton after numerous complaints from people frequenting the Abbey Churchyard area in the city centre.
“Many of the cafés and eateries in the area have experienced problems with pigeons snatching food from customers and even flying into their premises.
“Pigeons are known to carry all kinds of bacteria and diseases so we needed to do something to stop the birds being attracted into the city centre, and in particular to areas where food is served.
“If Mr Charlton continues to feed the pigeons he will face further action by the Council.”