Public Space Protection Orders

Purpose

Public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) are 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 which apply to everyone. They are designed to ensure the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.

Who can make a PSPO?

Councils will be responsible for making the new PSPO although enforcement powers will be much broader. District councils will take the lead in England with county councils undertaking the role only where there is no district council. In London, borough councils will be able to make PSPOs, as will the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. In Wales, responsibility will fall to county councils or county borough councils. The new power is not available to parish councils and town councils in England, or community councils in Wales. Section 71 ensures that bodies other than local authorities can make PSPOs in certain circumstances by order of the Secretary of State. This will allow the City of London Corporation to continue managing a number of public spaces with the permission of, and on behalf of, local authorities.

Test

The test is designed to be broad and focus on the impact anti-social behaviour is having on victims and communities. 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, 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.

East Staffordshire Borough Council currently have two PSPOs in place, one for the control of dogs and one for the consumption of alcohol.