Public spaces protection order

 

The public spaces protection order (PSPO) is intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community’s qualify of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area. The order could also be used to deal with likely future problems.

Examples the order could be used for could be to prohibit the consumption of alcohol in a public park, or to ensure dogs are kept on leads around children’s play areas

Authorities that can apply for this are: District Councils, County Council’s (where there are no district councils)

A PSPO can be made by the council if they are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the activities carried out, or likely to be carried out, are in a public space: have had, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality; is, or is likely to be, persistent or continuing in nature; is, or is likely to be, unreasonable; and justifies the restrictions imposed.

Once these tests are satisfied the applying authority must consult with the local police and the Police and Crime Commissioner.  The council must also consult whatever community representatives they think appropriate. This could relate to a specific group, for instance the residents association, or an individual or group of individuals, for example, regular users of a park. A PSPO can last up to 3 years and can then be extended by another 3 years maximum or rescinded (withdrawn, closed). Breach of a PSPO, without reasonable excuse, is a criminal offence and can be subject to a fixed penalty notice of up to £100, or prosecution in a magistrates court.  On summary conviction, an individual would be liable to a fine up to £1,000. It is also an offence to fail to comply with a request to cease drinking or surrender alcohol in a controlled drinking zone punishable on summary conviction by a fine of up to £500. If alcohol is confiscated, it can also be disposed by the person who confiscates it.

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