OXFORD's historic links with the boating community go back to the 18th century, when it was a thriving trade route for cargo from the Midlands.

Today, thanks to the railways, the waterways are more important to tourism than they are to industry.

But this does not mean we can forget about the vibrant community living on our canal and rivers.

As Oxford City Council is keen to point out, the vast majority of these people stick to the rules and do not cause problems.

Yet as with any group, this is not true of everyone. There were 100 crimes reported over about 18 months along the waterways, ranging from loutish behaviour fuelled by alcohol to leaving large amounts of rubbish.

But for residents, the most frustrating can be boats brazenly moored where they shouldn't be, near their homes, for long periods of time.

Moving them on through the courts can be costly and time-consuming. And the embarrassingly-long amount of time it has taken authorities to clarify land ownership has only made this harder.

The city council's plan to use a public spaces protection order (PSPO) to tackle these problems is a welcome step.

But, as some point out, it does not tackle the root of the problem.

The lack of mooring spaces and the city's housing crisis cannot be eradicated with fines and prosecutions.