Public Space Protection Order
Public Space Protection Orders
This order replaces the existing Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) which has been in force borough wide since 2007.
The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (CJPA) gave local authorities the power to designate public areas through the introduction of a DPPO.
This was because of evidence which showed that violent crime and criminal damage was often fuelled by alcohol, and that some individuals under the influence of alcohol, were causing anti-social behaviour and nuisance.
Section 12 of the CJPA gave the Police the power to require a person not to drink alcohol, and to surrender alcohol in their possession in the areas covered in the order. This is only in relation to 'problem drinking' ie a threat to community safety, it is NOT a total ban on consuming alcohol in a public place.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council introduced the DPPO borough wide in 2007 and, working alongside partners from the Nuneaton and Bedworth Safer Communities Partnership (NABSCOP) it has proved successful in that violent crime and ASB reduced during this period.
What is a Public Space Protection Order?
When the Anti- Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 was introduced, DPPO's were replaced by the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO). This has resulted in DPPO's having to replaced with PSPOs by October 2017:
- PSPOs are designed to address specific issues and problems. The issue must be having a detrimental effect on the community, must be persistent or continuing, and must be unreasonable.
- Councils' can make a PSPO on any public space within its boundary
- Councils' have to consult with any interest party prior to making the order, and they have to consult for at least six weeks. Interested parties are defined as anyone living in the area, or anyone working or visiting the area regularly. The Police also have to be consulted.
- Councils' also have to publish a draft order prior to making any order, in accordance with the regulations laid down by the Secretary of State
- An interested person can challenge the order in the High Court on two grounds:
- That the Council did not have the powers to make the order, or to include the prohibitions or requirements or;
- That one of the requirements had not been complied with, for example no consultation has taken place.
A PSPO will be in force for three years, and can be renewed and varied as long as there is sufficient evidence justifying the need.
The legal tests
The legal tests focus on the impact that anti-social behaviour is having on victims and communities. The Public Spaces Protection Orders that are in place have been made by the council as the activities or the behaviour concerned , 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.
Any person who without reasonable excuse commits an offence if either of the following apply:
- does anything that they are prohibited from doing by a PSPO; or
- fails to comply with a requirement to which the person is subject under a PSPO
A person guilty of an offence under the PSPO is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500 in relation to alcohol provisions, and £1,000 in relation to all other provisions.
A fixed penalty notice may instead be issued offering the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of the fixed penalty of £100 to the council within 14 days of issue.
Offences and Penalty
- A person commits an offence if at any time and without reasonable excuse they engage in any activity prohibited by this Order.
- A person who is guilty of an offence under this Order shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (up to £1,000).
- A constable or authorised person may issue a fixed penalty notice to any person they have reason to believe has committed an offence under this Order.
- Where a person is issued with a fixed penalty notice under this Order, the amount of the fixed penalty shall be £100.
In accordance with section 66 of the Act, any interested person who wishes to challenge the validity of this order on the grounds that the Council did not have power to make the order or that a requirement under the Act has not been complied with may apply to the High Court within six weeks from the date upon which the order is made.
Note – it is proposed that the PSPO will include a scheme under which certain events and activities that have been properly planned and authorised in writing by the Council can be exempt from some or all of the provisions of the PSPO.
Last updated Monday, 27th March 2023